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Multi-million pound settlement ends Kent County Council's Margate gallery battle

The original Snohetta design for the Turner Centre in Margate.
The original Snohetta design for the Turner Centre in Margate.

A payment of £6m has brought to an end a legal dispute between Kent County Council and architects behind the original plan for the Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate.

The dispute involved KCC, Snohetta AS, Davis Langdon LLP and Ramboll UK Limited and resulted in court proceedings said to have cost the county more than £600,000.

A statement from KCC said that the dispute concerned the original plans for the gallery on the town's seafront, and its design, engineering advice, costs, project management and the intended construction.

The settlement was received without any admissions of liability and ended the prospect of a court case that was scheduled to take place next month.

Relief at County Hall - read Paul's blog on this story here>>>

The original plans for the gallery were abandoned in February 2006 after projected costs soared to more than £50m.

Among the more controversial sides to the plan was the proposal to site the gallery in the sea itself, next to the sea wall (see image above).

KCC had iincurred costs of more than £640,000 on legal fees in its battle for recompense.

Cllr Mike Hill (Con), KCC's cabinet member for communities, said: "We are pleased to say we have settled thisand we are now moving ahead and concentrating all our efforts on the new building."

Work on the new version of the £17.4million scheme, which hasbeen designed by David Chipperfield, is underway on the site. The gallery is scheduled toopen in 2011.

In a statement, KCC said:

"The parties are pleased to say that they have reached a settlement of the dispute without any admissions as to liability and that the court proceedings have been brought to an end by way of a payment to Kent County Council of £6 million inclusive of interest and costs."

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