Instead of picking one consortium Greenwich council proposes joint venture ‘dream ticket’ for the Ferrier estate

Housebuilders Crest Nicholson and Berkeley Homes may team up on a £550m job to redevelop the Ferrier Estate in south-east London.

The pair are the final two on the shortlist to revamp the rundown area, which will involve demolishing buildings and creating 4400 homes, two schools, a library, transport links and other community facilities.

Greenwich council, which is running the competition, is thought to have suggested that Crest Nicholson and Berkeley join forces.

A source close to the project said the council was torn between the two consortiums and thought a joint venture would be a “dream ticket”. The source said: “The council likes the Crest Nicholson scheme but has had a very positive experience of working with Berkeley, and especially Tony Pidgley, on the Woolwich Arsenal scheme.”

The source said the bidding process cost the council hundreds of thousands of pounds and that it would be unlikely to retender for the 109 ha site.

Neither Crest Nicholson nor Berkeley ruled out working together, although both would prefer to develop the scheme alone.

If additional people are brought in we will deal with it

John Callcutt

John Callcutt, the chief executive Crest Nicholson, said the firm had sent in its final submissions and was awaiting a decision. He said: “We’re not aware of any decision but we’re very optimistic that we will be selected. We look forward to working with the local authority and others: if in the future additional people are brought in, we will deal with that in a co-operative and constructive way.”

Tony Pidgley, Berkeley’s chief executive, said he considered Crest Nicholson to be a “first class company” but said it would be incorrect to comment on tenders.

He said: “Someone has to be accountable, especially when the project is in the public domain. These projects take many years and only one consortium can be held accountable for it.”

Ferrier is one of a number of large estates in London under redevelopment.