A27 works could be disrupted after contractor for New Monks Farm development announces intention to appoint administrators

The contractor tasked with completing the A27 Lancing Manor Farm development has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators.

Buckingham Group Contracting said the company ‘is unable to continue trading at this current time’.

A spokesperson said: “It is with immeasurable regret that the Buckingham board has to announce that rapidly escalating contract losses and a sharp reduction in liquidity, together mean the company is unable to continue trading at this current time. We know that this will come as a shock to all our valued stakeholders.

“As a result of the recent challenges, the board has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators to protect the business whilst we explore a sale of all or part of the business in a very short period (days/weeks). We will be liaising with clients and interested parties to optimise any solution and secure the best outcome for creditors.

"We emphasise the company is currently not in administration. Our main aim at present is to seek to protect jobs, and to preserve as much of the business as possible.”

National Highways, which is leading the project on land sold by Brighton and Hove Albion, has a provided a statement to this newspaper, after questions about how this will affect the A27 works in West Sussex.

A spokesperson said: “We are aware of the current situation with regards to Buckingham Group Contracting. We are working with the developer to find a solution to complete the works.”

In its most recent update on August 9, National Highways said the project to build a new roundabout on the A27 ‘to provide better, safer access’ to Brighton City Airport and the New Monks Farm development was ‘progressing well’.

Controversial plans to close the U-turn on the New Monks Farm stretch of the A27 went ahead earlier this month. This was a permanent closure, with motorists advised to ‘follow diversion signs’.

Despite strong objection from the local community, including business owners, National Highways decided that the U-turn at Hoe Court would be closed ‘following discussions with Adur and Worthing Councils and the developer’.

The closure plans were launched following the creation of a new roundabout on the A27 east of Lancing. Following months of roadworks, the development by National Highways was completed in June to give access to the New Monks Farm development and ‘provide better links to Brighton City Airport’.

Until Saturday, September 2, sections of the A27 westbound are being closed on weeknights between 8pm and 6am. Drivers are being diverted via A283 and A24.

“During this time, we’ll take the opportunity to carry out some additional maintenance work between Hoe Court and Lancing Manor roundabout to improve safety and reduce the risk of skidding,” a National Highways spokesperson said.

The Buckingham group said the company has faced ‘deep losses and interim cash deficits’ ‘on the three major stadium and arena contracts’, as well as a ‘substantial earthworks contract in Coventry’. It said this ‘outweighed’ the ‘very strong delivery and commercial performance’ across ‘most of the business’.

A spokesperson added: “This situation on these four long term major projects developed through a combination of unexpected impacts such as the extreme inflation linked to the Ukraine conflict and other challenges in the sports and leisure division.

“Over several months and right up to this week, the board has worked with specialist advisors to seek to bring substantial new investment into the business that would have enabled the company to continue trading as a going concern without interruption. However, this initiative has ultimately met without success.”