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Cash row halts work on tallest tower block in Wales

The flagship 29 storey development which comprises seven individual blocks in Meridian Quay, Swansea, is two months away from being finished but the site is now quiet.

Contractors Carillion, one of the UK's biggest construction companies with 50,000 employees, have downed tools. Ferrara Quay Limited, the company behind the project, confirmed that it is looking to employ another construction company to complete the last section of work.

It is estimated the 110 metre high building is 95% complete and only three apartments out of 123 have yet to be sold. But Carillion workers and sub-contractors, including electricians, painters and decorators, are no longer on the site which overlooks Swansea Marina and Bay.

It is not the first delay that the development has suffered. Planning permission was originally approved in December 2004, but was hit by delays and the scheduled start date of February 2005, was pushed back another 18 months.

The real estate agents selling apartments in the tower said it was unable to talk publicly about the row. 'We are not at liberty to discuss what happened,' said a spokeswoman for Dawsons.

However, a statement from Ferrara Quay indicated that it was Carillion that halted their involvement. 'A dispute arose in recent weeks between Ferrara Quay and Carillion. Unfortunately, a resolution to this dispute could not be found and as a consequence Carillion exercised their right to determine the building contract on Friday, April 3, despite the fact Carillion had been paid in full under the terms of their contract with Ferrara Quay,' the statement said.

'Ferrara Quay now intends to regroup with a view to complete the remainder of the development. We are pleased to say that almost 100 apartments have cash completed to date and have been occupied in recent months,' the statement added.

A spokesman for the local authority said the latest setback was 'a matter between the developer and the contractor' but that they remained positive about the project being fulfilled. 'We are confident completion of the project will be achieved in the near future because construction is at an advanced stage and this is a high-quality, prestigious and landmark development,' he said.