Our weekend news round up features more potential misery for Jarvis and a row on housing quality involving Wilson Connolly.
In the business pages of the Independent on Sunday there is news of the latest blow to strike Jarvis, as Ireland’s Department of Education and Science warns the company that it is danger of losing its £40 million contract to build a new school of music in Cork. Jarvis is the preferred bidder for the PFI project, but has yet to close the deal because it is talks to sell its PFI arm to German construction company Hochtief.
The Sunday Times report on the potential sale of Focus Wickes, the second largest chain of DIY stores in Britain, estimating it to be worth up to £1.5 billion. Meanwhile in Scotland, one the nation’s wealthiest aristocrats, Guy Innes-Ker, the tenth Duke of Roxburghe, has outraged locals by selling off chunks of his estate to developers. According to Scotland on Sunday, a new village of luxury homes – out of the price range that most existing locals could afford – is being constructed by the river Teviot, and other developments are planned for the villages of Ancrum and Sproutson. Community council chairman Michael Young, a chartered surveyor, said: "[The Duke] made a presentation to us but basically it was ‘like it or lump it”. The Duke has been accused of cashing in on the market for executive homes within commuting distance of Edinburgh.
The Sunday Mail reports that the last house worked on by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Derngate in Northamptonshire, is set to open to the public next spring after a £1.75 million renovation. It has taken three years to restore the four-storey building, which Mackintosh finished working on in 1916, and had until recently housed an independent school.
The news will provide little comfort for those Mail readers living in homes built by Wilson Connolly, after contractor Nicholas Tombs claimed that the houses he had built for the firm were not compliant with construction quality guidelines. Wilson Connolly took Tombs to court for negligence because the homes failed to meet National House Building Council standards; Tombs said he was being made a scapegoat because Wilson Connolly’s own guidelines, which he had followed, were not as stringent as the NHBC’s.