THERE has been a slight stumbling block for plans to build the travellers’ site at the Westhampnett depot.
Although it does not appear likely to greatly affect the overall plan for the site, an item on an upcoming full council agenda reveals the cost of construction is set to rise by £150,000.
This summer, Chichester District Council put out a tender for construction work on the site, which is due to be completed by next spring.
“There were some difficulties in finding firms to tender,” said the report to councillors.
“The tender documents were sent to seven companies, but only three were returned, of which the cheapest tenderer was £300,000 over budget and the highest tenderer was £600,000 over budget.”
However, the report adds the district’s building services manager and quantity surveyor worked with the ‘preferred tenderer’, managing to reduce the tender price to £150,000.
This was all completed without impacting on a £630,000 grant the council is set to receive for the site from the homes and communities agency.
Originally, the overall cost of the project was put at £1.3m, including £300,000 for the CDC-owned land, leaving £1m for construction costs.
However, it has been subsequently agreed for West Sussex County Council to lease part of the CDC depot site.
A spokeswoman for WSCC said the lease was subject to CDC completing the construction of the transit site.
“Once construction is complete, the county council will act as principal tenant of the district council,” she said, adding: “Each district and borough council will then contribute to the costs incurred by the county council in the management of the transit site. Lawyers are working on the papers.”
The revised costs now put the revised total capital cost of the contract at £1.15m, some of which will be paid by the government grant.
The remainder will be divided between the district and borough councils in West Sussex, as well as the county council.
According to Chichester district council, this puts the net cost of the site for Chichester District Council at £65,000.
The site must be finished by March 31, 2015, to receive the government grant.