Costs rise by £4m in November as Council says new boreholes will are required to safeguard water supply.

Bath Council has conceded that the cost of the ill-fated Bath Spa project rose more than £4m last November alone.

The huge rise in costs comes as it was revealed that the council needs to build new boreholes to safeguard water supplies to the project, total costs of which have now risen to £33m

The rise in costs occurred at the same time as a spat between architect Grimshaw and contractor Mowlem over whether leaks in the steam room floors were down to design or construction faults.

Boreholes already exist from three sources but one of the boreholes put in seven years ago did not reach the centre of the water reserves and will have to be replaced.

The report, to the council’s Major Projects Overview and Scrutiny Panel, said that the cost of the project in October including money set aside to cover unexpected risks and before legal claims would be £29.122m.

The prediction a month after was £33.371m, with £1.13m of the extra £4.2m put in to guard against project risks.

The report says: “The increase month on month is to allow for the potential cost of works and consequential delay costs to the steam room floor and rooftop and main pool surrounds, the costs of a springs boreholes improvement programme and the implementation of an electronic document management system.”

The report added that the council would pursue third parties to recover costs of works and delays.

The report says Mowlem has specified a further delayed completion date, but does not reveal what it is.

The council said that both Mowlem and Grimshaw had cancelled meetings to sort out problems with the leaks, despite the council demanding that they meet up.

There is still no planned opening date for the spa project, which could cost more than £35m, independent consultants have said. The original budget for the scheme was £13m.