Arguments mean Countryside/Taywood joint venture may not start on site until autumn.
Construction of the £250m Greenwich Millennium Village may be delayed until the autumn because of disagreements between the consortium behind the scheme, planners and English Partnerships.

The project, described by the government as a blueprint for 21st-century construction and living, was due to start on site at the end of last year, with the first phase set for completion this summer.

But the Countryside/Taywood joint venture building the village says construction will not start until the third quarter of 1999. The hold-up has been caused by the consortium's objection to terms demanded by Greenwich council.

The council granted outline planning permission for 1377 units – 298 houses and 1079 flats – in October 1998. And in December, it gave detailed permission for a 90-home first sub-phase. However, section 106 agreements, in which developers provide social amenities as part of a scheme, have yet to be finalised.

Countryside chairman Alan Cherry said: "We have not resolved the section 106 with Greenwich, so we cannot build anything." But he said that by carrying out more pre-construction development work now, Countryside hopes to make progress more quickly when it starts on site.

More delays are expected because English Partnerships, which owns the 13 ha village site on the Greenwich Peninsula, has yet to release land to the consortium.

An agreement signed by the consortium in January requires it to provide English Partnerships with detailed information on each sub-phase of the village before it can take over the land for development.

We have not resolved the section 106 with Greenwich, so we cannot build anything

Alan Cherry, Countryside

A spokesperson for English Partnerships this week said it did not expect to release the first 4 ha tranche of land for the 400-unit first phase before summer.

The spokesperson said the information required on each sub-phase included "detailed plans, details of the specification of buildings, copies of building contracts, financial appraisals, cash-flow statements, statements on the mix of uses, and statements on how energy, cost and time-saving targets will be achieved in each sub-phase, as well as a financial model for cumulative development costs".

Industry sources said one reason for English Partnerships' tough stance was that the DETR wants to ensure that it gets value for money on the high-profile project.

Meanwhile, the Countryside/Taywood joint venture has undergone a reorganisation of project responsibilities.

This means the village will be developed in two principal phases.

Taywood Capital Developments will manage the development of phase one, in the north-west of the village, and Countryside subsidiary Copthorne Homes will manage phase two in the south-west corner.