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Legal showdown for holiday centre

PUBLISHED: 19:55 18 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:12 03 March 2010

TWO of the biggest business names in Suffolk are set for a legal showdown after the biggest fire in the county for years.

Center Parcs has launched a multi-million pound High Court compensation claim against its insurers - led by Axa, whose UK administration headquarters is in Ipswich.

TWO of the biggest business names in Suffolk are set for a legal showdown after the biggest fire in the county for years.

Center Parcs has launched a multi-million pound High Court compensation claim against its insurers – led by Axa, whose UK administration headquarters is in Ipswich.

The holiday company claims its insurers have wrongfully refused to meet its claim for damages after the devastating fire at Elveden Forest in April.

But the company has confirmed that rebuilding work would continue and it is still planning to reopen in July.

And the 270 vacancies – jobs that were lost shortly after the fire – will still be filled before the reopening date of July, 2003.

The company was insured for more than £100m with Axa and 23 other insurance companies and syndicates.

And though details of the exact damages claim are unclear, the cost of rebuilding work alone is estimated at £35m-£40m.

Added to that are considerable losses incurred by the closure and clear-up costs after the fire.

A writ issued at the High Court says the holiday village was badly damaged after fire broke out on April 4 this year but the insurers have refused to cover it for the damage and is trying to avoid the insurance policies. The writ claims that this amounts to a breach of contract.

A Center Parcs spokesman said the writ did not mean current work on the site would be halted.

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