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Concerns over Hungerford High Street building safety

SERIOUS concerns have been expressed about the safety of a Hungerford High Street building.

The alarm was raised after cracks in the brickwork appeared to be getting bigger.

High Street damage
High Street damage

It was on the afternoon of December 13 last year that a car careered into number 59, Snippit’s Barbers, at the top of High Street.

The driver was seriously injured and huge structural damage was caused to the building.

A doorbell camera video showed a woman and child narrowly avoiding almost certain death.

The two are seen standing outside the barber’s shop seconds before the horrific smash at that very spot.

Just as they moved on, the vehicle ploughed into the premises.

Residents were evacuated and a traffic light system was set up, which was said, at the time, to be in place for around nine months.

That time frame expired last month, with no end in sight.

At a recent full meeting of Hungerford Town Council, town mayor Helen Simpson said that cracks in the building wall seemed to be getting larger.

Pedestrians are forced to walk right alongside the damaged building.

Mrs Simpson said: “For the record, I want to state that I’ve got serious concerns.

“Rain and frost could cause expansion of the cracks and I’m very concerned about the safety of the building.”

She added: “We’re also getting a lot of worried members of the public.”

District councillor Denise Gaines (Lib Dem, Hungerford and Kintbury) said: “There’s not much West Berkshire [Council] can do – it’s down to the insurance companies and surveyors.

“So far they haven’t found anyone willing to do the job.

“It’s certainly on my agenda; I’m worried about it, too.

“I think the cracks are getting bigger.

“[West Berkshire Council head of highways] Jon Winstanley has spoken to a quantity surveyor.”

She added that the surveyor was due to report back.

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