Risk Assessment Strategy of Eco Town

Modified: 2nd Aug 2018
Wordcount: 3736 words

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Contents (Jump to)

1. Introduction

2. Stakeholders Objectives and Concerns

Primary Stakeholders

Secondary Stakeholders

3. Critical Success Factors

4. Risk Assessment Strategy

5. Risk Mitigation Plans

6. Conclusion



1. Introduction

This report aims at developing a risk assessment strategy for NW Bicester Eco Town. Potential risks and necessary control measures will be analysed for a practical outcome. The risk assessment will also be done for the newly acquired land parcel that is adjacent to first phase which is the ‘The Exemplar’ phase of the project. Figure 1 shows the proposed site for the project.

Figure 1 – Masterplan and Exemplar Phase of Bicester Eco-Town

All the stakeholders of the project and their concerns are identified to do a thorough risk assessment. These concerns are further analysed and prioritised to figure out critical success factors of the project. Based on the number of risks identified, scope and boundaries are established to streamline the risks. Further to this, risks are ranked based on the level of severity using qualitative and quantitative aspects.

2. Objectives and Concerns of Stakeholders

Eco-Town project has various stakeholders given the context of the scale, nature and typology of the project. Table 1 lists the primary stakeholders and their concerns. Table 2 lists the secondary stakeholders and their concerns


Primary Stakeholders



Cherwell District Council (Local Planning Authority)

  • Make Bicester a vibrant, great place to live, work and bring up a family in an eco-friendly way.
  • Re-position Bicester as a place where new communities are built to high environmental standards where people can enjoy sustainable lifestyles.
  • Achieve zero-carbon development and more sustainable living using the best new design and construction. (Eco Bicester) (Cherwell District Council)


A2Dominion (Lead Developer)

  • To develop and materialise UK’s first eco-town with sustainable homes, jobs and green neighbourhoods.

Table 1 – Primary Stakeholders


Secondary Stakeholders



P3 Eco Group

  • Established to bring together a strong consortium of investors, partners and professionals to promote and spearhead the NW Bicester eco development.
  • Help Eco-town development to grow as an extension of Bicester to benefit the community.
  • Main goal is to minimise environmental impact and maximise efficiency while striving to provide housing that is affordable, comfortable, sustainable and of the highest possible quality.
  • Reduce energy demands and improve feasibility for sustainable technology by research and development (R & D).


Bicester Vision (BV)

  • An independent public/ private partnership committed to bring together all stakeholders in town to ensure that the most is made of the exciting future for the town.
  • To engage with people of Bicester and the wider Bicester to ensure that it continues to be a great place to live and work in.


CABE – Design Consultants

  • Design council to assist in Bicester design and sustainable development in achieving the vision and execution of project, hence setting a benchmark for eco-friendly living.


Bio-Regional (BioR)

  • A social enterprise that helps establish sustainable business and works with other stakeholders like A2Dominion, CDC etc., to demonstrate that a sustainable future is attractive and affordable.


Grassroots Bicester (GRB)

  • A community action group set up to create a greener Bicester.
  • Works closely with oxford, Bicester Vision and Eco Bicester team from Cherwell district council to help deliver the Eco Bicester vision across the whole town.


Farrell & Partners (ARCH)

  • To develop an affordable and sustainable residential complex with highest possible quality and delivered in close partnership with the local communities.


Thames Water Utilities (TWU)

  • Water resource management towards sustainability


Central Government (CG)

  • To utilise public fund judiciously
  • Provide good affordable homes for people
  • Speed of housing delivery
  • Create sustainable communities and address climate changes.


Current Residents (CLR)

  • Create jobs to local people.
  • To educated the community to tackle disturbance/ discomfort caused due to construction activities like noise pollution, vehicular movements etc.,


Home & Community Agency (HCA)

  • To ensure funding for the development of affordable housing for a successful development of the community.

