Planned parade improvements over budget by more than £65k

jpco-7-11-12 Broadfield Barton (Pic by Jon Rigby) ENGSUS00120120611101920
jpco-7-11-12 Broadfield Barton (Pic by Jon Rigby) ENGSUS00120120611101920

Work to revamp one of the town’s shopping parades will not be achievable within the £452,000 budget it was allocated.

Broadfield Barton was due to receive new canopies, paving, CCTV and improved parking as part of a project funded by Crawley Borough council, West Sussex County Council and local businesses.

The borough council has confirmed the work would cost an extra £65-£70,000 to complete, taking it over the half a million pound mark.

Cllr Chris Oxlade, (Lab, Ifield), Cabinet member for community engagement, said: “Original estimations for work to start was this summer which were hoped to be complete in the autumn.

“Some slippage in the schedule is now expected due to the complexity of the scheme and negotiations.

“Rest assured, we are working hard to get this project that we inherited from the Conservatives back on course and deliver the project the residents of Broadfield deserve and expect.”

The Barton is one of the few neighbourhood parades which is not owned by the borough council.

Council leader Cllr Peter Lamb (Lab, Northgate) is due to meet with Cllr Oxlade to discuss how much of the project will be able to go ahead.

The borough council’s contribution was £300k. If the full scheme is progressed, that would rise to £365,000-370,000.

Conservative leader Cllr Duncan Crow (Furnace Green)said: “I am told by council officers that costs in the construction industry have risen in the last couple of years which will mean that if the most comprehensive option goes forward, the finance allocated to it will now not be enough.

“The council can either revise the scheme to do less or invest more for the most comprehensive improvements.

“The shortfall is less than what would be needed for a separate, un-evidenced and less-direct cycle path for the new Tilgate Park access road that risks not being used, and I would like to see this money invested in the best scheme for Broadfield Barton for the benefit of thousands of Broadfield residents.”

Not the first budget buster

The Broadfield Barton improvements is not the first project part-funded by the borough council to cost more than was originally planned. The Maidenbower Pavilion saw an overspend of £271,000 in 2012. This was put down to “flaws” in the project management. The Pavilion was meant to cost £1,055,000 but came in at £1,326,000.