Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 7°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Felixstowe: Suffolk Coastal could be sued for breach of contract over spa gardens project

19:26 30 April 2014

slb 014 Felixstowe gardens 1

slb 014 Felixstowe gardens 1

Sarah Lucy brown

A council which stopped the work on the £2.76million restoration of Felixstowe’s nationally-acclaimed seafront gardens has been told it breached the contract – and could now be sued for damages.

Felixstowe  Spa gardensFelixstowe Spa gardens

It is three years since the National Lottery agreed to provide £2.2m towards the scheme, a major part of plans to regenerate the resort – and the project should have been completed in time for this summer.

But not long after work on the project started last year, Suffolk Coastal and contractors P Casey (Land Reclamation) Ltd became embroiled in a dispute over progress of the scheme with the council eventually terminating the contract, claiming the company was in breach of contract.

However, a leaked copy of the independent adjudication into the dispute has now blamed the council – saying that the authority was in fact in breach of contract and was not entitled to cancel the work.

The 70-page document – obtained by the Bent Hill and Seafront Area Residents’ Association – says both the company and the council should share the £31,687, plus VAT, adjudication cost.

It is understood Suffolk Coastal has already shelled out £16,436 on legal fees.

The decision notice says the termination of the contract was “invalid and ineffective” and Casey is “entitled to claim damages for breach of contract to include damages for loss of profit and overheads”.

A spokesman for Suffolk Coastal said: “As we publicity stated at the time, Suffolk Coastal District Council was extremely disappointed when it had to terminate the contract for carrying out the renovation work on the Seafront Gardens Project in Felixstowe. However, at the time, we felt we had no other option.

“As far as we are concerned, the contractual issues surrounding the termination of this contract are still on-going and confidential, so it is unfortunate that someone has chosen to put part of the adjudicator’s decision, out of context, into the public domain.

“This is an extremely complex case and negotiations between the parties are still continuing.

“No doubt when the matter is concluded, the council will carry out a full review.

“However, at this stage, whilst these matters are still active, we cannot comment on the case.”

No-one from Casey was available to comment yesterday but a spokeswoman for the company said a statement was being prepared following the adjudication in favour of the firm.

The project aimed to restore the resort’s listed Victorian and Edwardian seafront gardens to their former glory, including shelters, water features, paths and planting, along with the inclusion of new 21st century features like a modern clifftop shelter, heritage trail and interpretation boards.

Schoolchildren from all the town’s schools also worked on the design of the project.

Councillors say they have been kept in the dark over the details of the dispute which led to work being stopped last summer.

Mayor Jan Garfield, a district councillor, said at a public meeting when quizzed on what had happened: “You will have to ask Suffolk Coastal – even as councillors we do not know the answers.”

Labour group leader Mike Deacon said yesterday: “We have not been told anything – not even on a confidential basis.”

Annual Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre

The annual Christmas Fayre will see around 120,000 people descend on Bury St Edmunds over four days.

Company director spared jail

A Suffolk company director who crushed a worker to death was spared jail by a judge at Norwich Crown Court today.

Colchester Magistrates' Court

A “stellar” village GP who crashed into a zebra crossing while under the influence of alcohol has been banned from the road.

Nick Alston, Essex Police & Crime Commissioner, is proposing a £5 rise in council tax.

Residents in Essex face a £5 rise in their council tax in a bid to raise an extra £1.2million for community policing in the county.

The Buttermarket Centre will become a £35m pleasure palace

Excitement is building as Ipswich prepares to welcome a string of big-name restaurants as part of the Buttermarket makeover.

There has been a crash on the A12 near Witham

Three vehicles are reported to have crashed on the A12 this evening.

How well do you know your cars?

Test your knowledge in our car photo quiz and see if you can identify which car is which from just one small feature.

Colchester railway station

Two trains serving Colchester Town have been cancelled because of a security issue in London.

Team members from Colchester care home provider Care UK will be swapping their office wear for Santa suits as they enter teams for East Anglia's Children's Hospices Colchester Santa Run.

At least a dozen team members from Care UK in Colchester will be swapping office wear for Santa suits as they enter teams for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) Colchester Santa Run.

Stores in Ipswich ready for Black Friday.

Black Friday is nearly upon us and it is set to kick off the busiest Christmas online shopping periods.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the East Anglian Daily Times e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24