Vale Industrial Units
The full extent of this project was quite complex in that we were handed a site that had suffered a huge industrial fire. The existing building was an industrial laundry that had been situated there since 1935. Nearly 40 Firefighters were involved in tackling the blaze, with five fire appliances trying to get to grips with the fire, needless to say the building was beyond salvage.
We were involved with the initial assessment of damage and securing the site so that the public were safe from debris. During this period the insurance company appointed a loss adjuster to act on their behalf to assess the claim. At this point we took the lead and appointed the necessary consultants to act on the client’s behalf to ensure the best outcome.
The initial assessment was to ascertain what percentage of the building was salvageable (with the insurance company wanting to salvage as much as possible to reduce the claim). What we also needed to consider is that the building regulations and planning is vastly different from 1935, so although insurance companies do not accept “betterment”, we can’t put back what was there in 1935 it just won’t comply. We were there to act on behalf of the client and ensure the insurance company is fully aware of what can and can’t be done under the current regulations and planning laws.
We initially appointed a demolition contractor to clear the site and remove all residual building contamination. Once the site was cleared, we submitted a full planning application to Conwy Council for three new industrial units (originally it was a single unit). The new use was for B1 Business, light industrial. This was suitable for a residential area.
The procurement method used for this project was a “Design & Build” Contract.
To add to the above, negotiating the claim is complex and there are various options open to you aside of reinstatement of the existing building you have lost. You can accept a cash settlement, or you can even build a new building on another site. All these have good and bad points about them, and we advised the clients to appoint a loss assessor to act on their behalf. In this instance we used Harris Balcombe to act for the client because the communication from the insurance company was not satisfactory. I cannot recommend them highly enough, they did a fantastic job of getting the insurance company to accept liability, provide interim payments and move things at a much quicker pace.