RESIDENTS and businesses on Cross Street who have seen cracks opening up in their properties have welcomed promises from contractors to repair their homes.

At a meeting on Friday, the developer of the Regent Circus complex, Ashfield Land, and contractors ISG, met worried people after a number of houses around Cross Street reported worrying cracks appearing.

The Rehoboth Strict Baptist Chapel on nearby Prospect Hill has already had to close after engineers deemed it unsafe.

After concerns that it may never reopen, they have now been told it will be secured within 12 months.

People in rented housing on Cross Street discovered problem months ago.

One resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “There are some cracks which opened up about four or five months ago.

“We informed the owner of the house about the problem, because we cannot touch anything without reporting it to them first.

“It is up to him what he does about it. There are quite a few cracks so it is a bit worrying but it is out of our hands.”

Terry Way, manager of Cross Street Garage, said he was reassured by the positive response from developers.

“People have been finding cracks all along the street,” he said. The lady next door has some as well as the one two doors down. There were six residents who went along to the meeting.

“They did reassure us, and the managing director came along. He admitted there had been a lack of communication right from day one.”

Terry found cracks appearing in his cellar last year.

“We reported our problems before Christmas, and at the time they said they were going to get it sorted but nothing happened,” he said.

“When the problem got worse they decided to send an engineer round to look at the damage, which was a week ago now.

“Now they will put something in writing by Friday that any damage done will be repaired by their insurance company.

“The most worrying part is for the people who own the properties, and how they are going to fare with their own insurance. It is hard to tell what kind of impact that is going to have.

“They said everyone was offered a free ground survey before the work started but I don’t remember seeing anything in the post. This probably could have been prevented, but then I am not an engineer.

“If they are true to their word we have to trust them. They said they would back it 100 per cent.

“They have to get to a position in the building work before they can deal with all the problems. All we can do is work with them but they also need to work with us.”

At the meeting, ISG director Rob Martin said: “We will put right any problems caused by this development. It is our responsibility to fix things.

“We will finish our work and then look at the problems in the properties. We will then monitor them until we are confident there will be no more issues.”