TAXPAYERS have potentially lost out on more than £250,000 in rental income following delays in Winchester’s Chesil Lodge scheme – although that could be reclaimed from the developer, civic chiefs have said.

It comes as councillor Caroline Horrill, city council leader and portfolio holder for housing, revealed it is expected to have cost £16.983 million when residents move in later this month.

As previously reported, the Chesil Lodge extra care scheme was delayed a number of times by developer Galliford Try, leading to the estimate being more than £150,000 over budget.

However, Winchester City Council will now seek to recover money through a claim for liquidated ascertained damages (LAD).

The 52-flat development for over-55s had an initial completion date of November last year, but was pushed back to February following delays.

In February, councillors heard from leader Cllr Caroline Horrill that they were still unsure when the major housing project would be completed, following a question by Winchester Liberal Democrat group leader Lucille Thompson.

Then in April, the council confirmed contractor Galliford Try has sent a ‘notice of completion’, meaning the handover of the building started in May and last week residents began to move in.

In response to a question from independent councillor Kim Gottlieb at last week's council meeting, Cllr Horrill said that as of May 31, £15.323 million had been spent on the scheme, and that the potentially lost ££253,000 of rental income would form part of the LAD claim.

Cllr Horrill added: "I am delighted to announce that Chesil Lodge has been fully handed over to the council from Galliford Try and is a wonderful addition to the council’s stock of affordable housing.

"Extra care housing is a very important part of our housing strategy and our commitment to provide affordable housing for all sectors of the community.

"This accommodation allows elderly residents to live independently as their care needs change, the apartments are spacious and all enjoy private balcony’s. There is a restaurant on site serving residents and visitors as well as a treatment room / hairdresser."


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