Page last updated at 14:45 GMT, Monday, 15 December 2008

Council to sue 21m over Bath Spa

Bath Spa
The council is claiming 21,366,318 plus costs

Bath and North East Somerset Council is to sue a building firm for 21m after a luxury spa opened five years late.

Bath Spa, the UK's only natural thermal spa, opened in 2006 at a cost of 45m, three times the original cost.

The council is bringing the 21m counter claim against Carillion, responsible for the Bath Spa project.

Carillion initially served a writ against the council, claiming 2.4m in money relating to the spa in August 2008.

Significant costs

A council statement has said Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners (NGP) has also been served with a "Part 20 notice" which will involve them as a party to the litigation.

The council said: "Carillion had originally indicated that its claim against the council was worth around 10m.

"As a result of extensive clarifying discussions and negotiations with Carillion prior to the issue of the writ, the amount of the Carillion claim has been significantly reduced.

"The council has consistently maintained that it has no liability to Carillion but rather that it has significant claims against them and/or other parties in connection with design and/or workmanship and/or supervision related to the Bath Spa project.

"Prior to the issue of the writ by Carillion, the council had sought to resolve matters constructively without recourse to the courts.

"The council's position is that significant costs which it incurred in relation to the Bath Spa are the result of design and/or workmanship issues for which Carillion and/or NGP... are responsible."

Official comments

Councillor Malcolm Hanney, deputy leader and cabinet member for resources, said the council's position in relation to the litigation had been agreed by all group leaders on behalf of the council.

A spokesperson for NGP said: "We have received notice that the operator of the Bath Spa project has filed suit.

"It is not, however, our policy to comment on potential or actual litigation."

A spokesman for Carillion said the company would not comment "on contractual matters as they are commercially confidential".

The Millennium Commission awarded the Bath Spa project 7.78m in 1997 to reopen the city's thermal waters to bathers.

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