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A sinkhole in Springwood Road, Barming, is posing a serious risk to properties after being left for eight months by Russet Homes

By Ed McConnell

Maidstone residents are desperately seeking a solution to a sinkhole which appeared outside their homes eight months ago.

Currently more than a foot deep, it opened up in front of a house in Springwood Road, Barming, and has caused a large crater in an adjacent car park.

Despite residents being warned of the dangers the shaft poses to their safety, they claim nothing has been done to address the issue.

Lee Thwaites of Springwood Road, Barming, says the residents' car park outside his house is sinking every day

People in the area first noticed the hole after it opened up and swallowed a plant, and have been complaining to Russet Homes, which manages the properties, ever since.

A Springwood Road resident claimed she had been told by Russet on multiple occasions that the problem would be fixed but that so far nothing has been done.

“They’ve come out on multiple occasions and warned me to not walk on my front garden in case it gives way." - Springwood Road resident

The deep hollow spreads underneath the entrance to the car park and residents fear it could cause major damage if not repaired.

Lee Thwaites, who lives in the road, said: “No one has done anything about it. It’s been left since last year and it’s getting worse by the day.

“Hopefully no one will be injured, it’s a worry to even walk over the dip. I don’t know what it’s going to take for Russet to fix it.”

He added that a similar problem happened threes years ago, when the road outside his property sunk, and was blamed on a collapsed water pipe.

The owner of the property whose garden is affected says Russet has come out to examine the problem numerous times, but it still remains.

A sinkhole from December is still causing problems

The woman, who declined to be named, said: “They’ve come out on multiple occasions and warned me to not walk on my front garden in case it gives way.

“The car park is getting lower every day and the vent on the side of my property is sinking with it.

“All they have done so far is put a piece of wood over it and put some barriers around the dip in the car park when it first appeared.

“They said they will fill it in but that won’t solve the problem.”

A Russet Homes spokesman said: “We’ve been monitoring the situation at Springwood Road and have made the area safe and continue to check the site on a regular basis.

“We’re dealing with this as quickly as possible and have arranged for a consultant to attend the site.

“We will act on his recommendations as a matter of priority and keep the resident informed of progress.”

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