One family who lives next to a huge sinkhole has had to cancel their holiday to Blackpool for Christmas so that they could pump five feet of water from their cellar. 

Nick Clarke, a father-of-1, said that Cheshire East Council’s temporary fix for the sinkhole had caused the flooding. 

Clarke stated that the Clarke family must take it in turns to pump the water from their cellar throughout the night and then sleep’shifts’ to ensure the safety of the Macclesfield house.

Flood water damaged the property five times over the course of the last five week and threatened its electrics. Firefighters were called on December 4, to respond to the emergency. 

Clarke decided that the three-day Blackpool Christmas holiday for Clarke and his family should be cancelled so they could stay at home.

Their house may be destroyed if another building is cleared nearby so that another sinkhole can be repaired.

Clarke is a commercial manager who said that “If it rains at all, now it does, then the more it falls, the faster it goes.”

Nick Clarke, 49, says the problem has been going on for four years but has returned with a vengeance since Cheshire East Council's 'temporary fix' for the sinkhole last month. Pictured, Mr Clarke with his wife Sarah, 48, and son Dillon, 12

Nick Clarke (49) says that although the issue has existed for over four years, it is back with avengeance after Cheshire East Council’s “temporary fix” for the sinkhole. Pictured are Mr Clarke and his wife Sarah, 48. And their son Dillon (12).

He stated that he had made a booking to visit Blackpool for Christmas with his in-laws, but we couldn’t make it now since we didn’t want leave our house. This has certainly ruined Christmas for us and cost us a lot.

“It’s horrible to live in, it is impossible to go anywhere when it pours and we have to take it in turns to sleep.

It’s difficult to stress how anxious we are about our safety, and the potential of becoming the next house being demolished. Nick lives in a 48-year-old house with Sarah and Dillon (12 years old). He often stays with his cousin.

The basement at the house of the family drains into the collapsed culvert, which caused long-term sinkhole problems.

Rainwater can re-enter the basement through both the drain and the floor. This creates a smelly mess of mud, silt, or water that is removed.

Nick claims that in the past few weeks, flooding destroyed the washer and tumble dryer in the basement – even though they were kept on pedestals.

A collapsed culvert caused Ryle Street’s sinkhole in summer 2018 to first open.

Although it is fixed now, another Hobson Street location was built in 2020. It was used as an interim fix until permanent solutions are found.

Whenever there is heavy rain the family's cellar gets flooded with up to 5ft of water and they have to take turns pumping it out - even through the night. Nick says this has happened five times in the last five weeks. Pictured, the council's temporary fix

The family cellar floods with water up to five feet high after heavy rainfall. They have to pump it out one by one, even during the night. Nick said that it has occurred five times in five weeks. This is the temporary solution that was offered by council

Nick thinks the first collapse, which caused the blockage in the culvert and then the holes, occurred four years ago. This is what led to the flooding.

The water found another way out of the Hobson Street Sinkhole after it had been open 20 months, this solved his flooding problems.

It was fixed by council contractors who connected the culvert with a sewer. It was worsened by this.

United Utilities supports this claim and said that a spokesperson for the company stated: “The initial sinkhole at Hobson Street, Macclesfield was caused a collapsed sewer which then damaged our sewer.

“We fixed our sewer more than a year ago, and it’s been working as it should ever since.

“Unfortunately, flooding is now occurring at a neighboring property because of a temporary fix made by council. It involved connecting the sewer culvert to our sewer.

We did not grant permission to connect the culvert due to excess flows. This was because we were afraid it might cause flooding. The council is currently in discussions to ask that the culvert be disconnected from the sewer. A solution can also be found.

Riparian rights can make a complicated situation even more complex. They state that if your land borders a watercourse, or has watercourses flowing through it or within, you will be responsible.

The cellar is flooded with up to 5ft of water whenever it rains. The family then have to take turns using a water pump to drain their house

The basement is filled to the brim with 5ft water when it rains. Each family member then has to use their water pump in turn to drain the basement.

Nick thinks that the city, not Nick should take care of his flooding issues. The problem is caused by the highway which falls within the jurisdiction of the council.

The Cheshire East Council spokesperson strongly denied United Utilities’ statement. He stated: “It is regrettable that United Utilities released a misleading statement last week.

‘However, council officers continue to liaise with colleagues at United Utilities to ensure a satisfactory and collaborative solution is agreed for the Hobson Street residents.

‘This continues to be a complex and challenging matter and the council is working with United Utilities, and other partner agencies, to identify a long-term and permanent solution to the problems faced with the culverted watercourse and which manages any future implications for the public sewer network.’

United Utilities were given the opportunity to then provide further comment and said: ‘We have not issued anything misleading and we stand by our previous statement.’