Delays to new village hall completion spark parish council compensation bid

Flashbakc: Lisa Fryer, one of the first residents, turns a sod at Queens Hills for the start of the

Flashbakc: Lisa Fryer, one of the first residents, turns a sod at Queens Hills for the start of the building of the long awaited new community centre last October. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Archant Norfolk

A parish council will try to claim compensation for lost income because of delays in the completion date of a new village hall.

Costessey Parish had been planning to hold an opening event for the West Costessey Hall in Queen's Hills on September 6, but a meeting tonight heard the building's handover had been put off a number of times.

Parish clerk Hilary Elias said that every time a date for completion of the project was agreed, at the next meeting it got pushed back.

She said: 'They did not complete at the end of June as they were contracted to do. Our design team and architects have issued a non-completion certificate. At every meeting a new date is stated.'

She added: 'We don't know when we will get the key handed over. Even when we do, there will still be things we need to sort out.

'Unless we get the key before August 22, we are not going to be able to invite members of the public in to see anything on September 6.'

She said that August 8 was put forward for completion at one site progress meeting, and then August 22. The next site progress meeting is due to take place on Friday.

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Parish councillor Alex Todd said: 'At the end of the day, we will lose revenue from the original completion date. That will be the minimum that we will expect as recompense.'

The meeting was told that no figures had been given for the amount of money the council may seek in compensation for lost bookings, but it heard that income from the hall was expected to be about £3,000 a week.

Building work was originally delayed after the Queen's Hills housing estate's lead developers, Cofton, went into administration in 2009.

Last September the parish council announced work could finally begin on the site after licences to build and occupy it has been signed after eight months of negotiations.

What do you think about the delays to the new hall? Write (giving your full contact details) to: The Letters Editor, EDP, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.