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Bestway bowls a wrong'un at North London Waste Authority (The Ashes - incinerators - gettit?)

BXC Scheme / NLWA / DEFRA / PFI Bidders

Dear North London Waste Authority,

Bestway notices that DEFRA has just published the criteria upon which they evaluated the current PFI bids from around the country. [Here - hope you like lime green.]

It is very easy to see why the North London Waste Authority's PFI bid did not make the grade, to attract Government funding.

Fifty per-cent of the weighting refers to ‘deliverability’ – and the NLWA position is:

'It is in dialogue with long list of bidders' – thus scoring only 1 out of 5.
‘The project has no bidders with planning consents, but is offering acceptable sites to bidders for part of the solution' – scoring 1 out of 5 again.

We are aware that some waste authorities are proposing to challenge their assessments, including the NLWA. However, as the NLWA only scores 2 out of 10, on 50% of the score, then we suggest that the full PFI package – for which substantial funding was sought – is already a lost cause.

We believe that the NLWA will now have to move to a leaner, and more deliverable, package, but that will take quite some time to develop. It will, in reality, involve the views of bidders, who are now well aware how difficult and expensive it will be, ever to acquire the Bestway site at Geron Way [Brent Cross]. They will no doubt 'swerve' around such problems, and submit clean and compliant bids, without the Bestway site.

As we all know, the theory is that the NLWA's PFI deal will deliver the waste handling facility, along with the fuel production site and the combined heat and power plant. Is this the true responsibility of the NLWA? (No, we suggest not.) Is it the responsibility of the PFI Contractor? (Yes, we suggest it is – or maybe it's the responsibility of the BXC developers.)

This is interesting, since we think the BXC developers view the waste elements as 'gifts' from others – paid for by others – and which release the current 'Hendon Waste Transfer Site' for high-value development, and provide the developers with their sustainability and on-site renewable energy credentials.

We require the NLWA to confirm their current programme, and compare this to the BXC development programme. The provision of the new ‘waste facility’ is in Phase One of the latter. We suggest that the developers will soon be in panic mode over the above!

From the PFI tender documents, we read that it is the responsibility of the PFI contractor to obtain the necessary approvals for the various facilities, within six months of signing the delivery contract. That will be a very tall order indeed, unless they've worked things up in advance and, as we have said above, that is unlikely!

The slippage and ‘re-review’ of the NLWA waste and fuel contracts will soon mean more slippage of the BXC delivery programme.

There are those who might question whether there is 'unreasonableness' or not, in the use of public funds or delivery contracts, to deliver benefits for private developers. We see that we will need to look much more deeply into this, before we can form a view.

We have said it before, and we are saying again: the NLWA doesn't need the Bestway site, and never honestly did, and the sooner the NLWA admits this, the better for all of us.

We are sending the above information to the media and press, to get our message out, loud and clear, to as many people as we can. Everyone will clearly see what is really going on here, and we therefore require a full and proper response from the NLWA.

It is also our intention to send this message to all of the relevant NLWA PFI bidders.

It will be wholly unacceptable to just reply by saying, "Your points are noted, but the matters are confidential.”

The above are very serious matters, and there are key points of principle here, which, if you do not address them now, will only fuel suspicion that you merely choosing not to respond, That would not be at all helpful.

Regards, Bestway
Hammerson's hopes turn to ...

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