Wates Living Space was selected as the construction partner and developer of the open market sale housing following an OJEU compliant tender process.
To celebrate the start of the new partnership, we organised an abseil event off one of the old 15-storey towers. Together with consultants and residents, we celebrated our joint commitment to teamwork, mutual trust and determination to succeed.
Given the timescales imposed by the affordable housing funding, developer selection had to take place before we had designed Erith Park. An earlier masterplanning exercise had given some information about design options and the capacity of the site, but Orbit already knew that this early plan would create issues with the build.
Orbit decided to go ahead with contractor appointment and work up a masterplan together – this allowed both parties to have an equal stake in and ownership of the design. Due to these timescales we needed to base our decision less on detailed cost information, and more on evidence of transparent open book accounting and of a genuine committed partnership.
Soon after appointment of Wates Living Space, the two organisations held a workshop to explore our shared values and aspirations for Erith Park. With senior level participation from both organisations, we found a synergy in our values and culture.
We have come together at intervals throughout the project to refresh our relationship and explore ways to improve our communication and joint-working.
Our project structure is shown here...
The mix of working groups and their membership has changed through the project, reflecting the balance of current work. They all report to a monthly Project Team which ensures the coordination of all work and deals with any potential blockages or risks to the project.
Major strategic decisions are referred to our Strategic Project Board, comprising managing directors of Wates Living Space, Orbit and Orbit Living. Those decisions which require further ratification or decision by our respective boards are referred on.
This has proved an efficient structure for shared decision making without the complexity of creating a separate legal structure.