It is just a bit rich that the damage was done on the watch of the past chair of Asset Management – who is also the present chair and he now somewhat pompously says it must be put right!!! Er, if, as a council officer says “the survey wasn’t as extensive as in hindsight the council would have wished it was ..” perhaps this is one for the Scrutiny Committee!
“An extra £150,000 will have to be spent on resurfacing an Exmouth car park – because it was never laid properly by the council in the first place.
Improvement works, including resurfacing and construction of a new entrance, had been taking place at the Maer Road car park.
But John Golding, East Devon’s strategic lead for housing, health and the environment, told a cabinet meeting on Wednesday that when work began, it became apparent the car park construction was substantially poorer beneath the surface that had previously been assumed.
He added: “We have found that the construction of the existing surface in the vicinity of the new entrance appears to be made up of compacted stone with a thin veneer of tar and chip over the surface.
“Given the limited depth of construction, and surface condition, it is likely that the car park would deteriorate very rapidly once larger vehicles are allowed onto it.
“More extensive works comprising both new sub-base and a tarmac finish are required to complete the project satisfactorily. We already have the contractors on site and we can do the work before the summer holidays commence.”
He added that this would result in an increase in the total overall budget of £151,760 and asked cabinet for approval to complete the work.
Cllr Geoff Pook, portfolio holder for asset management, added: “We need to do this. We have to look at our assets on a long life basis. We need to do a proper job from day one and don’t want to have to patch in a few years’ time or have a car park that cannot be used by heavy vehicles. It is out car park so we in any case would have had to do something and bring our own car park up to standard.”
Cllr Jack Rowland asked why this defect wasn’t discovered at an earlier stage during the survey works.
In response, Mr Golding said that the survey wasn’t as extensive as in hindsight the council would have wished it was.
Cllr Ben Ingham, leader of the council, added: “We made a false assumption that we had done the job properly in the first place and that they didn’t need to check the sub-layers, but that was a wrong assumption.”
The cabinet unanimously agreed to the extra spending to resurface the car park to provide a good surface and base layer for 20 years.”