Mum’s safety fears after cracks grow in ‘sinking’ Swindon council house

A WORRIED mum thinks the council is not doing enough to fix her cracked and ‘sinking’ house.

The local authority moved Kirsty Yates and her children into the Oxford Road bungalow in December and she noticed a crack down her bedroom wall straight away.

She says smaller fissures began to appear around her kitchen and bathroom, the bedroom one got longer and the biggest gap appeared in the pebble-dashed stone wall outside the bathroom.

In June, Swindon Borough Council sent her a report confirming a subsidence issue with the property but since then, no action has been taken.

Kirsty fears the draughts of wind coming through the gaps in the walls have worsened her youngest son Bobby Ray’s asthma and she has seen ants and spiders sneaking through the cracks.

The 32-year-old said: “All the council do is visit, take pictures and leave. One builder said ‘I’m not touching that, it’s beyond repair’.

“When I first reported the problem, they said to just leave it and see what happens, then the cracks started getting bigger and the bathroom tiles started breaking.

“Bobby Ray’s inhalers have increased and his breathing has gotten worse since we moved in, he’s been so ill, it’s worrying.

“We were moved here from Pinehurst because the garden was too uneven for him – he has scoliosis, too – but this problem is even worse.

“It feels like they dumped us here and then forgot about us.”

The structural report seen by the Adver said: “”The relative size of the cracks suggest the south-east end of the building has moved by a greater degree.

“The foundations of the bungalow are shallow. In these ground conditions, some seasonal differential foundation movement can be expected.

“The worst [crack] was large enough to see into the cavity of the building.”

The report recommends repairing the bathroom wall, repairing the other cracks and reinforcing the surfaces where they appeared, and removing a large ash tree from a neighbouring property as it is growing close to the corner of Kirsty’s home where the cracks are biggest.

After the Adver raised this issue with the council, Kirsty called to say repairs have finally been booked in for September 29.

A Swindon Borough Council spokesperson said: “We are already in communication with the tenant and will continue to discuss any outstanding queries with them directly.”

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