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Clissold opening date put back again

The opening of the much-troubled Clissold Leisure Centre in Hackney has been put back yet again.

The controversial pool in north-east London, which was at the centre of a massive two-year legal battle between its designers Hodder Associates, its engineer Whitbybird, and Hackney Council, was supposed to open in July.

However due to ongoing problems with the roof, the £35 million leisure centre will not now open until the autumn.

The postponement is the latest in a long line of delays on the project which, the council claimed in January last year ( Clissold scheduled to reopen at start of 2006), would be opened by the start of 2006.

It is understood Bickerdike Allen, the architect who was called in to assess the problems on the project and take it on to reopening, has now 'found a solution' to the issues with the roof.

Even so, Hackney mayor Jules Pipe admitted the council was being 'overly cautious' in naming an opening date.

He said: 'The building had complex problems and there are no quick fixes. I am determined that the repair of the centre will not go the same way as the original.'

Pipe added: 'I realise that people are very keen for the centre to reopen but I am sure they will appreciate that we are being very careful in managing this repairs project and I am determined that when the centre does reopen it is fit for purpose and will operate effectively.'

by Richard Waite

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