SCARBOROUGH BOROUGH Council has admitted that it remains locked in dispute with contractor Nuttall over the fi nal cost of its coastal defence project, almost a year after a row erupted over cracks in the defence structures.
Work on the scheme to protect the Scarborough headland fi ished in summer 2004, but the contractor is yet to reach agreement with the council over a £27M cost overrun.
The fi al scheme price has doubled to an estimated £54M, owing to delays caused by unexpected ground conditions, limits imposed on working hours and cracks found in the mass concrete Accropodes used to defend the coastline.
Danish consultant Cowi was hired at a cost of £140,000 to investigate the cause of the cracking, and it was expected to report back to the council in January (NCE 2 December 2004). The investigation has still not been concluded.
Consultant HighPoint Rendel is advising the council on how much Nuttall should be paid, and earlier this year said it should be paid only £34M of the £54M costs (NCE 17 March).
HighPoint Rendel is still acting as consultant for the council on the project, despite revelations from the Audit Commission last year that its contract had been awarded to HPR unlawfully (NCE 16/30 December 2004).