SCARBOROUGH BOROUGH Council said last month it was considering suing contractor Edmund Nuttall over the costs of a coastal defence scheme in the Yorkshire seaside town.
The council has been in dispute with Edmund Nuttall over the final cost of the coastal defence project which doubled from £27M to £54M (GE December 05). The council, under advice from consultant High-Point Rendel, has said it is only willing to pay £34M.
As GE went to press, Scarborough councillors were seeking independent expert advice on whether to sue or ask Nuttall to repair or replace them in exchange for a final payment.
The council, as well as the funders of the flood defence scheme the Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs, is continuing to negotiate a settlement with Nuttall should it be decided that pursuing litigation is too risky.
A report prepared by the council's legal team said litigation would be the most likely way to determine whether damage to mass concrete Accropodes used to defend the coastline was due to faulty construction. It said: 'Short of a determination by a judge in a litigation process it is unlikely that certainty as to the cause of damage to the Accropodes can be achieved.' Scarborough is also considering whether to claim compensation from High Point Rendel over its handling of the compensation events under the Engineering Construction Contract used on the project.