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MJ Gleeson in £4m battle with 12 subbies over MK school defects

Hampshire-based contractor MJ Gleeson is in a £4m legal tussle with 12 of its former subcontractors after “numerous defects” were allegedly found on a school project the team completed in Milton Keynes seven years ago.

According to papers filed at London’s Technology and Construction Court, MJ Gleeson had been appointed by Milton Keynes Council on 6 May 2003 to design and construct the Giles Brook school at Tattenhoe.

But the writ said: “Since completion, numerous defects with the works have been alleged by Milton Keynes Council.”

The school was forced to close in 2006, with problems alleged to include the sagging of a classroom ceiling.

In a statement on the school’s website, headteacher Phil Scull said: “The school was virtually re-built during the period October 2006 - April 2008 after it was closed due to major building defects after only three years of operation.” 

The council issued proceedings against Gleeson over the defects, claiming it was owed a total of £3.72m plus interest.

Gleeson has now in turn launched a claim against its subcontractors, including Cambridgeshire-based Aylward EMS - a subsidiary of T Clarke - Coltman Precast Concrete, from Birmingham, Deeside Project Management, based in Bedfordshire, and Higham Flat Roofing, a Northamptonshire contractor.

The claim also involves Hi-Tech Flooring, Steadfast Roofing and Leighway Construction Services, all from Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes City Glaziers, PLJ Groundworks from Hertfordshire, S&G Aluminium, from South Yorkshire, Solaglas, from Coventry, and Buckinghamshire-based Tofield.

The writ said: “Gleeson considers that responsibility for the defects rests with the defendants.”

It has claimed damages, or alternatively an indemnity in respect of the value of the sums claimed by the council.

Gleeson, which was unavailable for comment, has also asked for costs and interest, as well as “such other relief as the court sees fit”.