German firm awarded £4.3m contract to build controversial Berkhamsted multi-storey

An artists impression of how the multi-storey car park in Berkhamsted would look upon completion. The car park would be situated immediately east to the Waitrose store in the town centre
An artists impression of how the multi-storey car park in Berkhamsted would look upon completion. The car park would be situated immediately east to the Waitrose store in the town centre

A German firm has been awarded the £4.3m contract to build a new multi-storey car park in Berkhamsted – with construction work starting later this year.

The 327-space multi-storey, which will be based next to Waitrose in Lower Kings Road, will take up eight floors and was approved in September 2016.

Now German firm Huber Car Park Systems International GmbH will build the controversial scheme following the awarding of the contract at a Dacorum Borough Council cabinet meeting on Thursday.

A number of residents backed a judicial review after the controversial scheme was approved, but the £30k battle was rejected at the Royal Courts of Justice in April 2017.

The decision allowed Dacorum Borough Council to finally put the project out to tender.

But after receiving three bids, what should have been a four-week decision took three months, as the council challenged bidders on their finances, the design and construction methods, and assessed any risks to the council.

Construction was meant to start in January and take eight months to build.

But following the delayed tender, Huber has confirmed that construction would now start on site in September/October 2018, with a projected completion date next year of June 2019.

Paul de Hoest, a critic of the scheme and member of Dacorum Green Party, said: “It seems like the budget for this scheme – which has faced significant public opposition – has gone up again. The economics don’t stack up.”