Appeal Court dismisses council’s damages claim against architects over failed social housing development

Midlothian Council, who raised an action for £12 million in damages over the loss of a social housing development claiming that a firm of architects appointed as lead consultant had “assumed responsibility” for the other contractors’ negligence has had its claim dismissed following an appeal.

Judges heard that the pursuers Midlothian Council had raised the action against Bracewell Stirling Architects (first defenders), Raeburn Drilling & Geotechnical Ltd (second defenders) and RPS Planning & Development Ltd (third defenders) in respect of the loss of the development of 64 social homes at a site in Gorebridge, Midlothian, which were rendered uninhabitable as a result of the ingress of carbon dioxide from disused mine workings.

The Inner House of the Court of Session upheld a decision of a commercial judge, who ruled that the imposition of liability on Bracewell Stirling for a breach of contract by any of the other consultants or contractors, regardless of their contractual relationship with the architects and even if they were appointed before the architects had become involved, would be a “striking departure from ordinary legal principle”.

Read the in-depth article on Scottish Construction Now