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Angry villagers have staged their own protest after a sinkhole, which appeared outside a row of shops a year ago, has still not been fixed.

A sign saying ‘The land the council forgot’ has been erected in Straight Bit, Flackwell Heath, by the parade of shops, along with inflatable dinosaurs and balloons in a twist to the fantasy novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Land That Time Forgot.

It comes after a large area of collapsed pavement appeared outside the row of shops last August and steadily grew in size, with shopkeepers saying they were losing business as a result of it.

Bruce Jacob, who put up the sign and dinosaurs, said he did it because the villagers and shopkeepers were “not being supported”.

He said: “A lot of people in the village have been getting concerned with the fact that nothing is being done about it.

“We are not being supported. No-one has been listening to us and no-one is giving us answers.

“There are so many rumours floating around about what’s happening to it.

“Stop hiding from the truth and tell local people what’s going on.”

Lamberts Chartered Surveyors, the management company for Aries House, which owns the row of shops in the parade told the Bucks Free Press in March this year that the ground investigation works had finished and the leaks causing the sinkhole had been repaired.

It added the firm was waiting for the insurance company to authorise the final reinstatement works, and the insurance company had to refer it to senior claims handlers “given both the complexity and cost involved”.

But five months on, and a year after it originally appeared, the sinkhole is still by the shops.

Director William Heneker said: “The insurance company has appointed a company called Forkers which is a specialist grouting company.

“That contract is around £30,000 worth of work and we are waiting for a start date.

“It will take around three to four weeks for it to complete. The work was instructed on Monday.

“The insurers have given the sign off and we are just waiting for a date from Forkers.”

Mr Jacob, who runs Daisy Gift Shop in the village, added: “It’s certainly affecting the businesses behind here.

“And for people wanting to move to the village – well you wouldn’t because it’s such an eyesore.

“I’ve got people coming in everyday asking what’s going on. We all pay our taxes and business rates.

“We know it's not to do with the council but we feel they should be lobbying on our behalf to get it sorted.

“It’s a shambles.”

Claire King, who has lived in the flats above the shops for 12 years, said it was “about time” someone “stood up and did something out loud”.

She said: “It’s quite miserable living right above it. It used to be clean and tidy, people used to be able to sit here. Now it’s just a tip. It’s so unsightly.

“We’ve had absolutely no correspondence about what’s going on. I’ve been here 12 years and I need to know what’s going on and where I stand.

“I think it’s about time someone actually stood up and did something out loud. Something that someone’s going to pay attention to.”

And Rani Siva, who runs the newsagents in the parade with her husband, said they have been kept in the dark about what is happening with the sinkhole, and that they had lost business because of it.

She said: “So many customers say they are going to Sainsbury’s instead because it’s there.

“My husband has been talking to the landlord and they just keep saying ‘in two weeks’ time’ – it’s been months.”

Buckinghamshire County Council's deputy leader and cabinet member for transportation, Mark Shaw, said: “I sympathise with the views of local people, but as this is private land, it’s a matter for the owners of the shopping centre.

“I hope it can get sorted out quickly, however, in this case, the sign should really read ‘The land the council…have no responsibility for’.”

Wycombe District Council has also been approached for comment.