He added: "I assume the next step will be some sort of mediation. The chances are that the case will progress relatively speedily now." Developer Greenwich Millennium Village – a joint venture between Countryside Properties and Taylor Woodrow Capital Developments – confirmed that a dispute existed and that there had been an exchange of letters but refused to comment further, other than to say that Ralph Erskine, the original lead architect, was still masterplanning the project.
The move comes nearly two years after HTA was sacked from the team in June 1999 by the developer.
The sacking led to a war of words between the two, culminating in a threat by the developer to sue the architect for libel.
After months of inaction while the practice switched solicitor, HTA and the developer have exchanged solicitors' letters outlining each party's case.
The chances are that the case will progress relatively speedily now
Bernard Hunt, HTA Architects
The architect is claiming compensation for unfair termination of contract; this is disputed by Greenwich Millennium Village.
The simmering dispute between the architect and the developer became public in June 1999 when HTA threatened to resign from the project, claiming that its pioneering design concepts had been diluted. The developer reacted by sacking HTA on the same day.
In a four-page letter dated 25 June 1999, the developer listed four grounds for dismissal, covering production of information, design and practice organisation.
The decision to sack HTA had been recommended by Ross Hammond, who joined the joint venture as project manager in February 1999.