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Another Hodder pool closes as row rumbles between contractor and architect - images

Another of Stephen Hodder's award-winning swimming pools, this one in Grange-over-Sands in Cumbria, is standing empty after the operating organisation went belly-up, the AJ understands.

At the same time a row is understood to be rumbling on between the architect and the contractor over snagging on the Burners Swimming Pool, which opened in 2003 and won a 2004 RIBA Award.

The management of the project - which was funded by Sport England, the local council and the National Lottery - has been beset by a series of problems that echoes the mismanagement of Stephen Hodder's troubled Clissold Leisure Centre in Hackney.

Clissold Leisure Centre has been closed for more than two years and has been subject to a massive legal dispute between architect, engineer, operator and the local council.

Indeed it is understood that an official at South Lakelands District Council has been in touch with council officers in Hackney to compare notes.

The official reason the Burners Swimming Pool building stands empty is that the charitable operating organisation, the Cartmel Peninsula Recreational Trust, went into receivership in July because the pool was losing so much money.

But there have also been problems with the building's fabric, according to local councillor Bill Wearing.

'There were problems with building, such as with the roof, and amazingly it has still not been signed off,' he told the AJ this morning. 'There are arguments between the architect and the builder.

'There have been leaks and there are questions over the building's air-handling capacity. These problems are still not resolved,' he added.

And one local architect confirmed this. 'One of my staff was in there before it was closed and said there were buckets around the place because of a leaking roof,' he said.

by Ed Dorrell

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