Giant sinkhole opens up in Barnehurst back garden

This Is Local London: Gretel Davidson, 55, of Holmsdale Grove, thought her daughter Mia, 12, was exaggerating when she called her to say a huge black hole had appeared in the middle of their lawn. Gretel Davidson, 55, of Holmsdale Grove, thought her daughter Mia, 12, was exaggerating when she called her to say a huge black hole had appeared in the middle of their lawn.

A GIANT sinkhole measuring 17 feet deep and 10 feet wide has appeared in a Barnehurst back garden.

Gretel Davidson, 55, of Holmsdale Grove, thought her daughter Mia, 12, was exaggerating when she called her to say a huge black hole had appeared in the middle of their lawn.

The radiographer at Darent Valley Hospital did not realise the extent of the hole until she got home and peered into the void last Wednesday.

Gretel said: "I just feel totally helpless. Mia rang me to say 'Mum there is a massive hole in the garden'.

"I didn't really believe her and just thought she was going over the top.

"It is just unbelievable to think a hole that size could appear over night and out of nowhere." Feeling totally helpless Gretel knocked on her neighbour's doors to try and get some help but nobody had any idea what to do.

She added: "I got in touch with the council but they said they couldn't help because it's my own property.

"I then got in touch with Halifax, my home insurance, and they said the hole is too far away from my home so they couldn't help either.

"I am just devastated. I spent the whole weekend crying and have been doing everything I can to try and sort it out."

Structural engineer Dan Baker, director of D J B Structural Engineers Ltd in Erith, looked at the hole on Saturday and is drawing up an action plan.

He said: "It is a naturally occurring oblique swallow hole. It could cost upwards of £10,000 to fix.

"It is just one of those things you cannot predict - a total act of God.

"They are not common but they have been known to happen in this area in the past.

"Thankfully nobody was in the garden because someone could have died.

"We have got to make it safe as soon as possible."

A Bexley Council spokesman added: "Under such circumstances, the reinstatement work becomes the responsibility of the owner.

"Although the council is not liable for the reinstatement work, it is happy to provide advice.

"The owner was advised to contact her insurance company to see if her policy covers the incident.

"Our structural engineer also discussed the standard method used in the past to fill in these holes and provided the contact number of a reputable building contractor so that she could obtain a quotation."

A spokesman for Halifax Insurance added: "Following a thorough investigation our engineers are confident that this sinkhole has not caused any damage to the property and poses no threat to the structure of the home, therefore it is not covered by the insurance policy. 

"As a gesture of goodwill however, we will offer to put a fence up around the sinkhole in the interest of health and safety.”

Comments (30)

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7:02am Wed 12 Feb 14

Witchkid says...

It's going to cost upwards of £10,000 to fill it with rubble and topsoil???
It's going to cost upwards of £10,000 to fill it with rubble and topsoil??? Witchkid

10:01am Wed 12 Feb 14

the wall says...

Structural engineer Dan Baker, director of D J B Structural Engineers Ltd in Erith said - a total act of God......... No such thing and any structural engineer worth his salt would not use this saying.
Structural engineer Dan Baker, director of D J B Structural Engineers Ltd in Erith said - a total act of God......... No such thing and any structural engineer worth his salt would not use this saying. the wall

10:52am Wed 12 Feb 14

Techvedic says...

Everybody has his/her own say, pretending not responsible for, but did anyone took responsibility to do something concrete. Free advice is always available in our society but not action. Insurance company has also its own version to avoid. (Editor, Techvedic)
Everybody has his/her own say, pretending not responsible for, but did anyone took responsibility to do something concrete. Free advice is always available in our society but not action. Insurance company has also its own version to avoid. (Editor, Techvedic) Techvedic

10:58am Wed 12 Feb 14

Hk says...

Witchkid wrote:
It's going to cost upwards of £10,000 to fill it with rubble and topsoil???
Looks to me like it will need a little more than rubble and topsoil. Its 17ft deep for godsake! I do agree the amount mentioned does seem a lot though.

