High Court judgment rules landmark tower is 'in disrepair"

BEETHAM Tower is in urgent need of repair work and must have sealant around over 1350 glass panels replaced, according to a High Court Judgement. 

In a legal claim brought by the owners of the Hilton Hotel Manchester (Blue Manchester Ltd), which occupies the bottom half of the landmark 47-storey tower, landlords North West Ground Rents were ordered to complete works within eighteen months and pay the hotel group undetermined damages, as well as £250,000 in costs.

The ruling comes some five years after collapsed contractor Carillion - which constructed the tower - first began carrying out safety works.

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Beetham Tower was constructed in 2006 - but has been plagued by faults

According to the Construction Enquirer, in 2014, Carillion and German contractor BUG-Alu carried out an investigation which uncovered a failure of 'the bond between the structural sealant and the polyester powder coating applied to the supporting cladding frames'.

Carillion did temporarily fit pressure plates to Beetham Tower's exterior in 2014 in order to hold panels in place. However, prolonged discussions meant a permanent solution was not reached before Carillion folded in January 2018.

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Hilton hotel's owner has also brought a separate case against architect SimpsonHaugh

It is not the first time the integrity of Beetham Tower's facade has been brought into question.

In 2012, Confidential reported that 21 windows in the tower - designed by Manchester architects SimpsonHaugh and completed in 2006 - were due to be replaced at a cost of £30,000 each after showing signs of cracking.

In February 2017, a section of road around the tower was closed by police due to an unstable pane of glass and debris, while ten years earlier, a 6 x 3ft glass panel fell 60ft from Beetham's sister tower in Birmingham - also designed by SimpsonHaugh. 

It is reported that Hilton hotel's owner has also brought a separate case against facade contractor Bug and architect SimpsonHaugh, and that North West Ground Rents are also taking legal action against Bug and Carillion’s insurers.