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Angry businessman rips up Waterside Farm football pitch
A FURIOUS businessman ripped up concrete at Waterside Farm after being left £12,000 out of pocket when a contractor responsible for its £5million revamp went into administration.
In a fit of rage Ronald Downs, director of Benfleet-based subcontractor Unidig, tore up the concrete foundations of the leisure centre’s new artificial pitch after not being paid for installing it for over a month.
The company has been forced to lay off almost a third of their staff after the contractor who hired them – A P Thompson Sports Engineering Limited – fell into administration on September 27.
However, tempers reached boiling point when Mr Downs approached Morgan Sindall, the company in charge of the whole project, for compensation and was refused.
Mogan Sindall told the Echo last week they could not get involved.
Storming the site with a pneumatic drill, he dug up the concrete base of the goal posts, and ripped out the kerbs stones surrounding the pitch.
Mr Downs said: “There is absolute no excuse for this. Those materials are mine, I bought and paid for them, and as long as we haven’t been paid for the work we carried out it makes it harder for us to buy new materials for our next jobs.
“The situation has come at a huge cost to us, especially having to let staff go, and we just want what’s owed to us.”
Castle Point Council is splashing out millions to revitalise the seventies-built leisure centre, off Somnes Avenue, Canvey, in a bid to keep it open for another 20 years.
The council announced last month it would have to spend an additional £1million to install a new roof over the swimming pool, pushing back the completion date for the project by three months to August 2013.
The renovation will include a new open-plan glass entrance, extensive interior redecoration, redesigned changing rooms, and a new community and conference hall.
A spokesman from Castle Point Council said: "This is a matter for the Council’s contractor Morgan Sindall to resolve. Council officers have visited Waterside Farm, Morgan Sindall are dealing with the contractor.
"It is unfortunate that any damage caused by the contractor digging up the work to the sports pitch will delay the opening of the all weather sports pitch."
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