Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Has Wornington Green gone Porto-belly-up?

It was a bit of a give-away when the construction vehicles were spotted loading up and leaving the demolition site at Phase 1a Wornington Green. Some of the workers looked quite upset, one admitted they were being moved to another site. So we peeked behind the HUMUNGOUS and very expensive hoardings, to be met with ...

We went upstairs in Faraday House which is now full of temporary co-op tenants since the original tenants were decanted, and peeped over the balconies, only to see ...


Rumours abound as usual at Wornington Green where everyone knows everyone's business, and if they don't they just might make it up so get your word in first ... too late mate, the word is, the builders have been sacked because KHT's development arm, Catastrophe - oops - Catalyst by Design, were trying to negotiate another five million quid off the price.

Given that they have already told the Council they can't afford to reprovide the park, and rumour has it not the Venture Centre either, and they are now allegedly trying to prune £5m off the cost of the first phase, some may assume that the whole development may be about to go Porto-belly up.

Even if, as we are led to believe, Catastrophe by Design are hunting for a cheaper builder, this would take forever and a day to reorganise. Deadlines are already gathering dust and cobwebs and shortly could crumble into dust. The HCA might ask for their £19m back; in short, the whole project is looking more and more improbable.

We could say, toljer, because, guess what, when you put a bunch of incompetents in charge of a £300m-odd project, there is an off chance it could go pear-shaped. We could even afford ourselves a wry laugh. The utter stupidity of calling the development 'for marketing purposes' Portobello Square, when there is a pre-existing Portobello Square just down the road, the idiocy of having one WG website on the Catalyst main site, then another that you can't find on Google (called 'from here to eternity' or some such rubbish)plus innumerable other mishaps and misrepresentations that I cannot mention for fear of litigation - well, it all adds up to greed+incompetence=chaos.


But given the genuine heart-ache so many residents have already been put through, the blatantly desperate need for more and larger homes (not that they were going to get them at W Green anyway despite the spin) and the quite shameful state of some of the existing buildings due to bad management, it is absolutely not funny at all.


  1. Latest news has it that it could take up to a year - yes, A YEAR - to get back on site - if anyone will take on the job, that is.

    Mansells are highly respected in the industry, if they can't do the job for the price offered ...

  2. Not suprised at all. How many thousands will this cost to get a new developer and how long will it take? Based on what was previously spent, I'd say £200K and 12 months! Well done Catalyst! Also concerned that no one cares about us having to go to Ealing to see our housing officers. I was told that we would have a local office! now we get the portocabin a few hours a week!!!

  3. I'm starting to feel genuine anxiety now. Catalyst have no money, now they'll have even less! Is it possible for a housing trust to collapse? Who takes it over? And what will they do with it? Despite KHT's amazing incompetence the law has just about protected tenants. In the current climate would a private firm or a PFI move in? The Tories are keen to just change laws that they find inconvenient and I can well imagine, in this Tory flagship borough, that Wornington Green would be sold to the highest bidder, rents increased, properties deliberately run down and so on and so on. The whole situation has become so ludicrous that nothing would surprise me,

  4. 'The portacabin for a few hours a week.'

    How much was spent on the shiny new KHT offices just a couple of years ago?

    If they invested the same cash in hiring decent housing officers and other staff perhaps things wouldn't be so laughably bad.


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