Astley Hall cottage roofs in worse condition than assumed as the repair bill almost triples

The building renovation bill – behind the main building – was improved after contractors removed the tablets and discovered much of the work needed to restore it.

The Chorley City Council has heard that the toilet roof was “in a state of disrepair” – meaning that the £ 131,000 that was originally allocated for the project would now fall short of what was needed. The Authority has approved a new budget of £ 340,000 to support the required work.

Court official Alistair Bradley said he was shocked when he began producing the “star” picture. Improved funding initially was even higher, but declined, he said, after the court requested a rehabilitation process to see what could be “allocated” to planned activities. in order to obtain the best value for money.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Cllr Bradley told members that he now considers the costs to be “reasonable and acceptable” because of the type of work required – though he believed it would mean that the authorities spend “equally” on the roof in the house more than he had used. a recent renovation of another important building.

The results of the £ 1.1m project were unveiled to the public last weekend when a hall listed in Group I was reopened to the public after a two-year closure. The rocketing standard for toilet roofs had been approved a few days earlier.

Deputy council chief Peter Wilson said it was “fortunate” that the condition of the building – equivalent to 20 percent of the roof area of ​​the entire hall – was revealed before “major damage occurred”.

The toilet area will be used for storage and staff space once repairs – which will be funded by borrowing – are completed.

According to documents presented at the full council meeting where green light was provided for the use of additional funds, an additional £ 209,000 will be required beyond the original estimate – including £ 88,459 for repairs themselves and £ 64,557 for 33 weeks. “Extension costs” for contractor.

Conservative Opposition leader Martin Boardman said that, according to his estimates – based on the distribution of capital and other resources – the authorities were paying “about $ 150,000 for real work,” including interest, but it costs us, as a court., £ 340,000 ”.

Cllr Bradley said some of the funding was “temporary”, because “even now at the moment, we don’t know exactly how much the work will cost until [contractors] start doing it”.

However, he acknowledged that the bill was higher than he would have liked, but he hoped it now had an “high-cost envelope” that could be reduced by the ongoing court. before transferring the debt “with a good tooth”.

The meeting heard that the authorities had considered the possibility of restoring the toilet roof plan as a separate package of services, but that choice was reduced due to “significant costs” that could have been incurred if the contractor the current one, Bullen Construction, was suspended and the project started from scratch – due to the need for a new scale and initial work.

Cllr Boardman also questioned why the £ 107,000 renovation of the toilet section was still described as “temporary” when it was part of the initial cost of renovating the hall.

“[They] were in the first column of the code – the panel panels, the bricks, the planks, the windows, the wall panels – you mean, which were scoped.

“Is the temporary amount of £ 107,000 more than the work we have already given the contractor, and if so, what is that $ 107,000 made of?” Cllr Boardman asked.

Cllr Bradley stated that the general representation of “the part of the work… [which] was actually part of the initial budget, but, of course, was the second step to be verified at any time”.

He said the amount stands in addition to the £ 340,000 that is currently to be spent on the roof and will come out of the hall maintenance budget if it is finally considered necessary to use it.

Instead of the work that needs to be done, it is something we probably want to do right now. Because it seems so easy to put a new roof [place] on top without doing it again, which is something we always planned to do, “Cllr Bradley explained.

He added that he was surprised that the toilet roof was the only unforeseen expenditure ever met with the Astley Hall renovation project, which Cllr Wilson said – so far – was “in my nose”. entirely as it progresses. budget. ”That is what Cllr Boardman realized was no longer the case.