Firm’s construction work on athlete’s village eight weeks late

Two housing blocks on the Olympic Village being built by contractor Galliford Try are up to eight weeks behind schedule, according to the Olympic Delivery Authority.

ODA chief executive Dennis Hone said blocks N13 and N26, two of the 11 blocks on the 2,800-home village were now likely to finish at the end of November instead of the contract deadline in October.

In addition he said that Balfour Beatty was still running three to four weeks late on the construction of the £269m Zaha Hadid Aquatics Centre, with handover from the contractor originally due at the end of June.

However, Hone said that that neither delay would impact upon the schedule for the Olympics. The ODA itself needs to be able to hand over the Aquatics Centre by the 27th of July, a year before the start of the games. He said: “We believe it will be ready in time for this deadline.”

The ODA needs to hand over the Athlete’s Village by the 27th of January. Hone said there had been a “volume issue” in getting all of the work, logistics and planning for all the blocks at the village done on time. The construction of the 11 blocks is being undertaken by a range of different contractors, working for lead contractor Bovis Lend Lease. Hone declined to comment on why just the two blocks by Galliford Try were delayed.

The news came as the ODA and Olympics minister Hugh Robertson unveiled the latest quarterly update in the ODA’s finances. The anticipated final cost of the games has reduced by a further £35m in the last three months, to £7.27bn. This was largely achieved by reducing risk premiums by the gradual completion of work.

Robertson said: “The beginning of this year has seen considerable progress on the Olympic Park with two of the centrepiece venues finished and the handball arena now complete. The ODA has continued its focus on costs – driving efficiencies across the programme resulting in a £35m reduction in the anticipated final cost.”