Contractor issues writ against client for Scotland's largest shopping centre over claim for variation expenses.
Contractor Bovis Lend Lease is suing developer Capital Shopping Centres for £38m for extra work it claims that it carried out on Scotland's largest shopping and leisure complex.

The move follows two court actions launched last year by Bovis over the Braehead shopping scheme in Glasgow, which opened in 1999.

The two actions have now been merged into one by Anthony Thornton, a judge at the Technology and Construction Court.

A Bovis spokesperson stressed that the action did not relate to any new dispute but was part of an ongoing dispute with Braehead Glasgow, a company owned by Capital.

Bovis claims that it is owed about £38m for building work carried out on the centre, set out in a contract negotiated in 1997.

The writ states that Bovis carried out work worth a total of £254m but that Braehead has paid the contractor only £216m.

It claims that Braehead Glasgow changed the work significantly, leading to substantial disruption and increased costs of £44m.

The writ also claims that the layout of the retail and mall areas was changed 10 times and the design was stopped to allow architects to update the whole project.

Work began on the scheme in September 1996 but Bovis says that by February 1998 the changes were so substantial that both the design and construction work were disrupted.

It adds that Braehead refused any time extension, apart from a partial extension of four-and-a-half weeks.

The troubled project was hit with problems at the beginning of last year, when two specialists contractors were understood to be owed a total of £14m. O'Rourke and Swift Structures were believed to have been owed £10m and £4m respectively; Swift has since ceased operations.

Under the contract for the construction of the centre, payment of all subcontractors fell to Bovis.

The £285m Braehead complex comprises 180 shops on two levels, a 4000-seat arena, 35,000 m² of retail warehouses, business units, a 6000-space multistorey car park and the Maritime Heritage Museum.

The scheme was designed by Building Design Partnership and developed by Capital Shopping Centres, with Bovis as design-and-build contractor, Beattie Watkinson as structural engineer, Roberts & Partners as services engineer and Cyril Sweett & Partners as quantity surveyor.