Gardiner & Theobald report insists Greenwich Millennium Village is consistent with original vision.
The inquiry into the Millennium Village commissioned by deputy prime minister John Prescott has exonerated developer Taywood Homes/Countryside Properties and rejected claims made by sacked designer HTA Architects.

The confidential report, delivered to Prescott in the last week of September, and which has been seen by Building, states that work on the £250m development is consistent with the original vision.

The inquiry, which was conducted by QS Gardiner & Theobald, concludes that the scheme is on target to fulfil the aims of the winning submission and refutes the accusation that targets for sustainability and social housing have been watered down.

Executive architect HTA claimed that the developer had betrayed the scheme's original concept of integrated private and social housing and compromised targets for sustainability. The report was commissioned by Prescott in the wake of HTA's dismissal.

It is totally absurd to say that there was nothing wrong on the project. Why would they have taken three-and-a-half months to establish everything is on track? HTA director bernard Hunt

The report goes on to say that the original date for commencement of construction work in July 1998 was unrealistic. However, it adds that significant progress has been made during 1999 despite problems within the management team. It says that these difficulties have been resolved.

The report also said that problems were to have been expected on such a challenging and complex project.

The developer was unavailable for comment, but HTA director Bernard Hunt reacted angrily to the findings.

Village countdown

July 1997 Prescott launches the competition to find a developer for the Greenwich Millennium Village February 1998 Winning consortium is led by Countryside/Taywood with architects Ralph Erskine and Hunt Thompson October 1998 Greenwich council grants outline planning permission for mixed-use development January 1999 English Partnerships and Countryside/ Taywood sign development agreement June 1999 HTA writes open letter to Stuart Lipton after its dismissal, in which it alleges that the Millennium Village project is “drifting towards failure”. John Prescott orders inquiry into project. Ralph Erskine issues statement pledging allegiance to the project