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Fears over £3.5million Newtown social housing development

 
Created on 20/06/2019 @ 12:31
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Fears have been raised that a firm tasked with building a flagship £3.5 million development for Powys County Council in Newtown has gone into administration.

Work was due to start at the Newtown Bowling Green, Back Lane development by Port Talbot-based Jistcourt Construction on Monday. But the site remains closed.

Speculation has been rife about the company in both Newtown and the wider building industry in Wales.

One source told the Local Democracy Service that they had received “verbal notification” that Jistcourt had gone into administration.

His firm stands to lose over £20,000 from equipment bought especially to work on one of its projects.

Phonecalls to Jistcourt asking for clarification are going unanswered.

A spokesman for PCC said it had “heard of the rumours” and was trying to find out more.

Back in April, PCC’s portfolio holder for Corporate Governance, Housing & Public Protection, Cllr James Evans announced that the contract to build 26 one bedroom flats in Newtown had been given to Jistcourt.

The significance of the scheme is that it is the first affordable housing development for social rent commissioned by PCC in over 40 year.

On Monday, 24 June, the Economy, Residents, Communities and Governance Scrutiny Committee was to receive a report from Cllr Evans.

This would explain the five-year building development plan as PCC look to build 250 homes by 2023.

On top of the list of developments to be discussed is the Newtown Bowling Green site.

The report said the building was to be completed by September 2020 and that over £695,000 has already been spent on the project.

It adds that on May 22, Jistcourt told PCC that its bank could not provide a “Performance Bond” due to the company “exceeding their limit.”

PCC added it was waiting for Jistcourt to advise it whether the bond could be found from an alternative source.

A performance bond guarantees to a project owner that the project will be completed (performed), even if the contractor fails.

The building work was also to be recorded in a time-lapse video.

In March construction firm Dawnus went bust leaving three school construction projects for PCC in limbo.

By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

 

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