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10Sep92 UK: HARMON SUES WIMPEY OVER £120M LITTLE BRITAIN CLADDING CONTRACT.

American cladding contractor Harmon is suing Wimpey over retention money held for the curtain walling contract at the £120 million Little Britain project.The curtain walling contract on the Wimpey developed and built office block was officially put at £22 million in mid-1990.But the real cost is thought to have been much higher as the project, like many big City of London developments built during the boom, was dogged by delays.The retention money on the contract is estimated to be worth more than £1 million.Harmon Contracts (UK), set up by the American cladding contractor to run the prestige Little Britain job and other European contracts, is seeking an injunction against Wimpey to make sure the retention money is paid into a special account.The project was developed by Wimpey Property Holdings and built by Wimpey Construction Management.The development is dominated by a 20-storey tower joined to another 10-storey tower by a trapezoidel atrium under which a road passes.The 30,000 sq m of curtain wall is glass, aluminium and granite attached to the steel framed structure.The steel frame, erected by Redpath Dorman Long, was one of those affected by the steel erectors strike and this contributed to delays on the project.Neither Wimpey nor Harmon was able to comment on the dispute.

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