Despite Lipton's pledge that developer would do its own housebuilding, it seems help is now in order.
The developers of the £3bn Stratford City regeneration scheme have hinted that they may use housebuilders to develop part of the scheme, despite declaring that they would build the houses themselves.

Speaking at the end of last year, Stanhope chairman Sir Stuart Lipton said British housebuilders were inefficient and unimaginative and pledged that Stanhope would build all the housing at the Stratford scheme itself.

But speaking this week, Mark Wenlock, Stanhope's director of properties, said that housebuilders might be asked to contribute. He said: "We are pretty interested and enthusiastic in seeing whether we and Chelsfield can do the housing ourselves, but that's not to say we won't look to other housebuilders to help us with the project. There is a real possibility of having a blend of housebuilders involved in the scheme."

Wenlock added that the two developers had been working closely with housing associations the Peabody Trust and East Thames Housing in developing the residential side of the planning application, which was submitted to Newham council last week.

Under the £3bn proposal submitted for Stratford City, Stanhope and Chelsfield will build 4500 homes, 5 million ft2 of commercial office space and 1.4 million ft2 of retail space, including three department stores and 120 shops and cafes.

The 73 ha scheme, to be built on a brownfield site surrounding the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, could also be central to London's bid to host the Olympics in 2012.

Stanhope and Chelsfield are working on the scheme in partnership with London Continental Railways, the government-backed consortium that owns the land and is building the rail link. The masterplan has been drawn up by Arup Associates, Fletcher Priest Architects and West 8.

The developers hope to start work in 2006 with retail facilities complete by 2009 and residential and office space finished in phases by 2020.