Taxpayers could have to pick up a bill of more than £750,000 to fix two award-winning buildings in Norwich which were found to be flawed.

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Council bosses are in talks with contractors behind Norwich Bus Station and St Andrews multi-storey car park over who should cover the cost of repairs.

And if the negotiations are not settled in favour of the local authorities, taxpayers could have to pay up to £770,000 for repairs to buildings which are not even a decade old.

The Surrey Street bus station and the car park, off Duke Street, both opened in 2005 but have been beset with problems.

The £5.3m bus station, which belongs to Norfolk County Council, was closed for a week from Sunday so that repairs could finally be carried out to fix a long-standing problem with its roof.

Hailed as a state-of-the-art landmark when it opened, the bus station replaced its run-down predecessor and, with its distinctive steel canopy, won the SCALA Civic Building of the Year Award 2006.

But in June last year, water poured through the roof into the main building containing the ticket office, café and toilets.

The ticket office building had to shut for more than a month because of the leaky roof and the whole bus station had to close for a day to enable the short-term repairs to be carried out.

On Sunday it shut for a week so a more permanent repair can be done, but the county council is still locked in talks over who should pay for those repairs.

A county council spokesman said: “The cost of the roof repair is £220,000. The county council is underwriting this cost to allow the repairs to go ahead and bring the bus station back up to its former self.

“We cannot provide any further details whilst negotiations are still on-going with other parties involved. An improved annual maintenance regime has been put in place to prevent a recurrence of the problem in the future.”

The bus station was designed by NPS Property Consultants, an “arms-length” company of the county council, with Bluestone the principal contractor.

And Norwich City Council is involved in its own negotiations over who should pay for repairs to the £9.3m St Andrews Car Park, which opened in June 2005.

Just like their counterparts at County Hall, city council officers are in talks with contractors over who is responsible.

And, in the city council’s budget, a contingency fund of £550,000 was last night set aside to cover repairs to the car park if the negotiations do not favour the council.

A city council spokeswoman said: “As any responsible property owner would, we must have money set aside in our budgets as a contingency to cover costs of repairs or maintenance.

“In the case of St Andrews, specifically, we will continue our negotiations with the parties involved to reach a solution.”

10 comments

  • Gasp, the previous "big" news on the bus station fiasco was that it is all ok because NCC has insurance cover. Not strictly true, as in zero per cent true? That's the problem, NCC awards the £5.3m contract to NPS, which is effectively a part of NCC, and NPS gets a 3rd party contractor to do the roof which has since gone bust. No one else to foot the bill other than you tax payers, again.

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    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • Far too much work being carried out on behalf of both Norfolk CC and Norwich CC is of a very poor standard, not only in workmanship but design and the materials used. An enquiry is needed to ascertain the reasons why this is so, as in the end it's the taxpayer who is being ripped off big time.

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    Unemployed and Luvin it.

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • The bus station looks very nice but that's it! no real provision for convenient taxi pickup,no extended hours cafe if you are going to catch an early bus,and as we now know,with so many projects to do with the council,built on the cheap! and even if you do not use the bus you will pay for roof repairs! better to have a more utilitarian bus station that ticks all the boxes rather than this "award winning" white elephant!.

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    Harry Rabinowitz

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • A typical example of something that looks nice but is actually of poor structural material design and very poor construction quality... Clearly NPS as principal architects are at fault (liable) for the poor design and not ensuring its fitness for purpose. The contractor may be liable too but that all depends on how they interpreted the design drawings and if they highlighted the inadequacies of what they were constructing.

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    Dave01

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • Given the nature of the defect,it would seem that both the architects and consulting engineers must have responsibility for rectification,with the contractors answerable if it was shown that their work was causative.Surely,all three must have been required to take out professional indemnity insurance,in which case costs would be assumed by the insurer and not the tax-payers.

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    midnorfolkman

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • As for the car-park, I don't think I'ld feel safe going into it if it is cracking up already. Somehow you just know as soon as these two councils (and WDC too, £3m wasted on a non-project) get involved in any major building projects they are just doomed to fail andor go over budget or just fall apart and cost more in maintenance...... usual story...

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    Dave01

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • well if i done a bad job in my trade, i would be expected to put it right at my expense. the contractors should pay for repairs and not the tax payer.

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    canaryboy71

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • If NPS does not have the assets to cover the costs of meeting their legal obligations, after taking on a contract & botching it. Then like any other free enterprise it should be declared bankrupt & any assets it has used to pay back, what can be paid back. Norwich has a long history of dodgy contractors due to the level of ability displayed by Citycare, that must have cost taxpayers millions down the years. If these cowboys want contracts, they need to meet reasonable standards & if they don't bankrupt them & protect taxpayers from their ineptness.

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    el84

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • As I recall, all the old multi-storey car parks had to be taken down due to bad building work, now the new ones are showing problems as well? They talk about maintenance, but just what do they do, one only has to look at the shelter at the front of the St. Andrews car park to see it is covered with green slime, just like the faulty covers of Norwich Market. Somebody at the council needs to look up the definition of the word maintenance.

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    COLD

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • The bus station looks very nice but that's it! no real provision for convenient taxi pickup,no extended hours cafe if you are going to catch an early bus,and as we now know,with so many projects to do with the council,built on the cheap! and even if you do not use the bus you will pay for roof repairs! better to have a more utilitarian bus station that ticks all the boxes rather than this "award winning" white elephant!.

    Report this comment

    Harry Rabinowitz

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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