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Bouygues UK has launched a claim of nearly £2m against specialist fire protection contractor Sharpfibre in the High Court in a row over the replacement of cladding on a Premier Inn hotel in Bedford.
The dispute, which has made its way to the Technology and
Construction Court, centres around Bouygues concerns that the cladding and
insulation products installed on the Premier Inn at the Bedford Riverside
development were “not acceptable” following inspections in the wake of the
Grenfell Tower disaster nearly three years ago.
Originally, JB Leadbitter was engaged to build the hotel in April
2015 and the contractor turned to Sharpfibre under a design and build
sub-contract to carry out “structural framing, external walling and external
Bouygues began its involvement in the project in 2016 and in
March 2017, the main contract for the hotel was novated to Bouygues before the
hotel’s practical completion in April 2017.
Following the inspections later that year, Bouygues agreed
to remove and replace the cladding and insulation at its own cost.
Having reached that agreement, Bouygues then claimed against
Sharpfibre that the cladding and insulation products were non-compliant with
Building Regulations. Sharpfibre is disputing the claim, which is in excess of
Meanwhile, Sharpfibre has brought a contribution claim
against a third firm, architect Mountford Pigott, which was appointed by
Leadbitter in 2016. Mountford Pigott had already provided an insulation specification
in 2015. Its appointment was eventually novated to Bouygues in August 2016.