Wigan homes built on mine will be demolished

Exterior of 18 and 20 Wallace Lane, Whelley, Wigan - the two terraced houses are to be demolished because they have been built either side of a mine shaft
Exterior of 18 and 20 Wallace Lane, Whelley, Wigan - the two terraced houses are to be demolished because they have been built either side of a mine shaft

A pair of Wigan homes built either side of a vast mine shaft are set to be demolished before they become a safety hazard.

The terrace properties in Whelley, built three decades after the 200m deep void was filled in the 1920s, are owned by the Coal Authority (CA).

They will be dismantled by hand, if a demolition request from the CA is granted by the town hall, to minimise disruption to neighbours on Wallace Lane.

The CA says steps were taken not to build directly on top of the shaft in the 1950s but “fill material has slumped” in recent years causing movement, tilt and damage

Michael Owens, project manager of the CA’s public safety and subsidence team, said: “Our remediation plan includes stabilising the mine shaft through robust grouting works, before finally constructing a reinforced concrete cap to fully protect the surrounding area.”

The shaft, known as the Wallace Colliery Shaft, is located above a passageway between the two properties, 18 and 20.

It provided access to five coal seams that were worked from the the 1830s onwards, the CA said.

If approved, the remediation and demolition works could start next month and could be finished by November.

A planning report reads: “No properties will be rebuilt due to (the) position of (the) mineshaft, which will be capped and end gable walls rebuilt with brick skim to give neat appearance to match existing properties on the road.”

Wigan was at the heart of the region’s coal mining industry up until the second part of the previous century with dozens of collieries spread across the borough.

Mr Owens added: “This mine shaft was filled in during the 1920s and we believe that the terraced houses were designed and constructed in a way to ensure that the filled shaft was not directly built on.

“Unfortunately, over time the fill material has slumped and the two homes either side of the passage have suffered the effects of subsidence.”