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Bath Spa problems 'worse than could have been imagined'

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A senior member of Bath Council has admitted that the list of construction and design defects on Grimshaw's disastrous Bath Spa project is 'more than could have been imagined'.

In a fresh report released yesterday evening, councillor Nicole O'Flaherty outlined the number of problems discovered by Capita Symonds, the engineering and architectural consultancy charged with completing the scheme.

'The extent and number of construction and design defects discovered is more than could have been imagined,' O'Flaherty said. 'However it is better that these issues are identified now and corrected.'

The councillor revealed the full list of problems now being worked on, which is:

replacement of glazing system to the external walls;

removal of and replacement of ceilings to gain access to mechanical and electrical faults;

identification and rectification works to mechanical and electrical services, including rewiring, replacement of copper pipe work and valves;

increased scope of works to floor waterproofing;

building-in of missing fire dampers into air conditioning ductwork;

remedial works to non-compliant drainage above ceiling;

grit blast removal of existing flaking and poor-quality paintwork to steel and concrete columns and replacement;

replacement of fire doors that do not meet fire officer requirements;

increase in scope of decoration works;

replacement of defective stainless-steel works; and

sundry scaffolding, stoneworks, external waterproofing works.

Despite the list of problems, O'Flaherty insisted that there are now positives emerging around the project.

'A sign of private sector confidence in the project was revealed in March when a planning application was submitted to transform the former technical college into a deluxe spa hotel at a cost of £25 million.

'The economic benefits to the city and beyond are beginning to bear fruit and this is a very good sign,' she added.

by Ed Dorrell

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