Three city estate houses to be demolished due to subsidence

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Three of the ‘new city’s’ first houses to be built are to be bulldozed – because they are collapsing into a canal.

The Peartree Bridge homes are showing such dangerous signs of subsidence that there is no choice but to demolish them.

The problem is understood to be the heavy clay soil – the base of almost every house in the designated city area.

Butthe council insists the problem is a one-off and should not affect the remainder of Milton Keynes Development Corporation-built houses, many of which are now around 40 years old.

Other residents in Waterside are certainly hoping their houses will stay safe.

“It’s very disconcerting when properties at the end of your terrace have to be demolished because the council says they’re cracking and collapsing” said one.

Milton Keynes Council surveyors have tested other Waterside home and pronounced them solid.

The problem with numbers one, three and five is understood to be a combination of clay soil and the proximity of the canal, which runs the length of Waterside.

A source said: “These houses were built in the 1970s and were some of the first to be built in the new city. In those days building regulations were different, so the foundations would be nothing like as deep as those in houses built today.”

Two of the affected homes had been purchased privately and there was a legal battle about their safety.

It is understood the council eventually bought them via a compulsory purchase order to obtain the right to demolish.

The third house is owned by the council and the tenant was moved elsewhere.

Tenders have this month gone out for the £200,000 demolition job.

Afterwards the land will be designated as “clearance” with no new houses built. Instead the space will be used for a community facility.