Barnehurst woman pays out £10,000 to get sinkhole the size of a double decker bus filled

This Is Local London: Gretel Davidson, 55, of Holmsdale Grove, Barnehurst, revealed structural engineers have filled the hole with more than 20 tonnes of rubble and 40 tonnes of topsoil. Gretel Davidson, 55, of Holmsdale Grove, Barnehurst, revealed structural engineers have filled the hole with more than 20 tonnes of rubble and 40 tonnes of topsoil.

A WOMAN has paid out £10,000 to have a giant sinkhole, the size of a double decker bus, filled in her garden which appeared out of nowhere.

Gretel Davidson, 55, of Holmsdale Grove, Barnehurst, revealed structural engineers have filled the hole with more than 20 tonnes of rubble and 40 tonnes of topsoil.

The devastated homeowner, who works as a radiographer at Darent Valley Hospital, said she "has had to beg, steal and borrow" from family and friends to pay the unexpected bill which was not covered by home insurers Halifax.

Ms Davidson has hired Dan Baker, director of D J B Structural Engineers Ltd in Erith, to carry out the work to make the hole nicknamed 'the cave' safe.

The mother-of-one said: "The hole was just getting bigger and bigger.

"At one point it was 18-feet wide and 10-feet deep, taking up the entire width of the garden.

"The whole situation is just unbelievable.

"I am having to beg, steal and borrow from friends and family and work all the extra hours under the sun to pay off the £10,000 bill.

"The normal person just cannot prepare themselves for such a massive bill.

"You just think your home insurance would cover this kind of thing.

"Halifax just didn't know what to do with me, they have never had a case like this before.

"I am really still very upset with the insurers."

The hole appeared in Ms Davidson's garden three weeks ago.

She desperately fought to get help from neighbours and Bexley Council, but had no joy and has been forced to foot the bill for the extraordinary hole.

She added: "I would encourage anyone looking for a home to rent, at least you wouldn't be liable if this kind of freak accident happened in rented accommodation.

"You work hard for your home over your whole life and want to make it as nice as possible and then this kind of thing happens.

"It's just shocking."

A spokesman for Halifax Insurance said: "Following a thorough investigation our engineers are confident 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."

Comments (13)

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8:06am Wed 26 Feb 14

PoppyGreenLeaf says...

Still dont get why anyone else should be picking up the bill for this? Its YOUR house, YOU deal with it. Although I woudl say its a bit unlucky its not covered by insurance. Lesson for us all to check whats covered and whats not.
Still dont get why anyone else should be picking up the bill for this? Its YOUR house, YOU deal with it. Although I woudl say its a bit unlucky its not covered by insurance. Lesson for us all to check whats covered and whats not. PoppyGreenLeaf
  • Score: -2

9:13am Wed 26 Feb 14

Boris bighead says...

No wonder the builders are smiling, 10 grand to fill a hole, lovely jubbly, laughing all the way to the bank.
No wonder the builders are smiling, 10 grand to fill a hole, lovely jubbly, laughing all the way to the bank. Boris bighead
  • Score: 23

9:34am Wed 26 Feb 14

sarfflondonbird says...

Surely there must be a site on the Web where you can order the necessary stuff, have it delivered, at a minimal cost then get family and friends to help fill in the hole? ? If the council don't like the end results.....sod em. But in the end it saves you the worry of paying such an extortionate amount to these cowboys, if the hole shows signs of sinking again, youll know what to do next time, oh and then go tell Halifax where to shove their premiums.
Surely there must be a site on the Web where you can order the necessary stuff, have it delivered, at a minimal cost then get family and friends to help fill in the hole? ? If the council don't like the end results.....sod em. But in the end it saves you the worry of paying such an extortionate amount to these cowboys, if the hole shows signs of sinking again, youll know what to do next time, oh and then go tell Halifax where to shove their premiums. sarfflondonbird
  • Score: 25

9:50am Wed 26 Feb 14

concerned.erith says...

Why should we pay for your property to be repaired. This is unfortuante, but as you have the money to pay a £10k bill straight away, you don't need anyone's help.

If it was rented accomodation the Landlor would still have to pay for this.
Why should we pay for your property to be repaired. This is unfortuante, but as you have the money to pay a £10k bill straight away, you don't need anyone's help. If it was rented accomodation the Landlor would still have to pay for this. concerned.erith
  • Score: 3

10:01am Wed 26 Feb 14

white rabbit9 says...

This is the a good message to all. We don't own this planet earth, we are here to experience it. The lie's have been going on for to long and it has to stop because this is going to get worse as the banks and it's owners trawl in all the money. Trying to make it on your own is getting tough and they know this. Currency =current sea. money is just a wave to manipulate on the eternal energy called sea. we live in admirality law.
This is the a good message to all. We don't own this planet earth, we are here to experience it. The lie's have been going on for to long and it has to stop because this is going to get worse as the banks and it's owners trawl in all the money. Trying to make it on your own is getting tough and they know this. Currency =current sea. money is just a wave to manipulate on the eternal energy called sea. we live in admirality law. white rabbit9
  • Score: 8

11:39am Wed 26 Feb 14

Lols says...

Kerching!

The builders skyrockets are nice and heavy from that job.

20tonnes of aggregate can cost around £200, and top soil, what £1000 for 40tonnes?? .... how was the remaining cost justified. Oh wait, because it's business, and they can!

Anyway, when you buy your ‘own’ home it’s prudent to be prepared for big repair bills, it’s the risk you take.

