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Firms to bid for athletes village housing scheme

Private sector organisations will compete to take over the development of a publicly-owned athletes village next to the Olympic Park in London.

The Olympic Delivery Authority has invited expressions of interest from private companies in an effort to claw back the money invested in the project in Stratford.

ODA chief executive David Higgins said: “This is a unique and significant investment opportunity and while securing best value will be key, we will be looking for the best owner for the village, not necessarily the highest bidder.”

The £1bn project, including 2,818 new homes, was originally expected to be funded by private money.

Triathlon Homes has bought 1,379 of the new homes, which are set to become affordable housing after the Games. The remaining 1,439 homes are owned by the ODA and will be sold or rented in the private market after the Games.

The Government had to pump an additional £324m of public money into the venture in May 2009 after private sector interest dried up in the recession.

The ODA also owns six future development plots in the village site and there is scope for an additional 2,100 to 2,500 new homes.

A shortlist of interested parties will be invited for detailed discussions early next year before formal offers and proposals are requested. The ODA will decide whether to proceed with the selected party by summer 2011.

Any proposal would have to be approved by the Government and demonstrate value for money returns against the public investment made in the village, the ODA said.