More frustration for tenants as baths work delayed again

May 29 2015

THE Bristol North Baths redevelopment has faced yet another set back and will not be ready until at least mid-July, Chatsworth Homes has revealed.

THE Bristol North Baths redevelopment has faced yet another set back and will not be ready until at least mid-July, Chatsworth Homes has revealed.

Kevin Batt, managing director of the developers, says that the review held over the quality of the building work last year by the council, coupled with the rise in job prospects for builders, has caused a lengthy delay to his work.

The £3million redevelopment, which is to include a new doctors' surgery, hydrotherapy pool, library and apartments, was originally set for completion in autumn 2013.

A review was held into the development last January after an inspection from Capita revealed that there were quality issues with the building.

However, Mr Batt dismissed these claims, saying that the council “had blown matters out of proportion”.

Prospective tenants of the baths redevelopment have grown increasingly frustrated withthe length of time it has taken to complete the building work, and they say that Mr Batt has been “picking dates out of the sky”.

Physiotherapist Keith James, who will own the hydrotherapy suite, believes that he will not be able to move in to the baths until the autumn.

He says that the whole development has been a “shambles”, and that he has lost members of staff because of the delay.

Mr James said: “I've had people wanting to work for me, who can't. I've had people wanting to rent the space from me, but they can't – all because the dates keep changing. I've lost really good staff because of this. It's been an absolute shambles.”

He added: “But I'm very grateful to the council for standing by and facilitating, as I don't think Mr Batt can do this project on his own.”

Partners of the Bishopston Medical Practice, which is to occupy the upstairs area in the baths building, have also expressed their frustration.

A spokesperson from the practice said: “The practice is increasingly frustrated by the continued delay to move into the Bristol North Baths.

“Dates have slipped a number of times this year already and we are now being told it will be some time in the summer.

“We continue to work closely with Bristol City Council and appreciate the patience shown by our staff and patients for this move – which is now 19 months overdue.”

Mr Batt, who has defended the delays, said: “Because the project was stopped for review, the ramifications have been horrendous.

“The market place has risen tremendously, which means that it has dragged away many of my labourers – I can't blame them for wanting to go off and earn mega bucks.

“Unfortunately, it's taken a long time to get going again – and that's not through any fault of our own.

“But everything is back on track and our labour force is back up to scratch, and now we're aiming to complete the development by middle of July.”

Bishopston Voice contacted the council for a statement, but they declined to comment.