Shame though, I doubt this lady, like many others will actually ‘own’ her house. It will most likely belong to bank for most of
her life, while she spends a fortune with the up keep in the mean time.
Kerching! The builders skyrockets are nice and heavy from that job. 20tonnes of aggregate can cost around £200, and top soil, what £1000 for 40tonnes?? .... how was the remaining cost justified. Oh wait, because it's business, and they can! Anyway, when you buy your ‘own’ home it’s prudent to be prepared for big repair bills, it’s the risk you take. Shame though, I doubt this lady, like many others will actually ‘own’ her house. It will most likely belong to bank for most of her life, while she spends a fortune with the up keep in the mean time. Lols
  • Score: 16

12:11pm Wed 26 Feb 14

highway warrior says...

I sympathise with her plight. If there was oil or natural rescources under there she wouldn't be able to claim it or mine it as it belongs to the state, so why should she have to pay for the collapse as well?? Should have just thrown a few tonne in and had a nice deep swimming pool.....
I sympathise with her plight. If there was oil or natural rescources under there she wouldn't be able to claim it or mine it as it belongs to the state, so why should she have to pay for the collapse as well?? Should have just thrown a few tonne in and had a nice deep swimming pool..... highway warrior
  • Score: 21

1:45pm Wed 26 Feb 14

molsey says...

Believe it or not the lady could have actually earnt money out of this situation. All local hauliers (tipper firms) pay landfill sites to tip whether it be rubbish or clean inert material (rubble, hardcore, clay, chalk etc). Hauliers would have gladly paid her £30 per 20 ton inert full load, the more loads the better. In this case the hole was filled with inert material (rubble). Far too much topsoil was used as you only need to cover the rubble with maximum 6 inches of topsoil and then turf or seed.

The only 'problem' in this case is the hole is in the rear garden and it appears all materials would have had to be wheel-barrowed from the road, which the builders in this case would probably have had to do. The lady could have probably organized friends and family to do the barrowing.
Believe it or not the lady could have actually earnt money out of this situation. All local hauliers (tipper firms) pay landfill sites to tip whether it be rubbish or clean inert material (rubble, hardcore, clay, chalk etc). Hauliers would have gladly paid her £30 per 20 ton inert full load, the more loads the better. In this case the hole was filled with inert material (rubble). Far too much topsoil was used as you only need to cover the rubble with maximum 6 inches of topsoil and then turf or seed. The only 'problem' in this case is the hole is in the rear garden and it appears all materials would have had to be wheel-barrowed from the road, which the builders in this case would probably have had to do. The lady could have probably organized friends and family to do the barrowing. molsey
  • Score: 11

3:30pm Wed 26 Feb 14

reasonable75 says...

highway warrior wrote:
I sympathise with her plight. If there was oil or natural rescources under there she wouldn't be able to claim it or mine it as it belongs to the state, so why should she have to pay for the collapse as well?? Should have just thrown a few tonne in and had a nice deep swimming pool.....
Typical insurance company to get out of paying, but I wonder if the hole was getting bigger perhaps she should have waited until the house was damaged then they'd have to pay
[quote][p][bold]highway warrior[/bold] wrote: I sympathise with her plight. If there was oil or natural rescources under there she wouldn't be able to claim it or mine it as it belongs to the state, so why should she have to pay for the collapse as well?? Should have just thrown a few tonne in and had a nice deep swimming pool.....[/p][/quote]Typical insurance company to get out of paying, but I wonder if the hole was getting bigger perhaps she should have waited until the house was damaged then they'd have to pay reasonable75
  • Score: 4

9:53pm Wed 26 Feb 14

toomush2drink says...

With some many people advertsing free hardcore im surprised she payed out 10k to fill it in.

She could have sold the house and advertised it as a flood defense hole in case of excess rainwater.
With some many people advertsing free hardcore im surprised she payed out 10k to fill it in. She could have sold the house and advertised it as a flood defense hole in case of excess rainwater. toomush2drink
  • Score: 4

10:32pm Wed 26 Feb 14

dag says...

I wonder if the insurers will put up her premiums now. They SAY the house wasn't affected so they shouldn't but I bet they do! It will probably also be difficult to sell now. I feel sorry for this lady.
I wonder if the insurers will put up her premiums now. They SAY the house wasn't affected so they shouldn't but I bet they do! It will probably also be difficult to sell now. I feel sorry for this lady. dag
  • Score: 11

8:47pm Thu 27 Feb 14

fatboy2000 says...

ten grand to fill a hole! id of put the trampoline over it & gone to florida.
ten grand to fill a hole! id of put the trampoline over it & gone to florida. fatboy2000
  • Score: 0

8:02am Fri 28 Feb 14

Localman66 says...

This is a very sad and scary story and this lady has had an awful trauma.
I am shocked to see how she was not helped by the insurers or council.
People need to get the facts before they offer help which a lot of people would be prepared to do I am sure.
Why would neighbours rush round with help if they think the council or insurers are going to pay?
Can we get the facts right to enable some of this to happen as the 18 by 10 foot double decker bus quoted would not get many people inside???
Double decker buses are 37 foot long...
It kind of makes you suspicious about what you are reading here and detracts from the sympathy that she deserves.
This is a very sad and scary story and this lady has had an awful trauma. I am shocked to see how she was not helped by the insurers or council. People need to get the facts before they offer help which a lot of people would be prepared to do I am sure. Why would neighbours rush round with help if they think the council or insurers are going to pay? Can we get the facts right to enable some of this to happen as the 18 by 10 foot double decker bus quoted would not get many people inside??? Double decker buses are 37 foot long... It kind of makes you suspicious about what you are reading here and detracts from the sympathy that she deserves. Localman66
  • Score: 0

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