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Out of court settlement reached in Margate art gallery fiasco

Kent County Council has reached a £6M out of court settlement with the design team for its abandoned Turner Contemporary Gallery in Margate.

Architect Snohetta, cost consultant Davis Langdon and consultant Ramboll have agreed to pay the council the £6M inclusive of interest and costs it spent on the project that was abandoned in February 2006.

The council pulled the plug on Margate’s offshore Turner art gallery after project costs escalated from £17.6M to £48M.

The gallery was to be a three storey steel framed building located in the North Sea, 8m away from Margate harbour’s breakwater (NCE 15 January 2004). It had to be designed for high wave loads.

After costs escalated the gallery was relocated inland and has been rebudgeted at £12M.

Work began in November with R Durtnell and Sons as the preferred contractor.

The art gallery was originally designed by architect Snohetta with consultant Jane Wernick in 2001.

After planning permission was granted in 2003 the scheme was transferred to WhitbyBird (now Ramboll) to develop detailed design.

In July 2005 Nuttall (now Bam Nuttall) was appointed design and build contractor, and in turn used Scott Wilson to develop the design to construction.

WhitbyBird chose to stay with the client as checking engineer rather than be novated.

The parties have reached settlement without any admissions as to liability.

Readers' comments (1)

  • As I remember, the Cost Consultant was the same one on the Scottish Parliament. Good at risk, good at quantity surveying.....but clearly inept at cost planning with public money. Well done to Kent CC for seeing off these professional monkeys.

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