December 5 2013 Latest news:
Friday, August 16, 2013
Legal experts are working as hard and quickly as possible to resolve a dispute which is threatening to delay the £2.76million refurbishment of Felixstowe’s nationally-important seafront gardens.
Town councillors were told the contracts issue had now been sent by lawyers for “an appropriate form of adjudication”, and it was hoped it would be settled soon.
During public question time, town councillor Andy Smith, deputy leader of Suffolk Coastal, said the problems over the terms of the contract had arisen quite early in the project, which began in mid-May.
He said: “It is being dealt with by an appropriate form of adjudication.
“Clearly this is a most unfortunate situation but because of the commercial aspects of the contract we cannot give more details, except to say that work on the matter is being undertaken extremely energetically.”
The renovation, which aims to recapture the elegance of the Edwardian and Victorian gardens, is due to be finished by summer next year and involves the Spa Gardens from The Hut to the Pram Walk, plus the South Cliff Gardens next to Felixstowe Town Hall.
The scheme includes refurbishing historic shelters, ponds and walls, planting of low-maintenance grasses, shrubs and trees, a new contemporary-design shelter, plus a heritage trail, with design work contributed by children from all the schools in the town and nearby villages.
Work is still taking place while efforts are made to resolve the issue, but Suffolk Coastal has refused to comment on whether the dispute will mean the project’s completion is delayed.
The district council said the matter was in the hands of the authority’s lawyers.
Geoff Holdcroft, cabinet member for leisure and economic development, said: “It would therefore be inappropriate to comment further, other than to say that we are working to find a positive solution to allow this important project to proceed as planned.”
Contractors P Casey (Land Reclamation) Ltd have declined to comment.
No details have been released of the issues which are in dispute – and whether they affect the work expected to be done under the contract, any of the elements of the design, materials, costs or timescales involved.
The Heritage Lottery Fund is contributing £2.1m towards the project.