Berkeley subsidiary St George is set to hive off up to 50% of its £100m-plus development programme to construction managers.
The brownfield housing specialist is in talks with Bovis Lend Lease, Amec, Symonds subsidiary Woolf and London-based Coteba. Managing director Tony Carey said he hoped to close deals in the next few weeks.

Carey said the decision to farm out some work was because of the number of orders the South-east-based firm was undertaking. He added: "We have probably got to the point where our development programme is beginning to outstrip our construction capability. We are quite capable as constructors but only to a certain size." Under the proposed deal, the construction managers will oversee small to medium-sized developments ranging from 48 to 211 units.

These include St George's residential scheme in the Paddington Basin development, which Bovis Lend Lease is set to take over.

Another Berkeley subsidiary, Crosby Homes, which operates in the Midlands and the North-west, is also understood to be in talks with construction managers over similar deals.

St George recently started the £400m Imperial Wharf project near Chelsea Harbour in west London and is working on the massive £1.5bn King's Cross redevelopment in north London.

It is also heading one of five teams pitching for a £800m mixed-use scheme in east London's Silvertown Dock.

Until now, St George's projects have been managed by an in-house construction team. Carey emphasised that the in-house team would be retained.

He added, however, that he wanted to work with a number of construction manager partners, noting: "If we only use one, we only experience one. We want to spread it about a bit to see how companies work, and if they can become partners for the future.

"We want someone that genuinely tries to understand us. We will watch how it develops carefully." St George last week scooped two Building Awards – the sustainability award and the housebuilder of the year prize.