THE completion date for a major housing scheme in Winchester is still uncertain.

The Chesil Lodge development, which includes 52 flats for over-55s, had an initial completion date of November which was pushed back to this month.

But a Winchester City Council spokesman said the official opening date for the centre, currently being built on Chesil Street, has not been confirmed.

An assessment of the care needs of potential residents is currently underway, with the council having already secured buyers for the two flats for sale and all six shared ownership flats. The 44 rented flats are available to applicants with an “assessed care need”.

The new building will include a day centre and 24 hour on site care for residents.

Cllr Caroline Horrill, leader of the council with the portfolio for housing services, said: “I am thrilled to see this important building nearing completion. It will offer the highest standards of build and care for residents wanting to stay in their own home but with the reassurance of on-site care when they need it.

“The overall quality of the development is excellent and I am reassured by the care and diligence being taken by Galliford Try and the council’s New Homes team to ensure that quality of the construction is not compromised.

“I am really looking forward to personally welcoming the first residents to the scheme.”

The city council states that the contractor, Galliford Try, has “encountered a number of design challenges which has resulted in a longer build than originally anticipated,” but that the cost of the delay falls to them and not the council.

Back in November, the city council was unable to confirm how much they were seeking for the delays when asked by the Chronicle under the Freedom of Information Act.

When asked whether Galliford Try were being ‘fined’ £15,000 a week due to the delay, a spokeswoman said: “The construction contract between Galliford Try and Winchester City Council sets out the position regarding delays to the completion date caused by either party.

“The council will seek Liquidated and Ascertained Damages (LADS), as provided for in the contract, for any delays for which we consider Galliford Try is responsible. LADs are based on the loss of income to Winchester City Council caused by the delay (rents and sales).”

Following an FOI request by the Chronicle requesting a figure, a spokesman said: “The LADS that we expect to impose are calculated on a formula based on a multiple of the loss of income in rents and sales from the project.

He added: “We do not yet know how much the figure is likely to be as the LADs will not be calculated until a period after the practical completion of the project.”