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9 February 2012, 16:00
Almost £2 million has been set aside to look into whether a group of homes are in danger of collapsing in Hatfield.
The Government cash through the Homes and Communities Agency has been given to Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council to carry out a full investigation and any work needed to protect homes which could have old chalk mines underneath them.
Work looking into this in 2010 found nine areas possibly affected and two, both in Chantry Lane, that are highly likely to be affected.
Former Welwyn and Hatfield mayor, John Hawkins, lives on the road and can't sell the home, he said: 'We're not even bothering to put it on the market now because no-one will want to buy until this matter is cleared up.
'Obviously, we're delighted that the Borough Council has now been given the money to carry on the investigation, fingers crossed they won't find anything problematic.'
Bob Jewell, Director of Finance and Operations at the Borough Council said: 'It means that, at last, we can removed the blight from the properties involved and can allow people to move forward.
'Affected residents in the area have been kept informed throughout the investigation process and this will continue as further ground surveys and works are carried out.'
The Council hope to have all their investigation work completed by the end of April 2014.