Contractor had been due to start work on £250m fourth phase when it was stood down

Chelsea barracks view from chelsea bridge rd 333570

Qatari Diar is set to retender the main contract package on the latest phase of its Chelsea Barracks redevelopment after pulling Multiplex from the job just days before it was due to start work.

Multiplex had been appointed main contractor on the fourth phase of the £1bn redevelopment which began on site in 2015.

Keltbray had been due to carry out the concrete frame and basement work – which had a pricetag of around £60m – but has also been stood down.

A source told Building: “Multiplex was told the news just about a week before it was due to get going. It looks like they’re going to retender the main contract.”

Multiplex declined to comment, referring questions to Qatari Diar, but the value of its deal is believed to be in the region of £250m.

The firm, which is behind a number of high-profile schemes in London including the 22 Bishopsgate tower in the City, originally pipped Balfour Beatty to this phase, which has been designed by Eric Parry Architects.

It will see more than 90 flats built across three mid-rise towers after the architect, which is behind the planned tallest tower in the City of London, the 305m high 1 Undershaft, was given planning permission earlier this year to increase the number of homes.

It is not known whether Multiplex will tender again for the work but it is one of a handful of likely bidders which include Sir Robert McAlpine, carrying out work on the Lillie Square residential scheme, part of developer Capco’s Earls Court redevelopment, Skanska and Mace – which is building Chelsea Barracks’ first three phases and due to wrap up work by next spring.

Qatari Diar, which said groundworks and piling on the fourth phase had been completed, declined to comment on the specifics of last month’s decision but admitted: “We are considering how best to procure the subsequent building works in an increasingly difficult construction market.

We are continuing to work together with all stakeholders towards an efficient and pragmatic outcome for the benefit of future residents.” It added that the scheme’s first residents are due to move in by the middle of next year. 

But the news is set to increase speculation the project is the latest in a number across London which has been hit by a slowing in the capital’s once booming property market.

Earlier this year Capco said the value of its Earls Court development was now worth £1bn – around £400m below what its value was at the end of 2015 – and last year the amount of affordable homes at the Battersea Power Station redevelopment was cut by 40%.

Chelsea Barracks hit the headlines in 2009 when Qatari Diar withdrew its planning application for the redevelopment after an intervention by Prince Charles who told the Qatari royal family that the modernist design by Richard Rogers was out of keeping with the area. Rogers was later replaced by Squire & Partners who came up with a masterplan for close to 450 homes to built over six phases.

The developer, which is wholly owned by the state of Qatar, paid the Ministry of Defence nearly £1bn for the west London site back in 2007.