Decision details

Pre-Construction Services Agreement (PCSA) with Balfour Beatty to undertake works necessary to be in a position to enter into a construction contract for Oxpens River Bridge

Decision Maker: Executive Director (Development)

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


Cabinet, on 16 November 2022 resolved to:

Delegate authority to the Executive Director (Development), in consultation with the Head of Financial Services/Section 151 Officer, the Head of Law and Governance and the Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Delivery, to enter into contractual terms with a contractor for the pre-contract stages of the Oxpens River Bridge […by entering into a PCSA agreement as specifically detailed in the Cabinet Report dated 16 November 2022 and detailed in paragraphs 10 & 11 for providing detailed design, programme, and 100% market tested estimate for the bridge subject to the Council’s normal procurement procedures]. A link to the Cabinet report is here.


The decision made is to enter into a PCSA with Balfour Beatty under the terms of the SCAPE Framework to undertake works to enable necessary to enable a Value Engineering exercise to be undertaken to bring the cost estimate to within the current budget and to develop a construction programme that complies with the Growth Deal requirements. The works include progressing the design, providing the information for planning submissions, programme and cost information. The PCSA has a value of £1,067,123.32 and work is to be completed by 15th November 2023.

Reasons for the decision:

The decision enables work to progress on the design, programme and cost for the delivery of the Oxpens River Bridge. The PCSA covers work necessary in advance of entering into a delivery contract.

By having a PCSA it enables work to take place prior to committing to a construction contract to ensure the deliverability of the bridge. Given a number of uncertainties at the present time including cost inflation, design development and delivery sequencing this is considered the best route to proceed.

Balfour Beatty have been selected off a local authority framework known as SCAPE and have the appropriate knowledge and experience to undertake the works. By working with a potential contractor greater certainty of deliverability will be achieved.

It is necessary to enter the PCSA now to enable the delivery of the bridge within the identified programme of delivery by March 2025.

Alternative options considered:

Other options considered were:

·       To continue to commission designers to progress the design. This was rejected as significant construction cost inflation is occurring and it is possible that work would not be affordable at the end of the design process.

·       To go out to open tender for the work rather than to use a framework. This option was not pursued as the framework option enabled early contractor engagement that facilitates the project. The vfm of the framework option was assessed and considered satisfactory as it was competitively tendered.

·       Not to proceed with the project. This was rejected as it would not have supported the Council’s aim of supporting active travel by providing a pedestrian and cycle bridge over the river facilitating movement between Osney Mead and the City Centre as well as wider north south links to the city centre and rail station.

Signed off by senior officers:

Decision taken by Tom Bridgman, Executive Director (Development) in consultation with Carolyn Ploszynski, Head of Regeneration & Economy; Nigel Kennedy, Head of Financial Services; Susan Sale, Head of Law and Governance; and Councillor Alex Hollingsworth, Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Delivery.

Publication date: 29/03/2023

Date of decision: 24/03/2023

Effective from: 01/04/2023

Accompanying Documents: