Insurance fears for Gorebridge ‘Gas Street’

Newbyres Crescent in Gorebridge which has boarded up houses lying empty due to gas leaks

Newbyres Crescent in Gorebridge which has boarded up houses lying empty due to gas leaks

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Concern has been raised that the council could lose out on compensation by rebuilding homes at a gas-hit street in Gorebridge.

Councillors overwhelmingly voted to rebuild soon-to-be-demolished Newbyres Crescent – with gas membranes fitted in every house – instead of selling the land.

This will cost the council an estimated £11.5 million.

However, Councillor Peter de Vink (Ind) told a full council meeting last week that he feared this option could hinder any chance of the council being compensated.

He said: “I’m just concerned that if we do knock down all the houses we will incur a potential liability that the insurance company may not honour.

“The bigger the claim the harder they will fight not to pay.

“I am still not comfortable that we should do this. I would like to spend more time to ensure that there are not any other options available to us before we do this.”

Council leader Owen Thompson (SNP) said: “We have taken advice to say that we are acting reasonably [in demolishing the homes].”

Discussions are currently ongoing between the council and legal advisors to consider the legal liability for the cause of ground gases leaking into houses and the remedies available to the council.

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