Residents’ fury as homes damaged by building work

OUTRAGED residents have been left with large cracks in their walls and ceilings after building work disturbed the foundations of their tenement block.

Work at the Leith site has been halted until developers are satisfied “there will be no risk of any further movement”.

But that fact has done little to pacify Joanna Watson, 32, who is among residents in the Great Junction Street block who have been affected by the work being carried out at a neighbouring gap site.

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Ms Watson, who works as a resourcer for a recruitment company and shares the flat with her boyfriend, Tom Foottit, 30, discovered the damage yesterday morning when returning to her flat after spending three nights away.

A 7ft crack had appeared on her bedroom wall while a small crack on the kitchen wall had doubled in size since she left the flat on Sunday.

A number of large cracks can also be seen on the walls and in the communal stair.

Ms Watson, who has lived in the property for 12 years, has now been forced to delay her own plans to put the flat on the market.

She said: “I noticed the cracks in the stair and I saw the cracks in my flat. I was gutted. Somebody was going to be coming round to do a valuation but I’m going to cancel that until this is dealt with. It’s really frustrating.”

She added: “The site manager told me that the engineers are monitoring the building because it has moved. He said within the next couple of weeks the cracks within the stair and within people’s flats will be fixed.”

A number of flats in the block are believed to have been affected, as well as a barbers on the ground floor, which has experienced a “shift in its 

Contractors appointed by Port of Leith Housing Association started work to convert the gap site into a £4 million housing development last month, with street-level plots for retail and community projects.

Keith Anderson, chief executive at Port of Leith Housing Association, said: “We are assured that there is no immediate cause for concern, and are working with our contractor and engineer to address the situation and find solutions which ensure the satisfaction of Ms Watson and other residents and business users within the building.”