A three-strong shortlist has been drawn up for a £50m housing scheme in Islington, north London.
The three consortiums on the shortlist are: Rydon Construction and New Islington & Hackney Housing Association, with architect John Thompson & Partners; Grainger Trust, Guinness Housing Association and architect Pollard Thomas & Edwards; and Unistar Properties, Circle 33, Gardiner & Theobald and architect Tasou Associates.

The scheme involves the construction of about 450 homes on two 1 ha sites. Hornsey Road Baths is expected to take most of the housing. The planning brief specifies that the site should be made up of 70% housing and 4500 m2 of commercial office space. The second site, known as the Barnsbury complex, will also include office development.

Some bidders believe that they will make their money from commercial development on the Barnsbury site. The bidders are believed to have included leisure facilities, such as swimming pools and theatres in their submissions.

Bids were first invited in March. Alex Burn, principal surveyor at Islington council's development adviser Donaldsons, said: "We selected 10 from the expressions of interest to produce full submissions. Of these there were seven completed submissions."

We have been asked to work with Islington council planners so we can refine our bids over the next few weeks

Bidder for the housing project

One bidder said: "We have been asked to work with the council's planners so that we can refine our bids over the next few weeks."

The seven-strong list was reduced to three two weeks ago. Failed bidders were notified last week. The shortlisted teams are now required to produce best and final offers early next year. However, work on site is not expected to start until the end of next year because of planning constraints.