7. Who will carry out the redevelopment work?
The Council considered various options to deliver the redevelopment of the Port, which ranged from selling the land on the open market, and not having any further involvement in the site, to redeveloping the site itself. The decision was to follow a middle position to seek a Developer to work with the Council to see the ambitious vision for the Port realised.
As a public body, the Council is required to follow the European Procurement Rules, which have been enshrined in UK procurement legislation (so did not change with Brexit). Expressions of interest were sought, interested parties shortlisted and the shortlisted bidders taken through an Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) competitive dialogue process. Competitive dialogue is a public-sector tendering option that allows for bidders to develop alternative proposals in response to a client’s outline requirements. Once their proposals were developed to sufficient detail, tenderers were invited to submit competitive bids. The aims were to increase development quality by encouraging innovation and to maintain competitive pressure in bidding for complex contracts.
The rules for the process are set out in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and needed to be adhered to closely as any divergence could have left the Council open to legal challenge, which can be very expensive and time consuming to respond to. The process had to adhere to the core principles of fairness, transparency, non-discrimination and proportionality.
Once the bids had been developed to sufficient detail, tenderers were invited to submit competitive bids by providing responses to the Council’s tender evaluation criteria. These were scored by officers with specialist knowledge in those topic areas together with the Council’s consultants. This resulted in a preferred bidder, St Modwen Homes, who was approved by members at Strategy and Resources Committee on 12th July 2022.