Laing O’Rourke to be replaced on £80m Whitechapel job

Grant Prior 7 years ago
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Laing O’Rourke has parted company with L&Q at the developer’s £80m Whitechapel Central mixed use job in east London.

Work was due to start on site imminently
Work was due to start on site imminently

Construction was due to start on site early this year after O’Rourke was lined-up as main contractor and planning permission was granted in September.

But now the job is being retendered despite O’Rourke putting in a lot of pre-construction work.

O’Rourke was planning to make extensive use of offsite construction techniques and modular components from its factory in Derbyshire.

The contractor had even posted up a video on YouTube  containing BIM images ahead of a site start at Whitechapel detailing how the scheme would utilise offsite techniques.

The video was suddenly taken down after the Enquirer started asking questions about the project.

Now L&Q has gone back out to the market for an alternative builder.

The developer confirmed to the Enquirer that O’Rourke was no longer main contractor but declined to discuss a revised timetable.

One rival firm said: “We were all a bit surprised because the job was O’Rourke’s.

“These things are more often than not a dispute over the contract price and build costs.

“It’s a nice looking job so there won’t be a shortage of interested firms.”

The Whitechapel central scheme has been designed by architect Stockwool and is set to transform the former Safestore facility into a new urban quarter, with nearly 30% of the site dedicated to new public realm.

The scheme includes a large proportion of family homes alongside 38,000 sq ft of commercial space.

Laing O’Rourke declined to comment.

 

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