Delays to new Sheringham Splash after bad weather and drain issues
PUBLISHED: 17:34 12 February 2020 | UPDATED: 17:34 12 February 2020
A multi-million pound project to replace a popular north Norfolk leisure centre has fallen behind schedule due to "slippage" from a drain not being removed.
Splash Leisure and Fitness Centre in Sheringham is being replaced by a new £12.6m swimming pool after North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) agreed to upgrade the 30-year-old facility.
But now the project has fallen behind schedule after time was lost to bad weather and a "redundant drain being removed" which slowed down works on the pool's foundations and caused "slope failure" which had to be stabilised.
A progress update was presented to councillors at a meeting of NNDC's overview and scrutiny meeting on Wednesday, February 12, which said the works were expected to be completed on August 29, 2020.
But it also revealed the new pool was now over a week behind schedule and stated: "Nine days behind schedule [and] 12 hours lost to bad weather."
Problems resulted from "delay due to slope slippage caused by redundant drain not removed by enabling works contractor".
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And senior reporting officer, Robert Young and project manager Kate Rawlings, added that the contractor had been put on notice of a possible claim - but said the time lost on the project would be made up for elsewhere.
The report stated: "[The] contractor is actively seeking areas to make up for the delay but at present is confident this will be possible and therefore no official warnings have been issued.
"A drainage diversion is potentially required and options are being evaluated and progressed.
The scheme is also coming in on budget and is predicted to cost a total of £12,697,139 - with no changes to this figure expected.
The council also said any costs due to the failings of the contractor would be "reclaimed as appropriate".
Plans to revamp the centre, which is remaining open while the new pool is built, were approved by the council in 2018.
But the scheme was hit by criticism after a petition claimed the reworked facility - without the 'beach-style' layout, wave machine and slide that have proved popular since the pool was opened in 1988 - would not be fit for purpose.
NNDC said it would not discuss the petition, which gathered more than 2,142 signatures, as it did not meet their thresholds.