Final PF2 schools batch hit by planning

Potential for one site to have a listed building slowed progress – but expectation to reach financial close this month

An application to have an existing building listed is delaying financial close of the final privately financed batch of the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP). 

The application to treat a structure as a listed building has resulted in the delay of the Midlands batch, which had been expected to sign in August.

Preferred bidder Laing O’Rourke is working through the process on one of the sites, and while sources suggest it is unlikely that the building in question will get protected status, the firm is making sure it can deal with any outcome before proceeding to financial close on the scheme.

However, sources close to the deal suggest the project is still likely to reach financial close before the end of October.

The aggregator vehicle, which is funding all five privately financed batches of the PSBP, has also been caught in the ESA10 accounting rules, with the structure being determined earlier this year as on-balance sheet.