Live updates

Culvert fully repaired: Residents could soon return to their homes

Families from a flooded estate in Newcastle may soon be able to return to their homes after nearly a year away, now that engineers have fixed the last part of a collapsed culvert.

In September 2012, one block of flats had to be demolished and 24 families were moved out, after Spencer Court in Newburn was overrun with water. Dan Ashby has the latest:

Advertisement

Weather is "critical" to Spencer Court progress

Engineers working at Spencer Court say the recent wet weather has put their work to the test.

The flats in Newburn were demolished after rain caused a culvert to collapse, washing away the ground underneath.

Boulders put in place to support the construction work are withstanding the current wet weather but there are fears more rainfall may cause flooding.

Site staff say the next 48 hours are critical.

Full Report: No joy for Newburn families

Families who were forced out of their homes by the heavy rain back in September say they're angry they're having to face Christmas in temporary accommodation.

The apartments in Newburn, west of Newcastle were demolished after the rain caused a culvert below to collapse.

But the families say they have not heard anything from the insurance company, and many have had to move in with relatives.

You can see the full report from Frances Read below.

Advertisement

No Christmas joy for Newburn families

Families who were forced out of their homes by the heavy rain back in September say they're devastated they're having to face Christmas in temporary accommodation.

The apartments in Newburn, west of Newcastle, have now been demolished.

The heavy rain caused a culvert to collapse, washing away the ground underneath.

Many of the families have had to move in with relatives or stay in temporary accommodation while they wait for their insurance to be settled.

£9.2 million bill for June's massive downpour in Newcastle

June 28th was a very dark day for residents across Newcastle, particularly those in Newburn.

A month's rain fell in just two hours - causing havoc across the city.

A blocked culvert at Spencer Court in Newburn provided the most dramatic images as the foundations were swept away.

Now, the area's MP Catherine McKinnell has said that the total bill to Newcastle Council is £9.2 million.

The MP has criticised the government's failure to provide grants to help out.

A government scheme called Belwin is available to councils, subject to certain caps, to help councils deal with immediate recovery costs after disasters.

The Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis said that while the June floods did have a significant impact locally, overall this summer's floods were on a lesser scale than those which struck in 2007.

Then 55, 000 homes and properties were flooded nationally compared to 4000 in 2012.

Northumberland Estates "strongly denies" statement from Dunhelm Homes

Northumberland Estates, the company which owns the land where the culvert collapsed under the Newburn flats, has strongly denied a statement released by the developer Dunelm Homes which built the apartments.

The company also say that they have spent over three million pounds in the aftermath of the collapse.

"Northumberland Estates strongly denies the statement from Dunelm Homes in relation to the License Agreement entered into between the Estates and Dunelm Homes.

The fact remains that Northumberland Estates has worked tirelessly since the original collapse to deliver a robust engineering solution to a hugely complex problem as quickly as possible and, to date, we have spent over £3.4 million on achieving this. All of our expenditure has been incurred whilst the issue of liability remains unresolved."

– Northumberland Estates

"This includes instructing our contractors to work 24 hours a day, six days per week since the awful events of the 25th September 2012 and we are very pleased that this has had a positive impact on the timescale of our repair.

Whilst we are still aware of the potential impact of bad weather on our schedule, we anticipate that the culvert on our land will be partially cleared and in a position to take some water by the end of this week."

– Northumberland Estates

"Our contractors are working to restore the culvert on our land to full capacity as quickly as possible and, whilst the overall repair process will continue past this week, we expect our major repair works to be complete by the end of December 2012.

Northumberland Estates continues to work in partnership with all stakeholders, including Newcastle City Council and Dunelm Homes, and we are sure that all involved will continue to place the needs of residents at the centre of our collective activity."

– Northumberland Estates

Rows continue over collapsed culvert

The row about who should take responsibility for a block of flats which had to be demolished after being seriously damaged by flooding is continuing.

A culvert which diverted water beneath a housing estate in Newburn in Newcastle collapsed in June.

In September, during heavy rain, it caused a landslide which left one of the blocks at Spencer Court in a precarious position.

The developer Dunelm Homes, which built the apartments, said that Northumberland Estates, which owns the land where the culvert collapsed, agreed in June to take charge of repairs.

Load more updates