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Spinnaker Tower row ends as Portsmouth releases cash

A LONG running dispute over the construction of Portsmouth's landmark Spinnaker Tower ended last week when the client and contractor formally agreed contract terms and revised costings.

The council has also appointed David Greenhalgh, an external project manager on secondment from Mott MacDonald, to keep a lid on cost overruns on the project.

Under the agreed contract a target cost of £21M is set for design and construction work.

A 'shared pain' arrangement on a sliding scale will allow for greater costs, to a maximum of £26M.

Portsmouth will pay 80% of the first £1M overrun, 60% of the next, 40% of the next and a fifth of a final million. Mowlem will swallow any further overrun, Greenhalgh told NCE.

'Currently we expect the outturn cost to be £22.3M which will mean a total outlay of £21.6M for the client, ' said Greenhalgh Last month the council voted to commit the extra money to the project, which will create a 165m high landmark tower close to the city's harbour entrance.

The extra money will allow completion of the scheme which has been in jeopardy since the spring when design and build contractor Mowlem demanded more money to finish the project (NCE 16 May).

In May, Mowlem told the council that the original £16.5M costing for the complex project was too little. Mowlem project manager John Neale said costs increased because of a six month delay in getting site access.

Portsmouth said there were delays negotiating access to the site with the developer of the nearby Gunwharf Quays retail complex, Berkeley.

Specification changes had also caused problems. These included replacing rack and pinion lifts with conventional lifts to take sightseers to an observation area at the top of the tower.


More on the Spinnaker tower can be found at www.

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