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Families to be moved out of Gravesend street because of subsidence

PUBLISHED: 13:11 04 March 2015 | UPDATED: 15:18 04 March 2015

The parade of shops in Lawrance Square, Northfleet   Picture: Google

The parade of shops in Lawrance Square, Northfleet Picture: Google

Archant

Tenants and shopowners in Lawrence Square affected

Families and shopowners are to be moved out of a Gravesend street this week after subsidence made the area unsafe.

Seven council tenants in Lawrance Square, Coldharbour, Northfleet, plus traders in the parade of shops, are thought to be affected.

The mother of one of the tenants says her daughter has been told she could be displaced for between six and nine months.

Denise Locker, whose daughter Donna Harvey is having to move along with her two children, said: “Donna moved where she is to be near her family.

“There are elderly people who have been here for 20 years. It is a really upsetting situation.

“We haven’t really been given much information.”

The council had to call on an independent surveyor, who confirmed that the area was dangerous and the block of homes was at risk, after a hole opened up at the end of last week on one side of the shops, causing a sewer to fracture.

The shops were advised to close and the tenants were told not to drink the tap water - an instruction which has also been given to people living in nearby streets, although there is no suggestion that they will have to move. The gas in the area was then turned off today.

A council spokesman said: “All the tenants have been offered temporary accommodation and will be rehoused within days while the works are carried out.

“It is not known how long the work will take until further investigations are completed.

“Tenants have been advised at every stage of the process. Removals will be arranged by the council, as will reconnection to utilities.

“We are looking at ways to help the shops start trading again as soon as possible.”

Cabinet member for housing Sue Howes said: “We have made every effort to help people.

“We understand that some did not want to move, but given the advice of the experts we cannot allow people to remain in homes that are at risk from potential subsidence and that are now without basic services.”


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