Hole opens up new fears over Regent Circus development

CONCERNS over damage to property surrounding the Regent Circus development have grown after a hole appeared in the ground close to Cross Street on Thursday.

The large hole fell through with a loud crack according to nearby residents, and the preservation of property in the surrounding area was up for discussion at a meeting with developers last night.

The meeting came after the congregation of Rehoboth Strict Baptist Chapel were forced to vacate their building after large cracks began to appear in the walls.

Contractors ISG are currently working with nearby residents and businesses to rectify any problems.

Martha Parry, chairman of Swindon Civic Voice, is uneasy about the problems that have already arisen.

“I do not like the look of the hole and I do not like standing there either,” she said. “I have been watching that alley through the whole period because I thought they were building too close to it.

“There is a peculiarity in the sediment layers in the ground there. There are two thin layers of a different kind of soil, which makes it quite unstable. That is one of the features of the hill, with a flat layer that underpins the rock. This particular layer is slippery mud. When the college was built there was subsidence and they had to put in pilings, which are still there to this day.

“They have put in some pilings themselves to stablise the area but it is on the other side. I am concerned and will be raising this with them, along with the problems with the college building.”

The congregation at Rehoboth Strict Baptist Chapel have been searching for new premises since they had to leave the 19th Century building last month, and help may have arrived with an offer from a nearby church. David Newman, of the Moravian Church, in Dixon Street, has offered them use of the church on Sundays.

“I have said they can have use of our space for the duration of their displacement, and they told me that may well run into next year,” he said. “They are strict baptists, and have never had any association with any other churches.

“It is a small congregation we have anyway, around 15 members every week. The church itself it fairly large, and it would probably seat 200 people. There is also a smaller hall with facilities which would suit a small group.”

The Adver was unable to reach Richard Cooke, deacon at the chapel, yesterday.

A meeting last night included contractors ISG, South Swindon MP Robert Buckland, and residents’ groups. Two representatives from Ashfield Land attended to answer questions.

Comments (9)

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9:10am Sat 8 Mar 14

Always Grumpy says...

There's been a history of subsidence all around the base of Old Town Hill for years. Evidence of this is to the rear of Hunt Street, Dumbarton Terrace and even a failed attempt to build a tunnel through the hill a century or more ago. One of the main contributing factors being that there is a spring line around the base, hence water in Queens Park, springs coming out around the Farleigh Crescent area and very clearly along the old railway line behind Westlecot Road.
There's been a history of subsidence all around the base of Old Town Hill for years. Evidence of this is to the rear of Hunt Street, Dumbarton Terrace and even a failed attempt to build a tunnel through the hill a century or more ago. One of the main contributing factors being that there is a spring line around the base, hence water in Queens Park, springs coming out around the Farleigh Crescent area and very clearly along the old railway line behind Westlecot Road. Always Grumpy
  • Score: 14

9:19am Sat 8 Mar 14

Synergie says...

Always Grumpy wrote:
There's been a history of subsidence all around the base of Old Town Hill for years. Evidence of this is to the rear of Hunt Street, Dumbarton Terrace and even a failed attempt to build a tunnel through the hill a century or more ago. One of the main contributing factors being that there is a spring line around the base, hence water in Queens Park, springs coming out around the Farleigh Crescent area and very clearly along the old railway line behind Westlecot Road.
Creating a deep cliff-face at the foot of a hill known for its instability might be seen as "risky". I wonder if the engineers were aware of past slippage as recorded in the "Tunnel House" website.
.
http://www.tunnelhou
se.co.uk/contact.mht
ml?page_no=0&count-n
um=22525
[quote][p][bold]Always Grumpy[/bold] wrote: There's been a history of subsidence all around the base of Old Town Hill for years. Evidence of this is to the rear of Hunt Street, Dumbarton Terrace and even a failed attempt to build a tunnel through the hill a century or more ago. One of the main contributing factors being that there is a spring line around the base, hence water in Queens Park, springs coming out around the Farleigh Crescent area and very clearly along the old railway line behind Westlecot Road.[/p][/quote]Creating a deep cliff-face at the foot of a hill known for its instability might be seen as "risky". I wonder if the engineers were aware of past slippage as recorded in the "Tunnel House" website. . http://www.tunnelhou se.co.uk/contact.mht ml?page_no=0&count-n um=22525 Synergie
  • Score: 8

11:11am Sat 8 Mar 14

Badgersgetabadname says...