Thank god no one was in the garden at the time. Not sure Id like to fall down a 17ft sink hole!
[quote][p][bold]Witchkid[/bold] wrote: It's going to cost upwards of £10,000 to fill it with rubble and topsoil???[/p][/quote]Looks to me like it will need a little more than rubble and topsoil. Its 17ft deep for godsake! I do agree the amount mentioned does seem a lot though. Thank god no one was in the garden at the time. Not sure Id like to fall down a 17ft sink hole! Hk

11:23am Wed 12 Feb 14

reptiles says...

may sound like a silly question but if its sunk where the hell has 17ft of earth gone?? its a heck of a big hole, and the second one in the area with all the rain, the hole in the road you can see the rain washed it down the drains, but this you cant see anything and there would have been a lot of soil
may sound like a silly question but if its sunk where the hell has 17ft of earth gone?? its a heck of a big hole, and the second one in the area with all the rain, the hole in the road you can see the rain washed it down the drains, but this you cant see anything and there would have been a lot of soil reptiles

11:34am Wed 12 Feb 14

Witchkid says...

reptiles wrote:
may sound like a silly question but if its sunk where the hell has 17ft of earth gone?? its a heck of a big hole, and the second one in the area with all the rain, the hole in the road you can see the rain washed it down the drains, but this you cant see anything and there would have been a lot of soil
A sinkhole occurs where there is soluble rock underground, e.g limestone. Underground water dissolves the carbonate rock and the non-soluble material on top falls down the resultant hole, so the answer to your question is......down the hole.
[quote][p][bold]reptiles[/bold] wrote: may sound like a silly question but if its sunk where the hell has 17ft of earth gone?? its a heck of a big hole, and the second one in the area with all the rain, the hole in the road you can see the rain washed it down the drains, but this you cant see anything and there would have been a lot of soil[/p][/quote]A sinkhole occurs where there is soluble rock underground, e.g limestone. Underground water dissolves the carbonate rock and the non-soluble material on top falls down the resultant hole, so the answer to your question is......down the hole. Witchkid

11:37am Wed 12 Feb 14

reptiles says...

Witchkid wrote:
reptiles wrote:
may sound like a silly question but if its sunk where the hell has 17ft of earth gone?? its a heck of a big hole, and the second one in the area with all the rain, the hole in the road you can see the rain washed it down the drains, but this you cant see anything and there would have been a lot of soil
A sinkhole occurs where there is soluble rock underground, e.g limestone. Underground water dissolves the carbonate rock and the non-soluble material on top falls down the resultant hole, so the answer to your question is......down the hole.
ah ok that makes some sort of sense now lol! goes tso show im no surveyor or engineer - or gardener for that matter, thanks for your reply! :)
[quote][p][bold]Witchkid[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]reptiles[/bold] wrote: may sound like a silly question but if its sunk where the hell has 17ft of earth gone?? its a heck of a big hole, and the second one in the area with all the rain, the hole in the road you can see the rain washed it down the drains, but this you cant see anything and there would have been a lot of soil[/p][/quote]A sinkhole occurs where there is soluble rock underground, e.g limestone. Underground water dissolves the carbonate rock and the non-soluble material on top falls down the resultant hole, so the answer to your question is......down the hole.[/p][/quote]ah ok that makes some sort of sense now lol! goes tso show im no surveyor or engineer - or gardener for that matter, thanks for your reply! :) reptiles

11:41am Wed 12 Feb 14

chris8210 says...

surprised the giraffe has not come out the hole yet
surprised the giraffe has not come out the hole yet chris8210

11:59am Wed 12 Feb 14

dee2009 says...

yes i had one of these holes in my garden about 3 year ago mine was only 6ft deep and 6ft wide,yes it does cost about that much lucky enough i didn't have to pay for it,not only does it cost to fell in hole but have to do test on ground to made sure other area around hole are safe and that what cost the money.
yes i had one of these holes in my garden about 3 year ago mine was only 6ft deep and 6ft wide,yes it does cost about that much lucky enough i didn't have to pay for it,not only does it cost to fell in hole but have to do test on ground to made sure other area around hole are safe and that what cost the money. dee2009

12:56pm Wed 12 Feb 14

sarfflondonbird says...

