“At RSK, we have worked on several projects recently that have faced issues over the development consent order,” says Sue. “There are many reasons why this may happen, but they all involve communication between the different parties being insufficient or only one-way.”
Sue goes on to examine the problems that can arise from agreements made in the project application stage to what is able to be delivered in practice and from stakeholders not agreeing on a position for delivery to project applications that make unrealistic promises with the sole objective of securing consent.
“Though the Planning Act relating to DCOs came into force in 2008, the process of obtaining one for NSIPs is still quite new,” Sue explains. “It is therefore important to select contractors, designers and others in the supply chain that have worked on schemes of a comparable size and complexity. This helps to ensure clear understanding of what is realistically necessary to fulfil the DCO requirements.
“It may appear to be commercially advantageous to have multiple companies delivering different phases of the project, but this could well turn out to be cheaper only on paper,” Sue concludes. “Losing the continuity of teams, collaboration, trust, skills and learning can have a damaging impact on overall project delivery.”
Subscribers can read the full article, ‘Out of order: How to save projects from DCO hell’, on the Construction News website.