REGENT Circus contractor ISG has agreed to meet stakeholders in a meeting at Swindon Council on Friday evening, where safety concerns for surrounding buildings will be discussed.
Swindon Back Garden, a community group in Old Town, has been the driving force for the meeting ever since it became apparent how badly damaged the Rehoboth Strict Baptist Chapel was.
Large cracks and evidence of subsidence have been found inside and outside the chapel. The effects are being linked to the building work being carried out at the multi-million pound Regent Circus development.
Robert Buckland, MP for South Swindon, has lent his support to the meeting and, having sent out invitations last week to the principal stakeholders, will chair the event, which starts at 7pm in the council chamber.
Crucially, the contractor responsible for the work going on at Regent Circus has now said it will send along two representatives, according to Buckland, to answer questions and provide a presentation to residents.
Swindon Back Garden’s secretary Peter Green has praised the contractor for its commitment to attend and hopes the meeting will not descend into a long list of complaints from residents.
“I am worried they will walk into a maelstrom of residents, though I’m hoping they don’t,” he said.
“They’re going to do the PowerPoint presentation, which we have been told will last no longer than 10 minutes, then we are expecting no more than hour of question and answer.
“We will try to keep people to the point, because I know from experience these things can drag on for hours and hours. I am hoping it will mainly be a case of identifying who the guy is we need to speak to at ISG when we have issues and how we can contact them.”
As well as ISG, Swindon Council’s director of planning, Richard Bell, is also expected at the meeting according to Peter, who also said there had been a positive response from businesses in Cross Street.
There has not yet been a response from site owners Ashfield Land however.
In terms of the latest at the chapel in Prospect Hill, steel girders have been attached to the exterior walls of the chapel, four on either side.
Peter said: “ISG is doing what it needs to do, from what I have been told by Richard Cooke at the chapel.
“They have attached girders to either side of the chapel to strengthen it.”
Members of the public are welcome to attend Friday’s meeting.