Table 2 – Secondary Stakeholders

3. Critical Success Factors

The critical success factors are derived from the vision stated in Masterplan Vision for the Exemplar phase of the entire development are as follows:

  • Provide affordable, attractive and sustainable housing – 393 residences designed by specialist design team by achieving good aesthetics within 60 acres of land use and a provision for 30% affordable housing, 40% of the total land to be used as green belt. Ensure every building achieves zero-carbon emission. Reduce carbon footprint by 30% by reducing waste sent to landfill.
  • Efficient time, cost and quality management of construction – Use passive energy generating technologies and achiever zero carbon efficiency. Manage project efficiently within the budget and proposed completion time of phase 1 by circa 2018.
  • Reduce Carbon footprint by adopting sustainable means of transportation and energy – Promote lean construction management which substantially reduces the carbon footprint caused by construction activities. Opt for public modes of transportation. Encourage the community to cycle. Reduce the usage of personal automotive vehicles. Introduce advanced construction technology like photo-voltaic panels, passive heating methods etc., to reduce utility bills.
  • Environmental Biodiversity – Ensure that 40% of the total development area is used as green belt/ green space. Contribute to existing biodiversity by introducing waterbodies, vegetation etc.,
  • Community and Neighbourhood Services – Conduct events to enhance community spirit. Provide institutional facilities like schools and community facilities like local store, sports complex etc., within the proximity of the development.
  • Create New Employment Opportunities – The Exemplar phase aims at creating employment opportunities during construction phase and create long-term job opportunities.
  • Managed Risk – Act as early as possible and provide visibility of a task

4. Risk Assessment Strategy

The following section provides a structured and coherent approach to identify, assess and manage risk.

Defining the Boundary for Assessment

Defining boundaries in the project helps in streamlining the risk assessment process. It is understood that risks that occur beyond the scope of the project are not under the control of Project Manager. The risk assessment is being done for the newly acquired land parcel adjacent to the boundary of the exemplar phase (See Figure 2) and the register will examine potential risks, causes, risk mitigation actions and the stakeholders responsible.

Figure 2 – Site Boundary in the Process of Acquisition

Assessment Approach

Potential risks have been identified based on the available literature on Bicester Eco-town and by brainstorming over various driving factors, likelihood of their occurrence and impact, evaluating and prioritizing risks for further action and then by developing a mitigation plan to tackle the risks without affecting the project. Figure 3 outlines the fundamental risk management process steps.

Figure 3 – Fundamental Risk Management Steps (Garvey, 2008)

Step 1. Risk Identification

Risk identification is the critical first step of the risk management process. Its objective is the early and continuous identification of risks, including those within and external to the project.

Step 2. Risk Impact and Consequence Assessment

In this step, assessment is made of the impact each risk event could have on the project. This typically includes how the event could impact cost, schedule or any other technical performance. Additional criteria such as political or economic consequences would also require consideration.

Step 3. Risk Prioritisation

In this step, overall set of identified risks, their impact and their probability of occurrence are processed to derive the most critical to least critical rank-order of all the risks. One of the main reasons for prioritizing risks is to form a basis for allocation critical resources.

Step 4. Risk Mitigating Planning

This step involves the development of mitigation plans to eliminate, reduce or manage risk. Once a plan is incorporated, it is monitored to assess its efficacy with an intention to revise its course-of-action if necessary.

The other steps involved in developing effective risk management strategy to establish a good approach to assessment and select the suitable risk management tool. In-order to do this the, various phases of the project are divided per RIBA Plan of works (RIBA,2013) and the stages are mentioned below.

  • Planning
  • Design
  • Construction
  • Handover and Close Out

Risk Identification and Classification Rules

Methodical Approach to identify risks are as follows,

  • Clear classification of aims and objectives of the project.
  • Develop a very good criterion for risk assessment.
  • Identify risks for both aims and objectives that are derived from risk assessment criteria.
  • Use both Qualitative and Quantitative measures to assess risks and rank them per their severity of impact on the project.
  • Group Meetings that involve all the stakeholders and brainstorming of potential risks.
  • Generate minutes of meetings (MOM) to document discussions and the responsible parties for the identified risks.

Classification of Risks

The identified risks are classified into various categories and are measured per the level of impact. The factors contributing to the measure of impact are mentioned below,

  • Cost
  • Time
  • Reputation
  • Quality
  • Impact on Stakeholders
  • Environmental Impact
  • Legal Impact
  • Health and Safety Concerns
  • Legal Implications

Each of the above-mentioned factors are ranked between 1-5, 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest in terms of impact and is detailed in Table 3.


Table 3 – Measure of Consequences of the identified Risks


Rating of Risk Events

The scoring of risks was calculated in such a way that the highest possible risk rating for any of the categories was taken into cautious consideration. The score ranging between 1 and 125, were used to generated 4 coloured rating. Here red, yellow, amber and green colours are used. The colour is assigned to a risk depending on its severity. Red stands for immediate action risk, Amber for medium risk, yellow for minor attention requiring risk and green for low/ Acceptable risk. The table 4 below illustrates the scores of this coloured rating.

