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Hackney posts web apology to Whitbybird over Clissold closure

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HACKNEY COUNCIL this week published an apology to consultant Whitbybird for claiming that one of its projects was forced to close because of a structural problem.

The apology on the London borough's website came as it published a technical briefing note on the problems that have kept the £32M Clissold Leisure Centre closed since November 2003, just 18 months after it opened (NCE 3 March 2005).

Whitbybird was the Centre's structural engineer and objected to the Council's claims that the building's problems lay solely in its structure.

The technical briefing note lists nine major problems This includes the failure of the roof's syphonic drainage system to cope with normal rainfall levels, causing rainwater to overflow onto the roof's lower sections.

Contractor Wates is due to start repairs to the roof next week as part of a £5.1M remedial works programme.

Hackney accepted an undisclosed contribution towards the repair costs from original contractor Gleeson and architect Hodder Associates, with neither firm admitting liability for the faults.

It is still in legal negotiations with Whitbybird over unpaid fees and to determine whether the consultant should contribute to the repairs.

Clissold Leisure Centre is due to open to the public by the end of year, with £1.3M of improvements in addition to the repairs.

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