Funny how authorities and companies dodge responsibility. No one seems able to help this lady, don't mind taking taxes from her for council tax purposes on her land and must make sure she had adequate insurances for this, that and the other, yet all you get from them when you're at your wits end and needing help is, "Sorry, nothing we can do, not or responsibly".
Disgraceful lot.
Funny how authorities and companies dodge responsibility. No one seems able to help this lady, don't mind taking taxes from her for council tax purposes on her land and must make sure she had adequate insurances for this, that and the other, yet all you get from them when you're at your wits end and needing help is, "Sorry, nothing we can do, not or responsibly". Disgraceful lot. sarfflondonbird

1:02pm Wed 12 Feb 14

PoppyGreenLeaf says...

Why the grumpy arms crossed pose? This surely should have a pointy one
Why the grumpy arms crossed pose? This surely should have a pointy one PoppyGreenLeaf

1:13pm Wed 12 Feb 14

reasonable75 says...

"A spokesman for Halifax Insurance added: "Following a thorough investigation our engineers are confident that this sinkhole has not caused any damage to the property and poses no threat to the structure of the home, therefore it is not covered by the insurance policy. "

So this poor lady is going to have to find over £10,000 herself - and she can hardly sell the house with the hole (although an estate agent would probably call it a "feature")

"As a gesture of goodwill however, we will offer to put a fence up around the sinkhole in the interest of health and safety.”

That's big of them! Typical insurance get-out.

This is an example of when someone should contact the press - maybe it will put pressure on the insurance company to do the decent thing, but I doubt it
"A spokesman for Halifax Insurance added: "Following a thorough investigation our engineers are confident that this sinkhole has not caused any damage to the property and poses no threat to the structure of the home, therefore it is not covered by the insurance policy. " So this poor lady is going to have to find over £10,000 herself - and she can hardly sell the house with the hole (although an estate agent would probably call it a "feature") "As a gesture of goodwill however, we will offer to put a fence up around the sinkhole in the interest of health and safety.” That's big of them! Typical insurance get-out. This is an example of when someone should contact the press - maybe it will put pressure on the insurance company to do the decent thing, but I doubt it reasonable75

2:10pm Wed 12 Feb 14

DA17 Resident says...

Newsshopper, do you mean Holmsdale Grove, Barnehurst? Not sure there is a Holmesdale Crescent in Barnehurst. Maybe I'm wrong but you are getting a reputation for getting basic inaccuracies in your reporting.
Newsshopper, do you mean Holmsdale Grove, Barnehurst? Not sure there is a Holmesdale Crescent in Barnehurst. Maybe I'm wrong but you are getting a reputation for getting basic inaccuracies in your reporting. DA17 Resident

2:18pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Seademon says...

Turn it into a wishing well & save £10k
Turn it into a wishing well & save £10k Seademon

2:41pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Oldchap says...

So because she works, pays taxes, owns her own home & pays insurance she is facing a bill for £10k

If she was on benefit, living in a council house then it would be done at taxpayers expense?
So because she works, pays taxes, owns her own home & pays insurance she is facing a bill for £10k If she was on benefit, living in a council house then it would be done at taxpayers expense? Oldchap

5:33pm Wed 12 Feb 14

gilarc says...

Barnehurst over the years had had various sink holes/dene holes open up - Castleton, Parkside, Barnehurst Road, Merewood - there is a dene hole underneath the playground which is now connected to the drainage system. I too live in Barnehurst and always inspecting my garden just in case a dip appears....
Barnehurst over the years had had various sink holes/dene holes open up - Castleton, Parkside, Barnehurst Road, Merewood - there is a dene hole underneath the playground which is now connected to the drainage system. I too live in Barnehurst and always inspecting my garden just in case a dip appears.... gilarc

7:56pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Localman66 says...

There is no Holmesdale Crescent - is anything in this article true. Does anyone know these people??
There is no Holmesdale Crescent - is anything in this article true. Does anyone know these people?? Localman66

9:57pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Localman66 says...

"Giant sink hole" "someone could have died" "last Wednesday" "Bexley Council spokesman". If this is all true where is the warning on the Bexley council website? There is no mention of the dangers of sink holes on there. This article also appeared in The Mirror. Maybe the Sunday Sport next.
"Giant sink hole" "someone could have died" "last Wednesday" "Bexley Council spokesman". If this is all true where is the warning on the Bexley council website? There is no mention of the dangers of sink holes on there. This article also appeared in The Mirror. Maybe the Sunday Sport next. Localman66

7:04am Thu 13 Feb 14

Localman66 says...

