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Ampleforth College wins damages over late building work
A NORTH Yorkshire boarding school has won damages of more than £226,000 from contractors who failed to ensure their new buildings were finished on time.
Ampleforth College hired Turner & Townsend Project Management Ltd (TTPM), as project managers on three new accommodation blocks in 2000, to be built by construction company Kier Regional Limited.
Although the buildings were completed in 2004, they were finished significantly later than expected, leading the Ampleforth Trust to take action against the project managers on grounds of professional negligence, after first settling a dispute with Kier.
TTPM denied the allegation, but following a two-week trial at Leeds Crown Court, a judge ruled the project manager was at fault, and had not created an appropriate contract to protect the Trust, despite frequent requests from the Trust to do so.
Judge Andrew John Keyser QC ruled: “The probability is that, if there had been a contract in existence, the Trust and Kier would have negotiated a reasonable settlement of their dispute. The value of such a settlement to the Trust, over and above the settlement it negotiated in the absence of a contract, would have been £340,000.”
Taking into account further funds paid to the construction team, the judge ruled TTPM must pay the Trust £226,667, but also ruled in favour of a counter-claim by TTPM for funds owed after it helped negotiate the dispute between the Trust and Kier, and ordered the Trust to pay TTPM £37,167.
A spokesman for the Trust said: “The Trust pursued the matter because as a religious organisation and registered charity it is morally and legally bound to protect its legitimate interests and seek justice where, as in this case, there has been professional negligence.
“The Ampleforth Abbey Trust is glad that this lengthy, complicated case has now come to an end. As a charity, it was only after careful consideration and acting to protect its legitimate interests that the Trust embarked upon litigation in their dispute with Turner & Townsend over professional negligence. The Trust would like to thank its professional advisers in this matter, Milners Solicitors in Leeds, Martin Bowdery QC and Dr David Aldridge of Acutus.”