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A contractual dispute

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In March 2009, Berry council in Wales contracted Tholthorpe Construction Ltd to build a bridge over the river Maesdu. The Maesdu bridge took 10 weeks longer than planned to build, and cost over £500,000 more than the £1.5m estimate. The delay meant, among other things, that goods could only be delivered to the local town of Dyer by means of a 70-mile detour. It also meant that many shoppers avoided Dyer completely, taking their business to another nearby town. The council had already agreed to pay local shop owners £7,500 each to compensate for the loss in trade and increased delivery expenses. Following negotiations with representatives from the local business community, the council has agreed to pay a further £2,500 to the 17 shops affected by the further ten-week delay. Although Tholthorpe accepts that it was partly responsible for the delay, it claims that the delays were largely a result of Berry council’s excessive administration.

The contractor claims it is still owed somewhere in the region of £360,000 by Berry council. The payment remains unresolved, although Berry council does accept that it still owes further payment to Tholthorpe Construction Ltd.

There have been discussions between Berry council and Tholthorpe Construction Ltd concerning both the final payment for the railway bridge at Maesdu and the further compensation payments paid as a direct result of the ten-week delay. However, these discussions have broken down.

On 4 April 2011, Tholthorpe Construction Ltd wrote to Berry council to outline a possible settlement under which the council would pay the outstanding £360,000 minus 35% of the extra compensation paid by the council to the shop owners. However, two weeks later it had still not received a reply.

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