In the first of a series, this article examines the impact of the Derby case on how local authorities should apply and charities can claim business rate relief.
What was our role?
Our work involved three separate projects during 2015:
- A Development Agreement for the former Dudley Guest hospital site, which is being developed under a Development Lease from the Homes and Communities Agency to the developer, under which the developer will construct 39 properties for Dudley Council within a larger mixed tenure development of 157 homes;
- Mini-competition documentation (including the Development Agreement and Employer’s Requirements/Preliminaries) to call-off a developer for the Middlepark Road site on the Russell’s Hall Estate from the HCA DPP2 panel to build at least 120 new homes of which a third are for social rent; and
- A Framework Agreement for new build projects involving up to £20 million spend by Dudley Council over 4 years.
How did we add value?
Dudley Council were very keen to ensure that the projects were procured in a way that promoted Dudley as a proactive local authority that developers and contractors wanted to work with, where project risks were identified and managed in an appropriate way without compromising the objectives of delivering quality affordable housing alongside social value outputs in difficult financial times.
The Dudley Guest project was a developer led development using a procurement route that was familiar to us. However, the HCA’s ownership meant that the developer wasn’t able to give security over the site. Since stage payments were essential to the viability of the scheme as part of the agreed risk management strategy, we needed to scope and advise Dudley Council on the risks around this and build additional protections into the agreement structure to mitigate them. Our pragmatic approach meant that we were able to negotiate a Development Agreement which was both “appropriate” for a local authority to sign up to and “commercially deliverable”.
By using our template Invitation to submit Mini-Tenders (“IMT”) we were able to support the Russell Hall tender process very cost effectively. Dudley Council had a clear strategy to promote an attractive mixed tenure development opportunity and mitigate significant environmental, cost and planning risks to the project which would ensure affordable deliverability to tight deadlines. We provided guidance on the award criteria for the mini competition, based on those that were used by the HCA when inviting tenders for the HCA DPP 2 Framework Agreement. We also drafted the Development Agreement using the HCA template in their Framework Agreement. This involved fairly extensive amendments to the template, both to simplify it and to make it suitable for the project.
For the new build framework, Dudley were looking to procure a flexible framework that was attractive to potential developers whilst providing a robust, structured supply chain with opportunities for employment and training in delivering ongoing development of small complex sites. We drafted the Framework Agreement using our template which incorporates the JCT Framework Agreement 2011 terms. Our amendments included call-off procedures to allow for the direct award of contracts (based on the JCT Design and Build Contract 2011, or any update) without the need for any further tender process. We also reviewed the Invitation to Tender, which Dudley Council had drafted based on the template that we provided to them, and helped Dudley Council write the tender evaluation criteria.
Paul Griffiths, Head of Housing Assets and Development at Dudley Council said,
“Anthony Collins Solicitors were engaged by Dudley Council because of their pragmatic approach to ensuring that procurement projects were compliant with relevant legislation whilst also focussing on delivering the practical, tangible outcomes that were important to Dudley Council. The timely, expert advice and services provided by Anthony Collins Solicitors was invaluable in helping Dudley to achieve these key objectives.”
For more information
Please contact Andrew Millross
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