Plans put in to rebuild Rosehill Street home after explosion
DETERMINED Sarah and Richard Drinkwater have taken the first step to rebuilding their home after losing everything in the Rosehill Street explosion.
The couple plan to build another home so they can "return to normality" in the road they refuse to turn their backs on. They have asked planning bosses for permission to reconstruct a home at 36 Rosehill Street, where they lived up until the massive explosion in May. The couple's four-bedroom home of eight years was reduced to rubble in the explosion in their neighbour's house, owned by Betty Hodgkiss.
The couple, who have two children, vowed to remain in the street where they have so many friends, who have rallied round to help them. Their neighbours have now pledged support for the planning application as the couple were forced to abandon their home, which was formerly part of a school and dates back to 1900.
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The new home will be built to the same size, scale and have a similar visual appearance of the former building.
So far 17 neighbours have supported the proposals and many want to see council bosses fast track the application.
One resident said: "I believe that the Rosehill Street community will benefit from this planning application being passed and fully support it.
"I'm keen to see building work start on all three of the houses that were demolished as soon as possible, so that the community can begin to return to how it was before."
Another resident said: "The street needs a return to normality after the calamitous events of the May 10 and the Drinkwaters' need their permanent residence put back as a major part of this process.
"Rosehill Street has been a building site for the last few months making normal life impossible. Residents are subjected to constant traffic problems, excessive noise, and at times, hazardous levels of dust due to the repair work.
"The sooner the new houses can be built the sooner our lives in the street can be put back on an even keel and the Drinkwaters' can resume some normality."
Investigations ruled out a leak in the gas mains and last month the Health and Safety Executive turned its attention to a boiler in the house.
Another neighbour said: "We fully support the planning application and cannot see any reason for this not to be pushed through considering the devastation and emotional distress this family has been through."