Developers issue statement over delays to building work on Chapel Walk
The developers behind the work on Chapel Walk have issued a statement apologising for the delays in the removal of scaffolding which has blighted the walkway for nearly two years.
Fargate Evolve Developments Limited apologised to traders and shoppers for the disruption caused by the scaffolding, blaming the delay in building work on 'asbestos and other costs’.
In a statement Mark Mitchell, the Managing Director of Fargate Evolve Developments Limited, said: “Fargate Evolve Developments Limited would like to sincerely apologise for the disruption that the development on Chapel Walk has caused. Delays caused by asbestos and other costs beyond our control has necessitated a financial restructuring of the project which we are trying to complete in the very near future.
“Our current plan is to get the scaffold down early in the new year with a push to get the Chapel Walk scaffold down as soon as possible once the building has been made fully watertight.
Chapel Walk has been masked with scaffolding since September 2017 as work a £4.6 million scheme to build apartments has continued at a snail’s pace.
Traders have become increasingly frustrated, with many reporting a huge drop in their takings since the development began.
They pleaded for help at a recent council meeting, after being told the scaffolding would remain into the peak Christmas shopping period.
Along with pursuing compensation, the council is also looking at giving traders a hardship grant.
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Coun Mazer Iqbal, cabinet member for business and investment, said it was “unacceptable” the work had gone on for so long.
Speaking to traders at the council meeting, he said: “I share your anger and frustration, it’s unacceptable that this developer has made several commitments, not just to ourselves but to the businesses.
“This is not our building and when the application went through we agreed a timetable like we do with other developers. Here, when we have met with the developer, they have run out of cash, that’s why the work had stalled.
“We then chased them up and asked them to provide us with a timetable of when the work is going to start and I understand at the last meeting we had with Coyne they gave us an assurance that the work would be completed by June and we are sticking to that date. It’s unacceptable that it has to go on for so long.”
Coun Iqbal said he would love to remove the scaffolding but it would be unsafe and put businesses below at risk of water damage.
He added: “I have asked Sheffield BID to look at a compensation claim against Coyne. It’s unacceptable that Coyne has put businesses in this difficult position.
“We will come and put a case together to look at how we get Coyne to compensate for your losses.