Ground-breaking school project saved thanks to swift action from council

Published Tuesday, 21st May 2019

Sutton Council is ambitious for the borough’s children and also about long term environmental sustainability in the face of growing concerns about climate change.

It has therefore acted swiftly to rescue a DfE-funded project to build the first Passivhaus primary school in Sutton.

Work started on the expansion of Hackbridge Primary School in June 2017. Following a contract let to Lakehouse Contracts Ltd (Lakehouse), the school was set to become the first Passivhaus primary school in Sutton. Sutton Council terminated the construction contract in January 2019 due to non-performance of the main contractor. Subsequently (and unrelated to the contract termination), Lakehouse went into administration.

Sutton Council immediately secured the site and established a plan to complete the project. Following due diligence and market testing a negotiated contract with an existing supplier to the council was the best option to ensure the school is built. Willmott Dixon Construction Ltd has therefore been appointed to complete the works.

Whilst the total cost to complete the work will now be higher than the original contract sum it can still be managed within the funding received from the Department for Education to fund school places. Sutton Council will endeavor to recover and claim against any monies owed to recoup as much as possible.

Councillor Marian James, Chair of Sutton Council’s People Committee said:

“I’m pleased to be able to announce the immediate action we have taken to secure this project. The expansion of Hackbridge Primary School is an important part of our ambitious plans to ensure Sutton’s children get the best possible start in life.

“We’re working hard to get the school finished and open as quickly as possible following the setbacks we have faced. Hackbridge Primary will become our first Passivhaus primary school in the borough.”

Notes to editor:

Passivhaus is a building standard designed to ensure maximum energy efficiency in a building to reduce ecological impacts. Buildings built to this standard have ultra-low energy usage with little energy used for both space heating or cooling.