Corby Cube overspend: Architects withdraw legal action threat

Corby Cube The Corby Cube is estimated to have cost £12m more than expected, according to the report

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The firm of architects which helped to design the Corby Cube has withdrawn its threat of legal action against the borough council.

Corby Borough Council said in a report on the £12m overspend that firm Hawkins Brown did not stick to its brief.

Hawkins Brown withdrew the legal threat but wrote to every councillor in Corby in August, asking them for a chance to defend itself.

However, councillors have been told not to respond "for legal reasons".

The Cube houses council offices, a library, theatre and register office. It cost £47.5m and opened in November 2010.

'Unfairly critical'

In the letter to councillors, Roger Hawkins from Hawkins Brown said: "We are concerned that the Public Report of Scrutiny Review into the Cube, Parklands Gateway is unfairly critical of work carried out by ourselves and the whole design team."

The company said the report contained a number of false statements and inaccuracies.

Norman Stronach, acting chief executive of Corby Borough Council, said: "Whilst Corby Borough Council takes the letter into consideration we have advised that councillors do not respond directly for legal reasons.

"The council is planning on reconvening the Scrutiny Panel which undertook the Cube report to take into account the comments made in the letter and decide if it makes any alteration to the recommendations given."

The report also criticised the board that oversaw the construction of the building, describing it as "ineffective in controlling or giving direction to the project".

Corby Borough Council said it was also awaiting the Audit Commission's independent report.

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