International construction contractor Multiplex has caved in to pressure from residents and abandoned its plans for an overnight concrete pour at the redevelopment of the former Saatchi & Saatchi building on Charlotte Street.

Steelwork at centre of site.
Multiplex have cancelled the overnight operation at 80 Charlotte Street.

The construction site is Derwent London’s largest development project in London and Multiplex are contracted to carry of the demolition and reconstruction of the mixed use building designed by architects Make.

Last Friday evening Multiplex announced they wanted to pour concrete on the site continuously from 8.00am this Friday (26 January) until 1pm on Saturday, running four 33-tonne mixertrucks to the site every hour, and running diesel pumps day and night.

Clearly irritated by the reaction from local residents who strongly objected and the negative publicity in our news report they announced that they would instead do the concrete pour within normal working hours.

Nigel Bunce, project director at Multiplex, told residents at a public meeting on Monday that they will instead do the work on Friday 26, Monday 29, and Wednesday 31 January between 8am and 6pm.

On each day 450m3 of concrete will be delivered by around 60 truckmixers to the site to feed two concrete pumps.

Multiplex say they are confident they can complete the work on time. However, they stated: “Should we experience logistical and technical issues, which cause us to overrun past 6pm, we will notify you at the earliest opportunity.”

They also said they want to close part of Charlotte Street between Tottenham Street and Howland Street to northbound traffic, making the carriageway one-way southbound only.

Map of proposed one-way street.
One way traffic working is proposed on Charlotte Street between Tottenham Street and Howland Street.

“Multiplex, in conjunction with Camden and other contractors in the area, want to ease traffic between two major sites by turning a small section of Charlotte Street into a one way,” they said.

At the meeting Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association expressed concern about the disruption to local businesses and traffic being diverted and the loss of a northbound cycle route along Charlotte Street.

In response Multiplex stated: “We are currently working with Camden to see what actions can be taken to reduce the impact on cyclists.

“Multiplex have already carried out ‘exchanging places’ and cycle safety events in partnership with our subcontractors, the Met Police and Dr Bike. We will continue to do this through the duration of the project,” they said.

Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association said they hope that truck drivers will also be given the chance to exchange places to see conditions from a cyclist’s perspective.

Multiplex say everyone of their vehicles is fitted with all the required safety equipment as a minimum and the drivers have received all of the required training to meet the Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety (CLOCS) Standard.

Nigel Bunce is the third project director in charge of the site since the demolition and construction started in 2015. He started in October 2017 having undertaken a handover process with his predecessor Paul Jagla prior to Christmas.

Multiplex are due to complete the project by the end of 2019. The site has been mostly pre-let to The Boston Consulting Group and global engineering firm Arup.

Local residents and businesses concerned about work on the site should contact Multiplex by telephone: 0203 826 5056; or by email: :: Proposed temporary one way on Charlotte Street: Charlotte Street-TM dwg (pdf).