Table 4 – Risk Rating Matrix

5. Risk Mitigation Plans

After identifying the risks that are very likely to occur based on the risk rating matrix, some of the risks are prioritised and a mitigation plan is proposed in the following passages below.

Risk 1: Rejection/ Delay of planning permission

Management Action Planned: Proposed development plans should comply with building regulations, standards and specifications. Consistent liaison with the government should be done.

Action Owner: A2Dominion, Architects and CABE

Cause: Development standards do not meet specified building regulations. Community objection due to improper information by the project owner.

Impact: Project delays and cost implications.

Risk 2: Community Objection

Management Action Planned: Liaise with the council members and clarify the value for public money of the development.

Action Owner: A2Dominion

Cause: Local communities showing concerns towards the effects on environment and showing reluctance to adapt to change. Lack of information or negative publicity that might lead to rejection of the development by the community.

Impact: Delays and increased cost, bad reputation of the project and negative impact on stakeholders who represent public.

Risk 3: Financial Funding Delays

Management Action Planned: Ensure funding from all the investors during the exemplar phase

Action Owner: A2Dominion and CDC

Cause: Unfamiliarity of the project to the investors compared to other developments might fail to attract the investors.

Impact: Project Failure, delays and reduction in quality if executed with insufficient funds.

Risk 4: Change in Scope of Design

Management Action Planned: Establish a clearly defined design brief that comprise of well-defined scope, responsibilities and communication channels of each stakeholder.

Action Owner: A2Dominion and ARCH

Cause: Disagreements between the design consultants and the client might lead to conflicts within the project. Proposed design might result in increased costs due to failure in meeting the design brief.

Impact: Project delays and increased cost.

Risk 5: New Technologies

Management Action Planned: Liaise with the contractors at the early stage of project in-order to evaluate their competency.

Action Owner: P3Eco

Cause: Lack of experience and improper knowledge of new sustainable technologies that might affect building performance.

Impact: Compromise in quality and project reputation

The remaining risks, their causes, impact and management action are covered in the Appendices.

6. Conclusion

After a, thorough assessment of risk on NW Bicester Eco-Town project, it is understood that the project is of a very complex nature and requires close monitoring of several areas for the successful completion of the exemplar phase. It is evident from the risk register that most of the responsibility should be taken by the developer (A2Dominion) who can further transfer risk to relevant stakeholders. Eco-Town being UK’s first project of its kind, achieving success in this project is of utmost importance in-order to set a benchmark for future developments that will be sustainable and environment friendly thereby benefitting the future generations.


A2Dominion., https://www.a2dominion.co.uk [Accessed on 21/12//2016]

Bicester Vision., What is Bicester Vision, http://www.bicestervision.co.uk/ [Accessed on 21/12/2016]

Cherwell District Council., Eco Bicester, http://www.cherwell.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=4513 [Accessed on 21/12/2016]

Design Council., Case Study – North West Bicester Eco-Town, http://www.designcouncil.org.uk/resources/case-study/north-west-bicester-eco-town [Accessed on 21/12//2016

Eco Bicester., North West Bicester, http://www.ecobicester.org.uk/cms/node/3#.WFkL0PmLRPZ [Accessed on 21/12/2016]

Garvey P (2008) Analytical Methods for Risk Management: A Systems Engineering Perspective (1st Ed.). London, New York: Chapman-Hall/ CRC

North West Bicester., Partners, http://nwbicester.co.uk/the-first-phase/introducing-exemplar/partners/ [Accessed on 21/12/2016]

North West Bicester., The first Phase – Exemplar, http://nwbicester.co.uk/masterplan/ [Accessed on 21/12/2016]

P3Eco., Home http://www.p3group.co.uk/ [Accessed on 21/12/2016]

RIBA, (2013), RIBA Plan of Work 2013 Overview, https://www.ribaplanofwork.com/PlanOfWork.aspx [Accessed on 21/12/2016]



Table 5: Risk Register – Planning Stage

Table 6: Risk Register – Design Stage

Table 7: Risk Register – Construction Stage

Table 8: Risk Register – Construction Stage

Table 9: Risk Register – Handover and Close Out Stage


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