Consultants were this week 'seething' at the Olympic Delivery Authority's (ODA) decision to scrap plans to shortlist bidders for the London 2012 main stadium.
They warned that the decision last Friday to hand the £242M design and construct job to the Arsenal Emirates stadium team of Sir Robert McAlpine, Buro Happold and HOK Sport robbed London of innovative design and, without competition, risked serious cost inflation.'The sad thing is that London has no choice on its stadium,' said one design expert reflecting on the decision. 'There's no selection panel, no different taste. It's a dictated solution.'But ODA chief executive David Higgins defended the decision and brushed aside cost fears. 'We will be putting in place appropriate cost controls to ensure that budgets are managed properly and that value for money is achieved,' he said.HOK senior principal John Barrow also defended the decision and maintained that design innovation would not suffer. 'I don't think it will weaken or lessen design in any way,' he told NCE