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Sinkhole appears on pensioner's driveway in Herne

By Dan Wright

A stunned pensioner watched as his driveway started to sink, just 48 hours after contractors dug a hole next to his front garden.

Security officer Kenneth Blagden, 72, called South East Water after the paving outside his home in Ridgeway Road, Herne, began to collapse.

Two days earlier workers had finished installing a new domestic meter on behalf of the water firm.

Kenneth Blagden is complaining to South East Water about the sinkhole

Mr Blagden said: “I wanted it fixed as soon as possible as the hole was a dangerous trip hazard.

“What I was worried about was people falling over it – I fell over it myself and if someone did get injured, who was going to pay for it?

“It was on my property but South East Water did the damage.”

The sinkhole opened up on his drive in Herne

Mr Blagden said the hole sank to almost a foot deep and the company used loose wet clay to fill it back in.

He added: “There could have been water leaking underneath and that was why it was sinking.

“I thought it could have got worse.

“If we did get any more rain, I think it could have burst the pipe underneath and then we would have had a flood of water.”

It appeared after South East Water installed a new meter

South East Water’s regional metering manager, Kevin Warner, said action was taken to fix the hole.

He said: “This is an extremely unusual occurrence and we are carrying out an investigation to see exactly what has happened to cause this.

“We agreed with Mr Blagden to carry out reinstatement work on Tuesday morning.”

New domestic water meters are currently being fitted at households in Herne.

South East Water is installing meters for customers in the village who do not currently have one. The programme started in Kent five years ago and has been progressing through the county street-by-street.

Visit the South East Water website for more information.

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