Technical and political problems
The Hale Wharf bridge project presented two problems:
- technically, the problem was getting a high quality design that fitted in with regeneration plans and met detailed stakeholder requirements
- politically, the problem was reaching agreement among so many organisations with different policies, aims and spheres of interest.
A wide range of skills and experience was needed to address both problems. CABE used its enablers to put together an appropriate team.
British Waterways had a positive experience of working with the CABE enablers. They received constructive assistance through face-to-face discussions and support at meetings where design and statutory consent negotiations took place. British Waterways found particularly helpful CABE enablers’ flexibility and availability to provide advice on strategic design procurement and development issues at critical stages of project.
Although the objective of the project — to design and build the bridge — was not fully achieved, there were several successful outcomes:
- initial disagreements between the stakeholders were resolved
- the design competition was completed
- a good design agreed upon
- land drainage consent was granted
- planning consent was granted.
Most importantly the project provided an excellent opportunity for British Waterways staff to work alongside and learn from CABE enablers, who are experts in the fields of design procurement, design development and in handling complex negotiations between design teams and stakeholders. CABE helped address immediate project aims and worked towards an important long-term staff up-skilling goal.