PEACH PLACE: Construction company goes into administration

Contractors turned away 'by bouncers' preventing firms from working on their new shops

WORK on Peach Place is in chaos this morning after the council’s contractors had gone into administration.

The new shopping complex that is replacing the former Rose Street car park was due to open last November, but is not now expected to meet its revised end-of-March deadline.

This morning Dawnus Construction filed for administration and, with construction on the project currently uncertain, it means that there is no way of knowing when the site will finally open.

The Wokingham Paper understands that this morning Wokingham Borough Council took possession of the site, and that work on some of the shop fittings were continuing.

Workers from utility companies who have already been paid by Dawnus are also working on the site.

However, this morning, workers helping to build the new branch of Eden Lounge were turned away after being told that Dawnus had gone into administration.

Picture: Eden Lounge
The former Domino’s Pizza unit in Peach Place will soon become the new home for Eden Lounge

A spokesperson for the salon, which currently has a branch in Peach Street, said: “We will be in the old Domino’s Pizza site.

“Our address is Bush Walk although our doors open up on to Peach Plaza. I was told we would open in November 2018, then just last week told by a Dawnus employee that opening would be April.

“This morning my builders were stopped from entering by bouncers.

“Someone from the council has arrived and cleared permissions for our guys to access to our new premises.

“How much longer will this be delayed?”

Yesterday, Construction Enquirer reported that subcontractors had downed tools on sites were Dawnus were working, and that on Tuesday, traffic in Manchester was blocked by a digger as part of a protest against unpaid wages.

In its 2017 accounts, Dawnus Construction reported a pre-tax loss of £1.2million. Its parent company, Dawnus Group, made a pre-tax loss of £1.3 million.

The firm blamed a client that had gone into insolvency for the loss.  

This morning, it was revealed that the company had announced it was going into administration.

A number of retailers have signed up for the centre and were expecting to open this month.

They include independent gin bar The Leafy Elephant, frozen food retailer COOK, and afternoon tea specialists The Blue Orchid Bakery and Tea Room. Mountain Warehouse has been recruiting staff although it has yet to confirm its intentions.

Waterstones and GAIL’s Bakery are already open and are unaffected.  

Wokingham Borough Council has been contacted for a comment and we will update the story accordingly.

READ MORE: Council’s statement here 

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Phil Creighton

Editor of The Wokingham Paper, and has worked in local journalism for more than 20 years including the Wokingham Times, Bracknell Standard and Reading Evening Post. He's also written for computer magazines, The Baptist Times and, to his delight and probably not yours, interviewed several Doctor Whos.

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