YEP Says: Insurance ruling begs so many more questions

The old Kirkstall Brewery, which is now student flats.
The old Kirkstall Brewery, which is now student flats.
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Had Leeds Beckett University won its insurance claim for £10m, having had to demolish unsafe student accommodation, it would have been worthy of comment.

But the fact that it was denied, begs so many more questions.

The judge ruled that the damage to the building was not accidental, and therefore not covered by the insurance policy.

So where does this leave the university now? How will it recoup its loss of earnings and how will it pay to replace the student rooms?

Unfortunately the University would not give any further comment to the YEP but we want to know why these buildings were ever given permission to be built and to house students when, in the words of the judgment, “the site where the building stood had a long history of springs and watercourses” and that “significant water problems were encountered during the construction”.

The water damage had caused foundations to “turn to mush” offering “no structural support”. Reading that perhaps the university is counting its blessings that the damage was just structural and not to life and limb.

There are questions here to be answered by the planning department that gave permission for the buildings, the surveyors, the architects and the developer. And perhaps this is why the university is keeping tight-lipped about the repurcussions of this judgment.

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