The alleyway which is now used as a viewing area behind cross street has always had holes opening up for as long as I remember the alley being there.
I presume it was SBC who skillfully repaired them with a wooden board over the top and a cone each time. As work was carried out in the area would SBC not of been obliged to inform any prospective developers of this?
These recent developments prove there was either no thought or concern given to pre work plans or that the plans were ignored.
The alleyway which is now used as a viewing area behind cross street has always had holes opening up for as long as I remember the alley being there. I presume it was SBC who skillfully repaired them with a wooden board over the top and a cone each time. As work was carried out in the area would SBC not of been obliged to inform any prospective developers of this? These recent developments prove there was either no thought or concern given to pre work plans or that the plans were ignored. Badgersgetabadname
  • Score: 3

11:12am Sat 8 Mar 14

Wildwestener says...

It does seem to me that either the risks were not properly reviewed prior to the building work commencing, or the developers/planners didn't care about the people living locally. It can only be one or other. Neither is acceptable in this day and age.
It does seem to me that either the risks were not properly reviewed prior to the building work commencing, or the developers/planners didn't care about the people living locally. It can only be one or other. Neither is acceptable in this day and age. Wildwestener
  • Score: 3

12:15pm Sat 8 Mar 14

Always Grumpy says...

Synergie wrote:
Always Grumpy wrote:
There's been a history of subsidence all around the base of Old Town Hill for years. Evidence of this is to the rear of Hunt Street, Dumbarton Terrace and even a failed attempt to build a tunnel through the hill a century or more ago. One of the main contributing factors being that there is a spring line around the base, hence water in Queens Park, springs coming out around the Farleigh Crescent area and very clearly along the old railway line behind Westlecot Road.
Creating a deep cliff-face at the foot of a hill known for its instability might be seen as "risky". I wonder if the engineers were aware of past slippage as recorded in the "Tunnel House" website.
.
http://www.tunnelhou

se.co.uk/contact.mht

ml?page_no=0&cou
nt-n
um=22525
Thanks for the link, that kept me quiet for ages reading the news items. I hadn't realized that the aborted tunnel was as long ago as the stories indicated.
Presumably the developers of the college site hadn't looked into all this as deeply as the should either. Whoever did the ground and soil surveys needs a clip around the ear I reckon.
A classic example of ignoring history at your peril.
[quote][p][bold]Synergie[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Always Grumpy[/bold] wrote: There's been a history of subsidence all around the base of Old Town Hill for years. Evidence of this is to the rear of Hunt Street, Dumbarton Terrace and even a failed attempt to build a tunnel through the hill a century or more ago. One of the main contributing factors being that there is a spring line around the base, hence water in Queens Park, springs coming out around the Farleigh Crescent area and very clearly along the old railway line behind Westlecot Road.[/p][/quote]Creating a deep cliff-face at the foot of a hill known for its instability might be seen as "risky". I wonder if the engineers were aware of past slippage as recorded in the "Tunnel House" website. . http://www.tunnelhou se.co.uk/contact.mht ml?page_no=0&cou nt-n um=22525[/p][/quote]Thanks for the link, that kept me quiet for ages reading the news items. I hadn't realized that the aborted tunnel was as long ago as the stories indicated. Presumably the developers of the college site hadn't looked into all this as deeply as the should either. Whoever did the ground and soil surveys needs a clip around the ear I reckon. A classic example of ignoring history at your peril. Always Grumpy
  • Score: 9

7:23pm Sat 8 Mar 14

PJC says...

There have been holes opening up in the road in Old Town for ages, even when there are no construction works, often it's the Victorian sewers caving in. Not saying this hasn't exacerbated the problem, but as long as the develops are co-operating with structural engineers etc. I'm sure it can be remedied.
There have been holes opening up in the road in Old Town for ages, even when there are no construction works, often it's the Victorian sewers caving in. Not saying this hasn't exacerbated the problem, but as long as the develops are co-operating with structural engineers etc. I'm sure it can be remedied. PJC
  • Score: 1

10:54pm Sat 8 Mar 14

Bert of Bassett says...

Swindon IS a hole
Swindon IS a hole Bert of Bassett
  • Score: -8

8:31am Sun 9 Mar 14

Spannerdog says...

And Bassett is the wart on its ****
And Bassett is the wart on its **** Spannerdog
  • Score: 9

8:55am Sun 9 Mar 14

Badgersgetabadname says...

Almost 11pm on a saturday night had a few pints have bert?
Well done you.
Almost 11pm on a saturday night had a few pints have bert? Well done you. Badgersgetabadname
  • Score: 0

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