A council has been forced to demolish four brand new homes after they were flooded with poisonous gas.
The houses, which cost nearly £1m to build, had to be torn down after it was found they had been built on top of a ‘burning coal seam’ which was flooding them with deadly carbon monoxide.
Residents in the area have now hit out at the "waste of public money" after the four homes had to be demolished earlier this year.
Construction of the properties started in December 2017 as part of a multi-million-pound scheme to improve council housing in Chesterfield, Derbyshire.
But problems with raised carbon monoxide levels were discovered in December 2018 before they were officially handed over to the council’s housing service to be let.
Chesterfield Borough Council now says it’s currently considering its position with regards to possible legal action.
A Rufford Close resident, who did not want to be named, said: "Those houses must have cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to build, so it seems a right waste.
She added: “The money and time could have been spent on other things.
"It's better they found out now though before families moved in. I'm worried about what will happen when they start digging things up but it's better to be safe than sorry."
It’s understood the houses were in the final stages of construction when a carbon monoxide detector activated.
The Coal Authority was contracted on behalf of Chesterfield Borough Council to lead demolition of the new properties.
Councillor Tricia Gilby, leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “The safety of our residents is our key priority and we are confident that no other homes at Rufford Close have been affected.
“I can confirm that the four new houses at Rufford Close were demolished in July this year.
“Kitchen and bathroom fittings, windows and doors and many other elements were removed prior to demolition for reuse in future building projects.
“We have now received detailed advice from our experts on the ground conditions.”
Cllr Gilby said security arrangements would remain in place and the council will work with the Coal Authority when works to seal the coal seam start in early November.
“Air pollution monitors and security arrangements will remain in place as a precaution throughout the process of removing the material from site, sealing the coal seam and filling the void with clean material,” she added.
“The council will work closely with the Coal Authority to manage the works and contractors on site. These works will commence early November 2019 and will last for approximately 18 weeks.
“Following the works the site will be clean, and its future use will be subject to resident consultation.”