Firms lose preferred construction manager status in client's latest round of cuts; building services and planning supervisor firms could be next.
Bovis and Tarmac subsidiary Schal have been dropped from airport operator BAA's list of preferred construction managers.

Mace, Taylor Woodrow and Amec have been retained to work for BAA in the South-east, Heery in Scotland and Laing for the client's development arm Lynton.

Bovis is also to be stood down on BAA's delayed Heathrow Terminal 5 project, which it has been working on since the early 1990s.

A BAA spokesman said: "For now, the Terminal 5 project is being run on a care and maintenance basis. Bovis will continue to work on the project until a suitable break point." He could not say when Bovis would leave.

The spokesman said the two firms, which were picked for the preferred list in August 1996, were being dropped because project delays had led to a shortage of work. BAA has also reorganised itself into groups that specialise in delivery of parts of buildings, such as the envelope or the fit-out, and now needs to work with fewer external firms.

It has asked the axed firms to continue to work with it until their appointment to the preferred list runs out in August 2001, and said it wants to continue to "learn" with its consultants.

Schal declined to comment, but is understood to be bemused by BAA's decision. It recently completed a £27m office development at Heathrow Terminal 3 that was let before the "framework agreement" was signed. It came in £1m under budget, with savings shared between Schal and BAA.

A Bovis spokesman said: "This is disappointing, but not unexpected. BAA's projected building programme has reduced, so clearly there is a limit to the work available under the framework agreement." In December, BAA cut its list of preferred cost consultants from eight to four, with Currie & Brown, Faithful & Gould, Franklin & Andrews and Gleeds getting the chop.

Davis Langdon & Everest, Cyril Sweett, EC Harris and Turner & Townsend remain from a deal agreed in July 1995 and due to expire in July 2000.

BAA declined to say which preferred lists would be cut next, although its four-strong building services consultant and six-strong planning supervisor lists are expected to be culled soon.

  • BAA this week announced a pre-tax profit rise of 6% to £440m for the nine months to 31 December 1998. Finance director Russell Walls said capital expenditure will remain at £400m-450m a year over the next three years, with a £150m expansion of Stansted Airport due on site in late 1999. Detailed planning permission for this is expected any day.

    However, continuing delays to a planning inquiry mean that Terminal 5 is unlikely to start on site before 2002.