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New contractor needed for Sudbury boating lake project

PUBLISHED: 16:30 19 October 2018

Refurbishment work at Sudbury boating pond has come in for criticism Picture: STUART POOLE

Refurbishment work at Sudbury boating pond has come in for criticism Picture: STUART POOLE

Stuart Poole

Organisers of refurbishment work to a memorial boating lake have been forced to find a new contractor after the project was plagued by problems.

There have been issues with the new concrete Picture: STUART POOLEThere have been issues with the new concrete Picture: STUART POOLE

Sudbury Town Council announced on its Facebook page that the work to Mill Acre boating pond in the town was “not to the standard” it required so the contractor had left and payment had not been made.

The project involved concreting the base to create a smooth surface to prevent algae from settling there, and in turn helping to keep it clean.

But members of the public had called the work - quoted at about £10,000 - “a bodged job” and “waste of money”, with cracks already said to be showing in the concrete.

Sudbury Town Clerk Jacqui Howells described the whole thing as “so frustrating”, adding they are now looking for a new contractor to finish it.

Mill Acre boat lake in Sudbury in 2016 Picture: EMMA BRENNANMill Acre boat lake in Sudbury in 2016 Picture: EMMA BRENNAN

“Something that should have been a relatively simple job has snowballed and taken forever. Whatever job we do we go out to professional people and get quotes and all of them have given similar work plans just slightly different costings.

“We have to have value for money. On this occasion, it’s just the contractor has let us down.”

She said a £2,000 deposit had been paid to the contractor, Heathland Group Ltd, but they had completed some work.

Stuart Poole, who has been outspoken in his criticism of the scheme, said: “I care about my local community, but the main point was they decided to keep the pond in tribute to the family who died in the air disaster in 1971, so surely if we are going to do it we have got to the job properly?”

Mrs Howells said the problems began right at the beginning when the concrete was delivered, adding this was an issue between the contractor and their supplier.

Previously, Darren Willmott, owner of Heathland Group, said there were problems getting the concrete onto the site, which meant it had hardened before it was laid and had to be redone.

Mrs Howells said a layer of self-levelling sealant was needed to complete the work, which would hopefully take place towards the end of November.

The town council is currently accepting quotes from contractors.

As the project will now cost about £1,000 more than originally planned, the request will be considered by the town council later this month. Mr Willmott was not contactable on this occasion.

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