The true cost of unexpected delays

Work on the former Glencairn Tower site was stopped in October 2015 due to contaminated land
Work on the former Glencairn Tower site was stopped in October 2015 due to contaminated land

Delays to the building of new homes on the former site of Glencairn Tower cost North Lanarkshire Council more than £1 million.

Glencairn Tower was demolished in 2011 to make way for social housing and work on the £2.7 million project to build 25 properties was due to be completed in November 2015.

However, the discovery of asbestos and an unmarked power cable on the site saw work halted and it wasn’t finished until June 2016.

In the meantime, a report to the Enterprise and Housing Committee reveals, the delays meant the council ran up a bill of nearly £1.2 million.

The report shows the authority had to spend over £413,000 for remedial work on the asbestos, over £177,000 on net additional project managers’ instruction and £575,000 on a ‘claim for delay’.

This latter one essentially ensured that the contractors were compensated to stay on site to finish the project as they’d be unable to take other jobs.

Brian Lafferty, head of housing property, said: “The Glencairn new build site was unavoidably delayed following the unexpected discovery of asbestos buried in the ground alongside an unmarked power cable.

“This discovery led to a substantial delay while work took place to safely remove the asbestos and disconnect the power cable.

“These delays and unavoidable associated works led to additional costs being incurred.”

This was the second time that asbestos meant increased costs were incurred by the overall project.

During the pre-demolition phase a survey failed to identify most of the asbestos contained within Glencairn Tower.

This saw the cost of demolition rise from around £700,000 to over £1 million.

The Glencairn development forms part of the council’s new house building programme which will see 2,150 homes built by 2027.

Mr Lafferty said: “The project has now been successfully completed and there is a high level of tenant satisfaction with the new homes.”