Govt brings in new builder on estate following delays

Unfinished houses in Janet's Corner, Castletown

Unfinished houses in Janet's Corner, Castletown

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A builder on the Janet’s Corner redevelopment has had its contract terminated because of delays in completing the project.

Phase five of the scheme should have taken two years to complete and been finished in July last year.

But it has still not been completed.

The contract had been awarded to Parkinson’s, then part of the Sefton Group, but the firm was subsequently bought out by Malcolm Blackburn, trading as Blackburn Construction Services.

A Department of Social Care spokesman told the Manx Independent: ‘The current phase of works at Janet’s Corner, Castletown (project four/five) consists of 73 public sector properties of which 69 have been completed and handed over.

‘The remaining four houses, other works to the site, and residual snagging are still to be completed.

‘The project has been carried out by Parkinson’s Ltd but there has been a series of delays affecting completion of the work so the department has brought in another contractor to finish it off.’

The spokesman said they could not comment on the cause of the delays.

A week last Monday the contract was terminated – in official parlance ‘determined’ – because of the delays.

The new contractor on phases four/five is Tooms Brothers, which is part of Island Drainage and Groundwork.

The contract is still in the name of Parkinson’s.

In October last year, the House of Keys heard that earlier phases of the Janet’s Corner redevelopment had been delayed by bad weather and the unexpected discovery of asbestos buried under the older homes that were being demolished.

Parkinson’s then experienced cash flow problems and requested that some of the money normally retained by the Manx government until completion of the project, was advanced early.

At the time, the then Social Care Minister Chris Robertshaw said Parkinson’s had done an ‘outstanding job’ under extremely difficult circumstances.

And he rejected the suggestion made by Peter Karran MHK (Lib Van, Onchan) that the project has ‘cost the taxpayer dearly’.

In January this year, Tynwald voted to approve funding of £795,000 for a separate project at Janet’s Corner.

Tooms won the contract for that project.

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