DELAYS to a ‘state-of-the-art’ showroom that cost £10m to build are said to have cost the company £20,000 a day.
Eastern Western Motor Group is behind plans to open a new Toyota and Lexus outlet on Dunsinane Avenue in Dundee.
The showroom should have opened on December 1 and company boss Keith Duncan has claimed the delays have cost the firm £380,000 to date, with the costs set to continue.
The project appears to have been delayed due to issues with building and fire safety regulations.
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service are said to be wading through a backlog of safety certificate applications.
It is reported that there are concerns around a fire proof ceiling at the site.
Dundee City Council is reported to be reluctant to sign off the project without a fire safety certificate.
Mr Duncan said the impasse is costing the firm thousands and described the situation as a “nightmare.”
Speaking to the Courier Evening Telegraph he said: “We have been building showrooms for decades and we’ve never experienced anything like this in our lives.
“The process with planning was relatively straightforward, but building control has been nightmarish.
“Considering building standards are moving on, everything you build is better than the last.
“We’ve built this to a standard we’ve never built a dealership before.
“The council has stood behind every minutia to avoid helping us.”
Mr Duncan accused the local authority of being “anti-business.” A spokesperson for the local authority said it was liaising with the company and the fire service to resolve the matter.
The spokesperson added that the local authority took fire safety “extremely seriously.”
He said: “There’s a fireproof wall which meets a fireproof roof. Someone’s said ‘what happens if the flames were to lick round and catch the other part that isn’t?’
“After a lot of toing and froing, they weren’t prepared to sign it off. Our project manager is gobsmacked.”
Mr Duncan added the delay has caused reputational damage to Eastern Western. He said it would make the company think twice about significant investments in the future.
He said: “We want to look after our customers. Struans lost the Toyota franchise at the end of November and we were meant to take over on December 1.
“But now we’ve got thousands of Toyota customers who can’t access Toyota servicing or work in Dundee.
“I’ve got extra drivers employed to take these customers cars to Perth. We’re happy to do that, but it is hugely aggravating.
“The reputational damage for us is difficult to put a price on. It’s embarrassing.”
A Dundee City Council spokesperson said: “Building standards officers are currently in contact with the company about their application and the consultation which needs to be concluded with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service before any temporary occupation certificate can be considered.
“Fire safety is always taken extremely seriously and the input of the SFRS is essential.
“We will continue discuss matters directly with the developers.”
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said it is in receipt of the building warrant for the premises, as part of the consultation process. It said a response would be made “in due course”.
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