Corby Cube built to 'dangerous' design, report says

Corby Cube
Image caption The Corby Cube's architects have been criticised in a leaked report

The Corby Cube was built with "dangerous" design flaws which had to be corrected, a report has revealed.

The building, which houses council offices, a library and theatre, had a staircase described as "like a helter skelter", among other faults.

A leaked report by Corby borough councillors said essential changes meant the building's capacity for people was reduced to 1,560 - half of the 3,000 originally envisaged.

The building cost about £47.5m.

Fire safety fears

An all-party panel compiled information for the report.

The overview and scrutiny review committee was asked to find out why there had been a £12m overspend on the Cube.

Its report was shown to borough councillors in January, but the contents remained secret until BBC Radio Northampton was shown a copy.

Twelve months after the building was completed it still did not have a statutory buildings regulations certificate, a compliance form to prove a building's safety, the report says.

There were also fears raised over the lack of fire safety in the basement area of the Cube, which had to be rectified with the fitting of mechanical extractors.

Other faults included a staircase capable of taking 400 people leading to a door only capable of allowing 200 people out.

'Substantial unforeseen costs'

The report says that none of the work to rectify the faults was included in the building contract sum and responsibility for the extra costs, estimated at several hundred thousand pounds, sits with the council.

Among the report's conclusions are that the council has "incurred substantial unforeseen costs in order to bring the building into an occupiable state but with limitations on occupancy still unresolved".

The building's architect Hawkins Brown has been criticised for failing to comply with the brief, but has since been unavailable for comment.

Norman Stronach, the council's newly appointed acting chief executive, said: "I do not consider that what has been provided is what has been paid for."

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