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Development corporation to hire adviser for £3m legal advice on garden city

The Ebbsfleet Development Corporation (EDC), which has been set up to drive delivery of a new garden city in North Kent, is to appoint either one or two legal services providers to provide support worth an estimated £3m.

The EDC was established by the Department of Communities and Local Government in April 2015, with the Chancellor of the Exchequer also announcing that through the Government's Spending Review up to £270m would be made available for investment in the garden city.

The Corporation said: “The EDC has agreed a Core Infrastructure Programme to drive delivery of a series of housing, utilities, commercial and transportation projects. The EDC holds development management powers within its area and will determine a range of major schemes.

“Legal advice is required with the delivery of these planning powers and the development and delivery of projects, a number of which will require complex land assembly. An NSIP is envisaged in the area. Bespoke legal advice will be required in many instances. In particular early advice on scoping schemes and identifying areas of risk, options for delivery and legal structures will be required.”

The legal support has been divided into two lots:

  1. Projects (worth £2m).
  2. Planning (worth £1m).

Lot 1 of the contract is set to run for the full extent of the current EDC time-scale and expire on 31 March 2021. If the DCLG decides to extend the time-scale of the EDC's operation then consideration will be given to extending the legal support contract to match this. Lot 2 is set to run for two years. It will then be re-tendered.

The EDC said legal firms seeking to tender “must be able to show a significant track record of dealing with complex projects from inception through to delivery and closure”.

“The EDC is seeking a ‘One Stop Shop’ approach from a substantial legal firm able to draw from a broad range of in house specialists across various fields. Consortia approaches will not be considered,” it added.

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