A LONG running, costly and bitter dispute over who was ultimately responsible for a restaurant wall collapsing in Glasgow’s West End, leaving flat owners homeless, looks nowhere near being resolved.

An investigation was launched and flat and business owners were evacuated after the wall of the La Riviera restaurant in Benalder Street in Partick collapsed and fell around 20ft onto the street in August 2016.

The incident led to residents being out of their homes for almost two years and adjacent businesses, including the Dolphin Pub, remained closed for months.

A court battle ensued, between the restaurant owners, David Martyn, and the other 13 owners, over the cost for the rebuild of the restaurant, which was eventually demolished by Glasgow City Council.

Court arbitrators ruled in favour of Mr Martyn for the £180,000 costs, meaning flat owners will each pay a share but Mr Martyn was told he was liable for the £30,000 cost of the demolition.

However, a dispute remains over the circumstances which led to the wall collapsing and necessary repairs to a stairwell.

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Restaurant owner David Martyn has laid the blame of the wall collapse firmly at the door of factors Hacking and Paterson.

However, the owner of the Dolphin pub, Matthew Reilly claims Mr Martyn refused to sign a mandate for a structural survey to be carried out, when it became apparent the wall was leaning.

He also claims the restaurant roof area had severe water ingress, which weakened the structures.

Meanwhile, Mr Martyn is being pursued by Hacking and Paterson in the courts for failing to pay a share of the £80,000 cost of works to rebuild a stairwell in the tenement block, which the factor is understood to have paid.

Mr Reilly said: “The situation is as tragic for Mr Martyn as it is for us.

“Mr Martyn’s tenant refused to sign a mandate to get the work done. He has also not paid anything towards the cost of rebuilding the stairwell.

“The only reason flat owners are back in their home is because we all clubbed together for the cost.”

Mr Reilly does not believe the factors were at fault, saying that the area was cordoned off when it emerged the wall was leaning and says a plan was being drawn up on how best to tackle repairs before it collapsed.

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However, Mr Martyn believes the factors should have taken swifter action and says he was advised by his lawyers, not to pay his share of the staircase because he is owed £180,000 for the restaurant rebuild.

He said: “Far from not signing a mandate, it was my tenant who alerted Hacking and Paterson to the issue with the wall in 2016."


The Evening Times contacted Hacking and Paterson for comment but they did not respond. A letter sent to Mr Martyn and seen by our reporter, states that they did not wish to comment on our article.