With the property market in the doldrums, millions of us are wondering if our home is the secure investment it once was. But for David Robinson, there was a much more unusual reason to be worried.

When he first moved in to his new house, David had no idea that beneath his drive – and only a few meters from his front door – lay an old, disused mining shaft (which isn’t surprising really because it’s completely invisible to the naked eye). The company that built the house, however, knew all about it – they just didn’t tell David.

David paid 100,000 pounds to Taylor Wimpey for his brand new home in County Durham in 2002. The area has a strong mining heritage, yet the mines search David carried out before buying the property revealed no mineshafts directly affecting his future home. He says that it was only during a casual conversation with the site manager – after he’d bought the house – that David first learned what lurked under his drive.

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