Homes have been evacuated after a massive sinkhole appeared in their street overnight.
The enormous hole suddenly developed just yards from the front doors of three detached properties in Plains, Lanarkshire.
The crater covers a large section of road in Moffat View in the village and is estimated to be 30ft wide and 10ft deep.
Residents have been told to stay away from their £130,000 properties until work is carried out to assess and fix the damage. Locals have speculated a former mineshaft had collapsed following heavy rains.
The cul-de-sac had been closed off since Wednesday morning and was being inspected by workers today.
However homeowners have blasted North Lanarkshire Council and claimed they had highlighted concerns over the area last month.
John Riley, 61, said he was now living in a hotel as work was carried out.
He took to Facebook to complain, adding: “All three residents evacuated at short notice by Fire Service.
“Emergency team told us we usually get the evacuees into the local school for a few hours and give them telephone and Internet access, refreshments and any other support until they can be safely rehoused or make other arrangements.”
“My insurance has put us up in Premier inn for two weeks,” John continued. “I refused the 4th floor flat in Holehills whose condition was “unknown”.
“After seven weeks of pleading with North Lanarkshire Council, including the offer of sharing the geo-tech info I had obtained and was refused.
“North Lanarkshire Council – TOTAL FAILURE.”
John Lowe, 60, a former resident in the street, said issues with water had been raised before.
He added: “When I stayed in the middle house I spent three years complaining about the water coming out the ground.
“It was a rusty colour and causing damage to the pavements, I even had to channel it away.
“The council did nothing about it and when I came to sell my house it took me seven months to get it sold.”
“People had obviously read the water reports and thought against it,” John continued.
“I always feared something like this would happen because water shouldn’t be running like that.
“There has been water bubbling up for five or six weeks here just at the bit where the hole now is.
“Something should have been done much, much sooner to try and avoid this.”
“Because it is a quiet street with a dead end, it is very popular with young kids playing,” he added.
“I dread to think what would have happened had it collapsed while the kids were all on bikes playing or whatever.
“The families living there must be very angry because it has been a long term issue which just hasn’t been addressed by the council and they’ve been left with this massive hole.
“The whole field in front of the houses is absolutely soaking so there is obviously a real problem with water here.
“A new estate was also built recently and that can’t have helped the situation at all.
“Hopefully they get it fixed and the families get back to their houses soon, it must be terrible for them.
“The council should have done something much quicker rather than letting this happen.”
Workers had sealed off the cul-de-sac today and council bosses said they did not believe homes had been put at risk by the hole.
A North Lanarkshire Council spokesman said: “We have taken the decision to evacuate the three properties at the end of Moffat View to ensure the safety of the residents of those properties.
“Our partners at Scottish Fire and Rescue and Scottish Gas Networks are satisfied that there is no risk from gas and we have consulted with Scottish Water.
“We have fenced off the end of Moffat View to ensure no-one can approach the area of the hole in the road.
“We are consulting with technical specialists about our next course of action. Once they have completed their work we will act quickly on their findings.”
Last October 20 residents were evacuated and dozens more left stranded after a 66ft sinkhole opened up overnight in a suburban street in Hertfordshire.
The gaping hole was discovered in St Albans, after spreading across the quiet cul-de-sac and swallowing two front gardens.