Providing an Outline Business Case for the redevelopment of Low Hall Depot

The Assignment

The London Borough of Waltham Forest wished to redevelop their Low Hall Depot site by building a fit-for-purpose modern depot; in the process rationalising the on-site facilities and releasing land for a residential-led mixed-use development which would fund the new depot through its capital receipt.

The Council required an Outline Business Case (OBC), based on the application of the HM Treasury’s Five Case model for the redevelopment of the Council’s Low Hall Depot site.

The Role

We supported the Council in preparing an Outline Business Case for the Low Hall Depot site which set out the scope of the project, costs, affordability, the procurement strategy and timetable, such that it could be approved by the Council and they were satisfied that the project when delivered would meet its objectives and deliver its intended benefits. Our work included defining a weighted set of criteria and completing an options appraisal to evaluate the different options for the project, as well as developing a financial model to assess the viability of the preferred option.

As the design progressed through the RIBA stages we liaised with the multi-disciplinary design team to regularly review and update the OBC, working towards the production of a Final Business Case. We supported the Council in examining its procurement strategy by considering the advantages and disadvantages of different options and examining the risk versus reward of different routes. As part of this role we:

  • Reviewed the strategic context and tested whether there was a compelling case for change.
  • Defined a set of weighted evaluation criteria and undertook an options appraisal to evaluate different options for the project, with a recommendation for a preferred option to be taken forward.
  • Developed a bespoke interactive financial model to assess the viability of the scheme, including sensitivity testing.
  • Assessed the affordability of the preferred option in consideration of the procurement strategy and potential return on investment.
  • Evaluated and proposed a management approach in terms of roles, governance structure and reporting for delivery of the scheme.
  • Drafted an Outline Business Case using the HM Treasury Five Case model that was subsequently approved by the Council’s Strategic Commissioning Board, allowing the project to progress to the next stage.
  • Reviewed and updated the OBC during RIBA Stages 2 to 4, in liaison with the multi-disciplinary design team.

Key Outcomes

Our work has enabled the Council to move the project forward at each stage with confidence in the approach and the financial viability of the preferred option. We have supported the Council’s internal decision-making process on the continuation of the scheme and its viability, informing their approach to the procurement and delivery of the project.