Residents evacuated from homes after huge sinkhole opens up

A huge sinkhole has opened up outside a house in the Black Country, forcing nearby residents to evacuate, and neighbours say it's growing.

A small hole opened up in the driveway of a house in Churchfields Road, Wednesbury, on 13 August.

It grew over the next few hours - and is now so large that it has threatened to swallow a neighbour's car.

The wall on the driveway has fallen in and the car is leaning into the gap.

A small hole opened up on Sunday, but grew over the next few hours. Credit: ITV News Central

People living nearby say they are now concerned for their own homes.

For one family, who are just moving in, it has been an unpleasant surprise in their new neighbourhood.

I didn't think there was anything like that around here.

Michael Greenway, neighbour
The size of the sinkhole has caused concern. Credit: ITV News Central

The size of the sinkhole - and how fast it has grown - has also caused concern.

This area is known for mining and also limestones in this area. I think it could be something simple - let's hope it is.

Cllr Elaine Costigan, Wednesbury North (Lab)
Neighbours say they are now concerned for their own homes. Credit: ITV News Central

Structural engineers are now investigating whether the sinkhole is related to old mine shafts in the area, or if it has been caused by recent heavy rainfall.

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council issued a statement, saying:

The sinkhole is on private property. We investigated on Sunday and it's now a matter for the residents' insurance companies. >

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Structural engineers are investigating the cause of the sinkhole. Credit: ITV News Central