AN Aldershot family, whose home collapsed last year, should see a new house rise from the rubble within the next few months.

Work is due to start soon on rebuilding the end terrace property in Queen's Road which crashed to the ground last July.

Rushmoor Council planners have given the go-ahead for a "like-for-like" five-bedroom house to be built on the site. And if everything goes smoothly, Roop Sampla, his wife Nashatro, and their two sons should be living there by the autumn.

It will be the end of a nightmare for the family who have been living in temporary accommodation for the past eight months.

John Edwards, the council's environmental services director, said last Friday: "I understand that rebuilding work is about to start. "It's brilliant news for the family who have been through a very difficult time. They obviously want to return to their home as quickly as possible."

He said the council, which is involved with the insurance details, had pulled out all the stops to hasten the rebuilding work. "The family has been very tolerant and shown great understanding through all their difficulties," said Mr Edwards. He added that the council still did not know why the house had caved in.

Mr Sampla, a 46-year-old factory worker, his wife and two sons, Vijay, 16 and Bheem, 23, were all in the house the evening it collapsed.

They fled from the property after cracks started to appear in the walls of their home for 30 years. As they looked on in horror, the 100-year-old house crashed to the ground, burying their personal possessions under a mound of masonry.

The drama happened shortly after contractors working for the council cleared shrubs and undergrowth from a strip of public land running alongside the property. Initially the family were put up in a hotel, but later they moved to a housing association house in the town.