London Fields Lido: Hackney Council set to sue over pool’s crumbling tiles

Refurbishment works have been completed at London Fields Lido. Picture: Polly Hancock

Refurbishment works have been completed at London Fields Lido. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Hackney Council is preparing to sue the contractors who renovated London Fields Lido a decade ago to recoup £1.5m they’ve had to spend replacing the pool’s crumbling tiles.

Test results have finally shown R Durtnell and Sons Ltd, who employed several sub-contractors to carry out specialist work on the open air pool in 2008 at a cost of £3m could be to blame.

The long-running saga began more than two years ago and it has taken two sets of tests to reach a conclusion.

Over the summer of 2016 tiles began to crack and come away from the pool wall, and temporary barriers were installed to stabilise it. Tests found problems with the stone between the pool tank and the render holding the tiles.

In October that year the council announced the pool would be shut from November until spring, but a delay appointing a contractor meant the “urgent works” did not get underway until April 2017.

The pool was then supposed to open in the summer – but works overran by a further six months meaning it was only re-opened to the public this time last year.

Another year on, a second set of tests – carried out by specialist building company Sandberg after the first batch proved “inconclusive” – has apparently apportioned blame to R Durtnell and Sons.

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The council has refused to share the report with the Gazette, citing legal privilege.

A spokesperson said: “In 2017 we used building investigation specialists Sandberg to undertake tests to help determine the cause of the issues with the tiling at London Fields Lido.

“Having received the final report from these tests, we are pursuing a claim around the original pool tank failures which we believe relate to the refurbishment works undertaken in 2007.”

The council looks set for a separate battle with Etec Contract Services Ltd which was late completing the works putting right the first mess.

In October 2017, two months before it finally reopened, the council said the work was shoddy and could be deemed to be unsafe, with uneven tiles and electrical problems throughout the building.