Council awarded £1.3 million damages over 'badly-designed' Wakefield school

Architects which badly designed a Wakefield school have been ordered to pay the council £1.3 million in damages.

By Nick Frame
Wednesday, 6th April 2022, 10:21 am

An independent report into Sandal Magna Primary Academy found that the school was 'poorly built', with its leaky roof repeatedly forcing pupils out of the classroom, despite only being built in 2010.

Attempts to fix it have been constantly hit by setbacks and cost taxpayers millions.

An adjudicator awarded the cash to Wakefield Council after finding that the architects that designed the Belle Vue Road building were largely responsible for the issues, although there were also issues identified with the original construction company’s design responsibilities and workmanship in respect of the roof.

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The school on Belle Vue Road.

Vicky Schofield, acting corporate director for children and young people said: “Our priority is always to ensure the welfare of pupils and staff, as schools must be safe and an environment that support everyone to learn and develop their knowledge and skills.

"We welcome the adjudicator’s decision, which confirms responsibility for these longstanding issues.

"Thankfully the matter is now resolved, and the completed building has been formally handed over to the academy trust.”

The inquiry was commissioned by Wakefield Council leader Denise Jeffery last year days after it was revealed that one contractor was being paid £17,500 a week by the council, despite being unable to do any repair work on site.

The inquiry found that warnings about the roof's design were first raised in 2009, while the school was being built, in an angry email exchange between architects SWA and builders Allenbuild.