Could the long wait nearly be over for Baths development?

February 02 2015

THE completion date for the Bristol North Baths development has been set back again, a prospective tenant has told the Bishopston Voice.

THE completion date for the Bristol North Baths development has been set back again, a prospective tenant has told the Bishopston Voice.

It was previously confirmed by developer Chatsworth Homes that the £3million redevelopment, which is to include a new surgery, hydrotherapy pool, library and apartments, would be completed by the end of February.

However, physiotherapist Keith James, who will own the hydrotherapy suite, says that he has now been given a date of May or June.

Mr James, who owns two practices in Westbury Park and Clifton, adds that he is not surprised that the deadline has gone back again, but he is "hopeful" that it will be achieved this time.

Work to the development, which was originally meant to be completed by autumn 2013, faced a set back at the beginning of last year after the council announced that they had concerns about the quality of work being done.

Consultants Capita were paid £40,000 to investigate and came up with a 139-page report detailing remedial works needed. It is understood that some of these involved changes to the specifications of the hydrotherapy pool.

However, Chatsworth Homes managing director Kevin Batt, said that matters were "blown out of proportion", and there were "no real major problems" with the building project.

Chatworth Homes started back on site again last September.

But Mr James says that he looked around the site in December and nothing had moved on.

He has become increasingly frustrated with Chatsworth Homes' "finger in the air deadlines" and deemed the project as a "shambles".

He told Bishopston Voice: "This further delay causes problems to my patients, staff and for the toddler swim groups who will also be using the pool, and has impacts all the time on all its end users.

"My excitement over the past 18 months has been severely dented following Capita's report, and the project has been tainted by these unavoidable events.

"However seeing the pool again really excited me and I realised what enormous potential there is here. I am prepared to put all this behind me and move on, and I literally could not wait to get in there and get going."

Mr Batt confirmed with Bishopston Voice: "The first elements of the building will be complete at the end of February, beginning of March as expected, but as is normal with a project like this some elements will be ready before others.

"We are currently working with all tenants and occupiers to ensure that they are comfortable with the point at which their part of the building will be handed over to them.

"We are delighted that all parties are looking forward to moving into the building and we look forward to working hard over the next few months to ensure that the building is finished to a high standard."

A Bristol City Council spokesperson said: “We are meeting with the developer, Chatsworth Homes, on a weekly basis to monitor the progress being made against a revised programme, which we think is realistic.

“The library and pool are expected to be completed by the beginning of April. At this time we do not have any significant concerns about the delivery of these works in the scheduled time frame.

“The delay at this site has been unfortunate but absolutely necessary to ensure the best long-term outcome. It has been a complex process and we’re grateful for the continued patience of everyone involved or affected.”

Keith James outside Bristol North Baths