Whopping demolition bill for Kettering Job's Yard flats must be met by man who built it

The total demolition was ordered at the High Court’s Technology & Construction Court in Birmingham
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The firm behind a Kettering block of flats that is at serious risk of collapse will have to foot the demolition bill.

Michigan Construction Ltd and its sole director and chief builder, Marcus Fielding, have been ordered by the High Court to pay the six-storey apartment building’s demolition.

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Her Honour Judge Sarah Watson granted the injunction sought by planning authority North Northants Council (NNC) for the demolition of the flats in Job’s Yard.

Job's Yard, Kettering /UGCJob's Yard, Kettering /UGC
Job's Yard, Kettering /UGC

As well as paying for a third party to demolish the building, she also ordered Mr Fielding to liaise with NNC to find a ‘responsible’ contractor and to pay costs.

The timetable for demolition was set out by Simon Goldberg KC for NNC with the building having to be removed by February 28, 2024.

He said: “There is a six-week lead-in period when statutory utilities are notified. The demolition is about a week a floor – we anticipate the first defendant (Michigan Construction Ltd) will find the contractor and do the leg work. It should be done in a timely manner. It’s all down to the defendant.”

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Mr Fielding was told by Judge Watson that he should liaise with NNC to find a contractor to get a quotation. The builder said he would allow demolition staff on the site.

Asked by the judge if he had anything he would like to change of the order he replied ‘other than all of it’.

Judge said: “I am ordering this building to be demolished – it is what it is.”

After a robust discussion between Mr Goldberg and Neil Mendoza KC for Mr Fielding’s financer MAX Funding, it was decided no costs would be paid by MAX Funding to NNC, but costs would be tagged on to Mr Fielding’s loan payment.

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Mr Fielding was then ordered to pay costs of £80,000, and £40,000 of that within 14 days.

He said: “It does seem that we are paying for everything. We’re back into the same situation as six months ago, we don’t have sufficient funds.

"I put all of the money into the build.”

The only other comment Mr Fielding made was correcting the court pronunciation of Job’s Yard.