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Bath Spa row escalates after paint report


THE ROW between Bath Spa contractor Mowlem and council officials escalated this week with the release of a report into the suitability of the paint used on the £26M project.

Mowlem and client Bath & North East Somerset District Council have been locked in a legal battle since September after paint applied to the new pools began to peel away soon after it had been applied.

The council told Mowlem to remove the defective paint, grit blast the concrete pool surface and reapply. But Mowlem refused and offered to remove the paint under a contract variation, for which it would be paid (NCE 9 October 2003).

Mowlem then refused to let another contractor on site to do the work, forcing the council to obtain an injunction to permit testing house Stats and sub-contractor Warings to enter.

This week the council released an executive summary of Stats' report which criticises the paint itself, the advice provided by the paint manufacturer and the application methods used by Mowlem.

But Mowlem slammed the decision to release only the executive summary of the report, which it said was not a fair reflection of the full report or the current situation.

It also accused the council of trying to embarrass the company by leaving them out of the investigation and refusing to give them a full copy of the report.

The council declined to comment on Mowlem's accusations and said that it expects to make a decision on what to do about the paint within the next two weeks.

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