AN INVESTIGATION into how a potentially deadly sinkhole was left untended to ‘must be taken’ following concerns from local residents and councillors.
A sink hole, which measures about six feet in depth, was reported to the council back in January according to local residents.
It’s situated on the the Cloughs Estate - an area surrounding Clough and Clough Fields Road in Hoyland - but was left with little work completed.
According to Coun Dave White, who represents the Rockingham ward, only a yellow sheet of covering was placed over the sink hole.
However, after alerting Barnsley Council of the problem, he praised their work to secure the site.
He told the Chronicle: “Sink holes, I'm told, occur for many reasons, and due to the industrial heritage of our area, many people instantly blame the mining excavations.
“Determining the cause is for another day.
“My major concern was its size, depth - six feet deep and dropping daily - and the very obvious danger that it presented.
“Children play there, people walk across there constantly.
“I must thank Coun James Higginbottom for his swift response in securing the area after I alerted him of the potential dangers.”
Coun White believes that the sink hole was a ‘genuine threat to life’ due to the area it was situated - as kids often play on the grass - and the size of it.
However, he has called for an investigation to be completed into how the sink hole was left supposedly untreated for so long.
“A number of residents that came out to see me were furious, as they had first reported the issue to Barnsley Council in January,” he added.
“Whilst I'm not apportioning blame, there has to be an investigation into how this has been ignored for so long.
“The 'process' hasn't worked here.
“This huge sink hole was a genuine threat to life at worst, broken limbs or trapped pets at best.
“I thank residents for alerting me, and those kind enough to attempt to cover the area with fence panels and pallets to warn and protect people from the danger.”
Coun Chris Lamb, the deputy leader of the council who is stepping down in May’s local elections, added that an inspection will be carried out as a ‘matter of urgency’ after he was also alerted by residents of their concerns.
He said: “A resident contacted me on Monday morning and I immediately made the cabinet member for environment and transport and the head of highways aware of my significant concerns.
“A highways team are going out as a matter of urgency to carry out an inspection.
“Obviously I am now awaiting further advice but in the meanwhile I would urge the public to avoid the immediate area.”