Construction company Lendlease has lost a landmark battle over who should foot a £5m cladding bill in two of Manchester’s Green Quarter tower blocks
For over a year, the Liberal Democrats on Manchester council have demanded that Lendlease be blacklisted from council contracts until they agreed to pay the crippling fee.
Instead, Lendlease went on to be awarded a huge £330m contract to refurbish Manchester Town Hall, despite opposition from the Lib Dems.
Manchester Lib Dem leader John Leech, who opposed Lendlease’s bid for the Town Hall, made the demands in several public council meetings but to no avail from the Labour-run administration.
At the time, Manchester Council’s deputy leader, Nigel Murphy said Lendlease “offered the best overall value” and “opportunities for local people.” He also said they did not consider “external factors”.
Manchester Liberal Democrat Leader, John Leech, welcomed the news, saying: “This is a huge, huge win for local people and I’m delighted that Lendlease and Pemberstone have finally taken responsibility and will pay for the new cladding. I really hope this sets a precedent across the country.
“It is, however, a sad fact that Manchester Council ignored Lib Dem demands to strip Lendlease of the Town Hall contract and refused to publicly call on them to pay the bill.
“The fact that they even considered awarding a contract worth more than a quarter of a billion pounds to a firm that has treated Manchester residents so appallingly shows just what little regard this council has for local people – and that needs to change.
“The Liberal Democrats will always be on the side of local people, not in the pocket of developers.”
A Lendlease spokesperson said: “We can confirm residents will not need to pay for the costs of replacement cladding. The process, which has involved multiple companies, has taken longer than anyone would have liked, and we regret how unsettling it has been for residents.
“We did not design, build or currently own the Vallea Court and Cypress Place buildings within the Green Quarter development and have worked with, and through others, to reach this outcome.”