The Week That Was - 14 October 2022

Published on 14 October 2022

Welcome to The Week That Was, a round-up of key events in the construction sector over the last seven days.

Plan for £1.5bn redevelopment of Liverpool Street Station

The developer Sellar, responsible for other major projects such as the Shard, has unveiled its initial proposals for the £1.5bn redevelopment of Liverpool Street Station in London.   The proposals include the modernisation of its existing infrastructure (such as increasing the numbers of lifts and escalators, and redeveloping the concourse and entrance to the underground) plus the addition of new office, retail and leisure schemes with new public green spaces.   However, the proposals have already met with strong opposition, including from Historic England.   A public consultation will be carried out from 21 to 23 November 2022 and a planning application is expected to be filed in early 2023. 

Please read more here.
Construction output returns to growth

For the first time in three months, construction output has increased as easing supply shortages helped cover softening demand. September saw the weakest trend for new orders since July 2020, and survey respondents (with the survey being compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence) commented that the boost to activity came, in part, from work in previously delayed projects.   Housebuilding was the best performing category in the survey in September, with commercial work increasing only slightly and civil engineering activity falling for the third month in a row.  Inflation will continue to affect both private and public projects, but the "mini-budget" provided by the Chancellor in his fiscal statement provides new infrastructure measures, with the projects announced providing a clearer pipeline of roads and projects to bid on.  

Please read more here.

Oncology case provides helpful review of a number of construction authorities 

St James’s Oncology v Lendlease Construction (Europe) Limited and Lendlease Construction Holdings (Europe) Limited saw the defendant appointed to design and build an Oncology Centre in Leeds.  When the claimant suggested that there were numerous, serious fire safety and engineering defects which could have significant impact on the centre's ability to run, Lendlease denied liability on the basis that it complied with the fire strategy agreed by all parties and the claimant had no intention to actually reinstate.   

The judgment considers a review of the authorities on several points, including:

  • measure of damages in defective works cases;
  • the relevance of intention to reinstate;
  • the circumstances in which a claimant is entitled to wait until judgment before deciding to implement a remedial scheme, and how the court will decide between rival remedial schemes, among other points. 

To read the judgement in full, click here.

Government takes first legal action against a building owner over fire safety delays

The Government has announced that it intends to take legal action against the freeholder of a 15-storey tower block where residents have suffered from two years of delays over fire safety remediation work.  The Government has given 21 days' notice to Grey GR Limited Partnership to start remediating the building's fire safety defects.  If this is not done, the Government will take the matter to court.  Unsafe cladding was discovered over two years ago preventing owners from selling their flats. 

Simon Clarke, housing secretary, hopes this action will set an example stating that, "This legal action should act as a warning to the rest of industry’s outliers – big and small.

Please read more here.
Construction firms selected to develop £500m contract

Central Bedfordshire Council has created a new framework tailored to its construction requirements and priorities such as promoting sustainability.  The procurement framework will see specialist construction firms, which meet the council's criteria, able to tender for future construction projects.  The idea behind the framework is to allow the council to develop strong working relationships with firms.  The hope is that this means that schemes can be built quicker, with quality work and cost savings.  

Please read more here.
Thanks to Emma Higgins, Liz Johnson and Nicci Da Costa for contributing to this week's edition. 

Disclaimer: The information in this publication is for guidance purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.  We attempt to ensure that the content is current as at the date of publication, but we do not guarantee that it remains up to date.  You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content.

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