Belfast apartment complex may have to be demolished, court told

Owners of flats in the city centre development taking a class action over alleged flaws

Writs were issued by the apartment owners in 2016 seeking compensation against the builders and engineers

Writs were issued by the apartment owners in 2016 seeking compensation against the builders and engineers

 

A Belfast city centre apartment complex may have to be demolished due to structural defects, the High Court has heard.

More than 50 owners of flats in the Library Square development are taking a class action over the alleged flaws.

Located in Kent Street, the nine-storey building opened in 2006.

Writs were issued by the owners in 2016 seeking compensation against the builders and engineers.

The claims are for losses due to alleged structural and design defects.

In court on Wednesday it was indicated that the case was close to a resolution. But there is still dispute on whether the complex can be economically repaired.

Gerald Simpson QC, for the builders, said: “The only issue is whether or not the apartment block has to be taken down or can be remediated.”

Compensation

Some experts in the case believe the issues cannot be fixed, the judge was told.

A hearing on the level of compensation to be paid out to the apartment owners is due to get under way later this month. However, a last-minute wrangle among insurance companies involved in the case has led to a delay.

Mr Justice Horner gave the parties more time to resolve the issue.

Adjourning the case to the start of December, he told lawyers: “You can either settle it in the next two weeks or it’s going on for trial.”