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Council facing £5m+ claim from construction firm after project stopped during lockdown: report

Northumberland County Council faces a legal claim for some £5.5m after a construction project was shut during the COVID-19 lockdown, it has been reported.

The BBC said that construction firm Farrans is claiming the money in losses on the £30m Blyth energy park project, which it was building for council-owned developer Advance Northumberland.

Advance Northumberland is understood to have halted work in late March at a point when some construction sites were permitted to keep working.

There is a further dispute over whether Advance Northumberland had the authority to make this decision on its own account or should have referred the matter to chief executive Daljit Lally, who is now on extended leave due to an unrelated dispute with council leader Peter Jackson.

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A Northumberland County Council spokesperson said: “This is a commercially sensitive matter between a contractor and Advance Northumberland and at this stage the council has nothing further to add.”

Farrans did not respond to a request for comment.

Mark Smulian

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