Can someone at The Newshopper clarify where this hole is so that families with children playing in their gardens can have some idea of whether they are possibly affected? That would be far more useful than this scare story from a non-existent road.
Can someone at The Newshopper clarify where this hole is so that families with children playing in their gardens can have some idea of whether they are possibly affected? That would be far more useful than this scare story from a non-existent road. Localman66

8:00am Thu 13 Feb 14

reptiles says...

Localman66 wrote:
There is no Holmesdale Crescent - is anything in this article true. Does anyone know these people??
must admit ive just googled and only holmesdale i can see is holmesdale road in Bexleyheath - which is NO where near barnhurst the Holmesdale road i know is off Brampton road
[quote][p][bold]Localman66[/bold] wrote: There is no Holmesdale Crescent - is anything in this article true. Does anyone know these people??[/p][/quote]must admit ive just googled and only holmesdale i can see is holmesdale road in Bexleyheath - which is NO where near barnhurst the Holmesdale road i know is off Brampton road reptiles

9:44am Thu 13 Feb 14

Simon Bull says...

The road name has been amended to Holmsdale Grove in the article. Apologies for any confusion.
The road name has been amended to Holmsdale Grove in the article. Apologies for any confusion. Simon Bull

1:52pm Thu 13 Feb 14

reptiles says...

notice there was also a similar size hole on the M2 that was on the media last night, but council sorted that out almost there and then
notice there was also a similar size hole on the M2 that was on the media last night, but council sorted that out almost there and then reptiles

2:10pm Thu 13 Feb 14

kentlad says...

oppps arms folded must be serious....another person trying to palm off her problems on someone else. Your home you sort it!!!!
oppps arms folded must be serious....another person trying to palm off her problems on someone else. Your home you sort it!!!! kentlad

9:19am Fri 14 Feb 14

R_U_Serious says...

Didn't Bernard Cribbins once live in Barnhurst?
Didn't Bernard Cribbins once live in Barnhurst? R_U_Serious

10:45am Fri 14 Feb 14

sarfflondonbird says...

Seademon wrote:
Turn it into a wishing well & save £10k
And make a wish that you don't find any more of this huge holes popping up from nowhere.
[quote][p][bold]Seademon[/bold] wrote: Turn it into a wishing well & save £10k[/p][/quote]And make a wish that you don't find any more of this huge holes popping up from nowhere. sarfflondonbird

12:53pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Bimembris says...

On the positive side she can now put that trampoline at ground level!!!
On the positive side she can now put that trampoline at ground level!!! Bimembris

12:57pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Bimembris says...

reptiles wrote:
notice there was also a similar size hole on the M2 that was on the media last night, but council sorted that out almost there and then
All that is needed is to fill the hole, chuck a few tones of aggregate in thre then a ton of top soil, job done. less than £1k.
[quote][p][bold]reptiles[/bold] wrote: notice there was also a similar size hole on the M2 that was on the media last night, but council sorted that out almost there and then[/p][/quote]All that is needed is to fill the hole, chuck a few tones of aggregate in thre then a ton of top soil, job done. less than £1k. Bimembris

3:26pm Fri 14 Feb 14

ความจริง says...

She don't look bad for 55 - I would...............
....................
.....
She don't look bad for 55 - I would............... .................... ..... ความจริง

2:49pm Sat 15 Feb 14

Stephy007 says...

Techvedic wrote:
Everybody has his/her own say, pretending not responsible for, but did anyone took responsibility to do something concrete. Free advice is always available in our society but not action. Insurance company has also its own version to avoid. (Editor, Techvedic)
Who do i contact if I think there is a sink hole developing near to me ?
[quote][p][bold]Techvedic[/bold] wrote: Everybody has his/her own say, pretending not responsible for, but did anyone took responsibility to do something concrete. Free advice is always available in our society but not action. Insurance company has also its own version to avoid. (Editor, Techvedic)[/p][/quote]Who do i contact if I think there is a sink hole developing near to me ? Stephy007

2:37am Tue 18 Feb 14

Stop_Whining says...

Folded arms time...
Folded arms time... Stop_Whining

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