Cheshire East tries fresh approach to attract developers
Cheshire East Council plans to sidestep the onerous OJEU process by establishing a four-year framework of developers to deliver projects with public authority land and premises.
Cllr Jamie Macrae, pictured, Cabinet member for prosperity and economic regeneration, said: "This framework will help the council bring forward development opportunities more efficiently, strategically and speed up the development process.
"We want to gather a portfolio of best-in-class companies – a mixture of top local and international developer partners. We believe that Cheshire East deserves the best."
Currently the authority has to undertake time-consuming, expensive and bureaucratic European procurement procedures to select development partners by competitive bidding for each project individually via the Official Journal of the European Union.
Under the new arrangement the local authority would appoint developers and advisers via more streamlined "mini-competitions".
A council spokesman said: "The panel is a fast and simple way to procure services for every stage of the development process from appraisal to construction for council land and assets.
Services include project appraisal, project and programme management, finance and funding, planning, design and technical advice, construction, sales and marketing.
Cheshire East has land and property valued at more than £600m.
Macrae added: "This will generate money for the Council to plough back into frontline services and capital projects, which will help deliver wider regeneration benefits to the people of Cheshire East, stimulating jobs and economic growth.
"The council has a responsibility to local Council Tax payers to manage its landholdings and property assets as effectively and efficiently as possible. The creation of a new developer framework panel will help the Council deliver this.
"The framework will make the procurement process faster and simpler and more in accordance with the council's corporate objectives and priorities.
"There is also a need for a significant number of new homes in the borough over the period of the next Local Plan. The council has a responsibility to make land and property available to help facilitate the new development required."
The new framework agreement will run for a maximum of four years. The proposed timetable for the creation of the framework would see the council inviting tender submissions by July 2013, with the panel of contractors and developers in place soon afterwards.