03 November 2008 | Jake Kanter
A major regeneration of Eastbourne town centre has been put on hold after the winning supplier's submission did not meet contract requirements.
Eastbourne Borough Council (EBC) said it was "disappointed" the joint bid from suppliers Bovis Lend Lease and Performance Retail Limited Partnership (PRLP) failed to meet certain legal arrangements. This failure meant financial risks could have been transferred to the local authority.
EBC received three expressions of interest for the project but only one potential supplier was invited to tender. The council said Lend Lease and PRLP's bid did not plan to protect it against the cost of making "Compulsory Purchase Orders" - a public sector request to acquire residential land - on properties that fell within the construction scheme. The submission also included a clause that allowed the supplier to delay starting work on the project for up to seven years.
The supplier also failed to submit planning applications for key parts of the regeneration, including plans for a piazza linking the new shopping centre with the train station.
Councillors David Tutt and David Elkin said in a statement the current economic climate had an impact on the conditions of the bid. "We are disappointed that we are not able to announce a development partner to progress the regeneration of the town centre at this time. This is unfortunate news for the Eastbourne community, but we want a scheme that delivers the promises we have made."