Hackney Council says that claim against Whitby Bird relates to mechanical and structural engineering defects at Leisure Centre.

Hackney Council has commenced its second round of litigation relating to the troubled Clissold Leisure centre by holding engineer Whitby Bird accountable for some of the structural problems with the building.

The centre, which has been shut since last December, has lain empty while engineer Arup and architect Bickerdike Allen compile a report into the design problems associated with the structure.

The first round of litigation, relating to time and cost overruns, was recently settled with architect Hodder Associates and QS Davis Langdon settling out of court without any admission of liability for an undisclosed fee.

A spokesperson for Hackney Council said: “The claims against Whitby Bird relate to inadequacies in design and inspection. The claims concern mechanical and structural engineering defects. Hackney is advancing a claim on advice from experts. However, until Whitby Bird has an opportunity to respond Hackney has no more comment.”

A court meeting was scheduled for last Friday but was cancelled.

It’s pathetic to think that it’s been closed for so long and so much money has been wasted.

Mark Whitby

Whitby Bird said the problems with the building could have been sorted out but had been allowed to get worse.

Co-founder Mark Whitby said the problems with the building were a storm in a teacup and criticised Hackney’s “litigiousness”.

He said: “It’s pathetic to think that it’s been closed for so long and so much money has been wasted.”

He added that problems had arisen when minor faults in the building were allowed to get worse.