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Alastair

Jacobs Court Scaffolding

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Does anyone know the history behind why there is scaffolding around the stair and lift tower behind Jacobs Court on Commercial Street?

Research shows that planning permission for this tower was granted in 2005 but was found to be in contravention of building regulations sometime after that. The scaffolding has been in place for many years now which is a shame as the main building is quite beautiful both inside and out.

Is there a plan to have the work completed or will it stay like this forever?

Scaffolding.thumb.JPG.feff30da087da1cafef44cf2406295ea.JPG

Jacobs Court.JPG

Interior.jpg

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Posted March 8

From the Council's 2019 contract register

Jacobs Court scaffolding

Reference Number: N/A

Contract Title: Jacobs Court scaffolding
    
Directorate: Economy and Place

Department: Building control
    
Brief Description of Contract: No entry

Supplier: Lyndon Scaffolding PLC

Supplier Status SME / VCS: N/A

Company and/or Charity Registration Number: 934513

Estimated Contract Value: £52,800

Estimated Annual Value: £4,800

VAT not recoverable: N/A    

Start Date: 22/05/2015    

End Date: 31/08/2020    

Review Date: 31/08/2019    

Option to Extend: Yes

Extension End Date: TBC    

Quotation or Tender: Quotation    

Nature of Contract: Services

Funding Source: Council funded    

Sector Type: Private    

Register Entry Comments: This is an on-going maintenance contract for a scaffold to support Jacobs Court that has been determined to be in a dangerous condition. The scaffold was initially erected to make the building safe, and requires monthly maintenance in line with the HSE guidelines.

No scaffolding inside the building so presume it's either the fitting of the window frames, cladding or metal frame structure. Didn't the building inspector check at the various building stages?

Edited by megilleland

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It's previously been reported on this Forum that the rear structure was deemed to be unsafe. 

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Well perhaps someone could ask Paul Tobin who was the developer?

Did he build something dodgy and just walk away with the profit from the development without a care for structure? I understand he creates a limited company to carry out development but then closes it down when the building is complete so he can walk away without any comeback

To me it does seem wrong that we re picking up the bill for scaffolding to hold up a private persons development apparently indefinitely.

Good old Paul was also the developer of the flats in Greyfriars Avenue by the river - should the owners of those be worried?

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The giveaway to the structure, when viewed from Kyrle Street, is that there are no work platforms and no access ladders. So it isn't so much a scaffolding structure in the true sense of the phrase (as, for example, can currently be seen along the frontage of The Green Dragon Hotel), but rather it is a temporary engineering support. But what is it supporting? And for how much longer will it be stuck up there?

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The glazing and framing were assessed as having the potential to fail, potentially allowing one or more large pieces of glass to fall. 
As a public safety issue, and with the developer conveniently no longer answering the phone, Building Control were obliged to step in and make the building safe. Unfortunately the Council Tax payer is having to pick up the bill for this open ended arrangement whilst the developer manages his six other development companies. Presumably nothing will happen until the leaseholders of the flats can muster enough funds to put the matter right (and, in the meantime, their properties must be blighted). Given the last accounts of Jacobs Court Management Company Limited showed a grand total of £8 in the bank, I doubt we'll ever get our money back.

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@twowheelsgood: Many thanks for this information. Since you say that HC has been picking up the tab for the rent of this safety structure, is there any way of discovering what it has cost us council tax payers over the last 14 years? Or perhaps Cambo (always an expert on scaffolding and roofing) would care to hazard a guess?

Your observation that the occupants' properties "must be blighted" is extremely accurate: according to one report, an unfortunate owner discovered she couldn't move as there were no willing purchasers.

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The esteemed megilleland has shown costs from the Council register further up this thread - true to form though, the sums don't add up! Take your pick - £53k for 5 years, which in Council sums appears to be £5k per annum!

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Thank you kindly for all for your inputs.

So does Mr Tobin have any legal responsibility for the shortcomings of the structure or was this mess just passed onto the current leaseholders? I also note that he currently represents several building development companies, so he must be contactable:

  • Wellington Developments (Hereford) Limited
  • Kings Acre Developments (Hereford) Limited
  • Clt 1973 Limited
  • St Martin's Developments (Hereford) Ltd
  • Fryers Gate (Hereford) Limited
  • Riverside Construction (Hereford) Limited

It would be interesting to know what actually went wrong with the build and what the cost of remedying the underlying problems would be?

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Thank you @Denise Lloyd and yes @twowheelsgood, I agree!

There are a few possible outcomes to this:

  1. Developer Paul Tobin takes responsibility for fixing the construction (but with the time elapsed this seems unlikely)
  2. The leaseholders have the work completed (but probably don't have the financial resources). It would be useful to know the estimated costs for this.
  3. Nothing is done and the scaffolding remains indefinitely at taxpayers' expense. At some point this expense will exceed the cost of fixing the construction in the first place.
  4. The structure is condemned and the apartments are rendered uninhabitable.

If the council is already resigned to the ongoing expense of maintaining scaffolding, then could a plan be made between the various parties to remedy the defects and cap the total expense?

 

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