Rydon in line for £65m west London housing job


Ealing Council confirmed to Construction News that the contractor had been approved by its cabinet as development partner for the regeneration of High Lane Estates in the west London borough.

The deal will see the contractor finance, develop and submit a planning application for the new development, before demolishing the existing estate and replacing it with mixed-tenure housing, the majority of which will be affordable.

Rydon was the main contractor on the £8.7m upgrade of Grenfell Tower completed last summer in the neighbouring borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Police have said 79 people are reported dead or missing since fire ripped through the building last week.

The exact cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

The government confirmed yesterday it had ordered councils and social housing providers to urgently check whether any panels on their new-build or refurbished buildings are clad with aluminium composite material (ACM), which is believed to have been installed at Grenfell Tower.

Rydon has insisted all its work on the refurbishment met all required building control, fire regulation and health and safety standards.

Ealing Council is currently providing support to the Grenfell fire humanitarian effort, including providing staff to the assistance centre established at the West Way Sports Centre and to the London-wide Grenfell Fire Response Team.

It confirmed to CN that Rydon had been chosen as preferred development partner for the High Lane Estates contract, but that no deal had yet been signed.

The High Lane Estates contract would be the second development partner deal struck between Rydon and Ealing Council on a major regeneration, after Rydon’s 50:50 joint venture with A2Dominion Regeneration won the £155m revamp of Green Man Lane Estate (pictured).

Last year the JV also got the green light to construct a new building as part of the expansion of the nearby St John’s Primary School.

In Ealing Borough Council cabinet minutes dated 25 April 2017, council cabinet members authorised the borough’s executive director of regeneration and housing to negotiate and finalise the legal agreements with Rydon.

The next step will see a preferred bidder letter signed by both parties and an acceptable development proposal agreed.

Rydon will then be expected to proceed with a detailed development and design proposal as part of the project’s planning application.

According to Ealing Council’s cabinet minutes, of the three firms shortlisted for the contract, Rydon’s bid was the most “economically advantageous”, with a “very strong financial offer coupled with excellent construction delivery and programming”.

It said the delivery and aftercare proposals were also strongest on Rydon’s bid, with “strong commitments to residents and support for sustainable regeneration”.

When contacted by Construction News to ask whether the fire at Grenfell would have any impact on the procurement of the High Lane Estates project, the council said it would not.

No contract has been agreed or signed with Rydon as of yet, despite its cabinet approving Rydon as its development partner.

A council spokeswoman said: “The High Lane estate scheme is in the very early stage. All designs will be fully consulted on with residents and partners and will meet all current fire safety standards.”

She added: “The next step is to agree a preferred bidder letter signed by both parties, which is not yet done, and then work to produce an acceptable development agreement.

“The current poorly designed housing blocks will be replaced by new mixed-tenure blocks that meet all modern fire safety standards.”

Rydon has been contacted for comment.

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