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Street subsidence strikes again while funding hitch delays remedial work

NEW SUBSIDENCE of historical chalk mine workings in Reading, Berkshire has caused further damage to a residential street.

A 4m square, 7.8m deep hole appeared in a garden in Field Road at the end of October after heavy rain. It was close to the site of major subsidence in January (GE February 2000) that caused structural damage to the fronts of Victorian terrace houses.

This latest incident was not thought to have caused structural damage.

Plans by consultant Peter Brett and contractor Keller Ground Engineering to stabilise the ground using compaction and pressure grouting are on hold while Reading Borough Council awaits funding for the work.

On 5 September the council was awarded half of the funding under English Partnerships' land stabilisation programme. The full £2.6M grant is subject to a land clearance order being issued, but English Partnerships said the council did not have the power to issue the order - it must get it passed by Parliament. This has delayed the project for seven weeks so far.

This is the first major grant to be issued under the land stabilisation scheme, which was created after a number of major subsidence incidents in the Midlands.

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