When things go wrong on development sites…

When things go wrong on sites…

Over the past few years, the BLG team has dealt with all sorts of issues on sites. From the less unusual, such as bats and Japanese knotweed, to the very unusual (hopefully), such as buried bodies and great crested newts. Most developers will have come across some of these problems and whilst some are known before works start, most of the troublesome ones only come to light once development works are well underway: contractors going bust, unregistered utility pipes, archaeological remains, unmarked cesspits under old buildings (complete with very suspect sludge), etc…
These site issues invariably mean frustrating delays and costs which even the best contingency plans and budgets can find difficult to deal with. In our experience, however, the worst enemy of sites when coming across these issues is time – never is the saying that “time is money” more apt than in these situations.
We find that the best approach is to (a) not panic (b) highlight issues as soon as they become apparent, (c) throw in the best experts at the problem as soon as possible (this will save time in the end) and whilst it might not be the cheapest option on day 1, it is often the one that works the most economically in the long run.

Newts, bats, weeds and random bodies…

So, now the newts and bats have found new homes, the weeds have been eradicated, the bodies (thankfully neither too old to interest the archaeologists, nor too fresh to concern the police) have been quietly and respectfully been laid to rest, new contractors appointed and the pipes dealt with. We can move on to the next project with plenty of “do you remember when” stories to add to our store of knowledge.
Cécile Verroest is Credit Risk Director at BLG Development Finance and relatively unflappable in a development crisis.

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