Housebuilder Berkeley Homes is suing civil engineer Leslie Wilks Associates for £1.3m in a row over its Gosport Marina project in Hampshire.
In a High Court writ, Berkeley Homes has claimed that it has been forced to call in an alternative engineer, Gifford & Partners, after it became clear that Leslie Wilks' designs for a sea wall to reclaim land next to 46 planned flats would not work.

Berkeley alleged that a geotechnical report sent to Leslie Wilks should have shown that the old sea wall, dating from the 1970s, required better reinforcement.

The writ says the council refused to grant Building Regulations approval, so Berkeley could not complete the sale of individual properties in the development.

The developer also had to seek permission for another sea wall, designed by Gifford, which was eventually approved in June.

Berkeley claims breach of contract and duty of care, and negligence, leading to losses in excess of £1.33m.

Michael Dunn, a partner at Leslie Wilks, said the initial brief from Berkeley Homes had simply asked it to obtain building control approval for the flats that were planned on the site.

He said Leslie Wilks Associates had not taken this to include the construction of a fresh sea wall.

He said: "We didn't take the adjacent site into consideration as we were only told to design foundations for the flats."