DAMAGE caused by the Regent Circus development to nearby properties is not as bad as first feared, according to initial investigations.

Concerns were raised with the builders of the development, ISG, last month after the Strict baptist Rehoboth Chapel, on Prospect Hill, had to close as the result of severe subsidence.

Since then householders and businesses have come forward after seeing cracks appear in their own properties, and concerned residents met with the developers to find a solution.

ISG pledged to solve any issues but after assessments of most of the buildings, it has found little structural damage.

Peter Green, chairman of the Swindon Back Garden residents’ association, said: “We have had some very good news. We have been in talks with ISG, who tell me they have sent letters out to all residents affected by the subsidence. They have responded to quite a lot of houses, and conducted some initial assessments.

“What they have discovered is that while there are quite a lot of cracks in neighbouring properties, they are decorative rather than structural damage, and most of them would have been caused last summer when they were pile driving ahead of laying the foundations.”

ISG has started work to secure the chapel, which was built in 1882, to make it safe again.

Peter said: “It seems the only real damage has been done to the chapel, and the rest are much less severe. So far there are no problems and landlords have agreed that ISG will step in and redecorate as necessary.

“At the moment it seems like there are no other problems apart from the chapel.

“It is not good news for the people concerned who do have cracks, but it is a huge relief that the problem is not as bad as we first feared.

“The builders have now gone to work on making the chapel safe, and all in all things are looking up. ISG are saying that if anybody is still worried about their property they can contact them direct to discuss it.

“They are bending over backwards to be good neighbours. It is understandable there is going to be major disruption, but they are handling it very well.”

Construction work on the site is progressing well despite the heavy rainfall of the past few months, and is still on track for completion by Easter and a grand opening to take place in the autumn.