The timetable and remit of an independent inquiry into construction flaws at the DG One leisure centre in Dumfries have been revealed after a request to investigate was rejected by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Dumfries and Galloway Council approached the safety body earlier this year with concerns over its flagship facility after it revealed that repairs were set to run at least £3 million over its £10m budget.

However, the HSE confirmed in a statement that it will not be looking into the situation.

The statement said: “HSE does not generally investigate issues of poor workmanship where the work activity is complete.

“We will not ordinarily consider investigations except in cases where death or serious injury has occurred.

“In addition, a significant length of time has now elapsed since the original construction work took place, thus significantly hampering any effort to gather evidence.”

As a result the local authority announced plans for an independent inquiry, the scope and remit of which is now set to be agreed

A timetable for the investigation will go before councillors next week. The inquiry could cost around £250,000.

It is hoped a full report on the situation can be presented to the local authority in March next year.

Councillors are being asked to agree the wide-ranging remit of the inquiry which would include:

  • the council’s leadership and management of both the original and the repairs project
  • the rationale behind the design and build contract
  • contractual arrangements between Kier Northern and the council
  • the authority’s handling of the problems with the facility since 2009
  • why the issues facing the project were not discovered earlier
  • advice on wider lessons to be learned

DG One opened in 2008 but the facility was closed in October 2014 for remedial works after a number of problems were identified at the centre.

McLaughlin & Harvey was appointed to deliver internal and external repair works at the leisure centre following the long-running council’s legal settlement with Kier, which originally built the centre.

If councillors agree to the remit of the inquiry it would start this month with a final report expected in March 2018.

Source: Scottish Construction Now!

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