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Major housing development to be delayed after groundwork company ceases trading

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A major housing development in Lynn is facing delays again after one of the companies working at the site ceased trading.At last night’s full West Norfolk Council meeting, cabinet member Cllr Alistair Beales told members that Bowie Construction, a sub-contractor of Lovell Homes, ceased trading last Friday.Lovell has been behind the Florence Fields development in Gaywood in partnership with the borough council, and Bowie Construction has been carrying out groundwork at the site off Parkway.

The Florence Fields development is expected to face delays after groundwork company Bowie Construction went into liquidation

Cllr Beales said the matter is a “big concern”, with the groundwork contract for the new housing estimated to be worth around £12million.“It is the stuff of big business,” he said. Cllr Beales, who is the council’s cabinet member for business, said Lovell bosses are worried about the costs, and are considering taking the groundwork operations “in-house”.He reassured fellow members that the council’s relationship is with Lovell and not Bowie Construction, which is based in Cambridgeshire.The company’s website says it has 45 years of experience in groundwork and has completed 348 projects.Cllr Beales said there are likely to be delays at the Florence Fields development, but did not put an exact timeframe on them. However, he did say that a borough council housing project at Salters Road – also being completed with Lovell – is expected to face a five-week delay. This is due to weather-related issues.The first 15 homes at that location were completed earlier this year. Lovell was also behind the council’s Hunstanton homes at Styleman Court, off Southend Road, which went on the market a few months ago.Cllr Beales said the council is taking a “constructive approach” to the news of Bowie ceasing trading, with officers engaging with Lovell and giving the matter their full attention this week. He expects to give an update on the situation soon.The Florence Fields development has already been dogged by delays. The site, which became waterlogged following Storm Babet in October last year, has faced additional issues recently due to a collapsed Network Rail culvert, which has disrupted the flow of surface water.Work began in September last year, with the name ‘Florence Fields’ paying tribute to Florence Green – the last surviving First World War veteran, who lived in Lynn at the time of her death in 2012.

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