THE Architects behind the masterplan for Stratford City in east London have delayed submitting it for planning approval because of an unresolved battle over which developer will take it forward, write Vikki Miller and Josh Brooks.

Plans drawn up for the 73 ha site by architects Arup Associates, Fletcher Priest and landscape architect West 8 are ready but will not be submitted until it is clear if the Reuben brothers or Westfield Shopping Towns will take control of the site.

A source close to the £4bn mixed-use scheme, which will house parts of the Olympic village, said: "The detailed plans are ready to go but we need to get everything checked from everyone's point of view. We hope to get something to the council this side of summer."

Stephen Jordan, managing director of the site's leaseholder, London & Continental Railways, said in March that Newham council would receive the plan within six weeks.

The company with a development agreement for the site is Stratford City Developments. The Reuben brothers own 50% of it, and Westfield owns 25%. The remaining 25% is owned by Stanhope and Sir Stuart Lipton, its former chairman.

These stakes are due to be sold by auction, which will give each interested party the chance to buy out the others and take full control of the project.

The auction was due to be held last Friday, but LCR extended the deadline to allow Frank Lowy, the chairman of Westfield, to travel to the UK from Australia.

The detailed plans are ready to go. We hope to get something to the council this side of summer

Source close to the scheme

LCR had threatened to terminate its agreement with Stratford City unless the dispute among the developers was concluded by last week.

A source close to the process said that it was still unclear when the auction, which is to be run by investment bank NM Rothschild, would take place. The source said: "It really should be this week, but at the moment it's hard to tell."

London mayor Ken Livingstone has threatened to step in, possibly to appoint a new developer, if the three factions do not reach an agreement by the start of May. He has suggested that delays to the scheme could cost taxpayers up to £700m.

News of the delay came as the Olympic Delivery Authority took over the freehold of the site. This means that as well as answering to LCR, developers are subject to the ODA, which has the power to dismiss them if its timetable for delivering Olympic facilities, including the media centre and the athletes' village, is not met.

David Higgins, the ODA's chief executive, said: "If, for any reason, progress on these facilities at Stratford City does not move forward in the way currently envisaged, the safeguard is there to protect the interests of the Olympics, as we now own the land."