Sinkhole opens up again on city street plagued by collapses

The latest sinkhole to have opened on Elm Grove Lane in Norwich.

The latest sinkhole to have opened on Elm Grove Lane in Norwich. - Credit: Simon Parkin

A four year fight to solve the problem of sinkholes repeatedly opening up on a Norwich residential street has been reignited after another collapse.

The latest gaping hole to have appeared in the tarmac on Elm Grove Lane has been cordoned off amid safety fears. 

Resident Jo Hiller, who with her partner Robert Little, have been trying to get the issues of repeated dangerous collapses at the same location solved since a major water main burst in 2016.

"Every year since then something has sunk like a manhole cover or a hole has appeared.”

Jo Hiller and Robert Little

Jo Hiller and Robert Little have been left frustrated in their efforts to get the problem of sinkholes in Elm Grove Lane fixed. - Credit: Simon Parkin

She noticed the origins of the latest pavement sinkhole while walking the dog on Tuesday before a dip in the tarmac collapsed in a 3ft hole. 


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“It quickly fell in and it is right on a main thoroughfare on the corner where lots of people with children are walking past.

The latest sinkhole to have opened on Elm Grove Lane in Norwich.

The latest sinkhole to have opened on Elm Grove Lane in Norwich. - Credit: Simon Parkin

“I called Anglian Water but they said they couldn’t come out for six hours so I called the police.

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“An Anglian Water representative eventually came and put a barrier around the hole saying that it wasn't their problem but highways had to deal with it.” 

Ms Hiller said Anglian Water had admitted liability for subsidence to their driveway caused by the original burst main. 

A previous sinkhole at the same location on Elm Grove Lane in Norwich.

A previous sinkhole at the same location on Elm Grove Lane in Norwich. - Credit: Jo Hiller

However, the couple have been left exasperated by efforts to find out whether Anglian Water or Norfolk highways had responsibility to find a permanent solution to the persistent problems. 

“It is so frustrating because this has been going on for four years,” she said. 

Jo Hiller and Robert Little

Jo Hiller and Robert Little fear the latest sinkhole is a danger to families and pupils at nearby Sewell Park College. - Credit: Simon Parkin

Anglian Water said its investigations had found sewer and surface water sewers were working correctly.

A Norfolk County Council spokesperson, said: “We are aware of the issue with the pavement on Elm Grove Lane, and have put in barriers to ensure the path is safe until further investigations and repairs can be carried out.”

Further investigation and repair work is likely to start next week.

A previous sinkhole at the same location on Elm Grove Lane in Norwich.

A previous sinkhole at the same location on Elm Grove Lane in Norwich. - Credit: Jo Hiller

Norwich has a history of sinkholes occurring where chalk bedrock is near the surface.

Earlier this year a series of holes opened up Angel Road, also in the north of the city, close to the spot where a burst water main caused problems six months ago.

Meanwhile, a sinkhole also forced the closure of Beaconsfield Road and a giant four-metre deep hole appeared suddenly at Fere Road Park in Heartsease
 

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