All posts by Rob

AGM – 8th September 2020

After a delay caused by the current epidemic, PRERA will be holding our AGM on Tuesday 8th September at 7.30pm. To comply with government guidelines to minimise the risk of infection, we will hold the AGM online using the Zoom conferencing platform. It should be possible to attend the AGM using most computers and smartphones that are connected to the internet.

To join the meeting click this link: https://bit.ly/2DZqAqU

Alternatively, you can join by telephone, by dialing 020 3481 5240. The meeting ID is 834 5775 4497 and the passcode is 550358.

We realise that not everyone will be able to attend, just as with the usual face to face meetings, so we apologise if this is the case for you. We invite everyone to submit questions for the current committee in advance of the meeting. Questions can be sent to contact@prera.org.uk. Please also contact us if you would like to get involved in the work of the association, whether as a committee member or not.

Antimicrobial treatment on play equipment

You may have noticed that some signs have appeared at the play area saying that antimicrobial cleaning agents have been applied. PRERA have made enquiries and have been told that a product made by Zoono was used. This is probably Z-71 – the product that Transport for London uses.

Please note that Z-71 is an antimicrobial agent and coronavirus isn’t a microbe. So please continue with good hygiene practices, including washing hands before and after using the play equipment.

Interestingly, according to the Daily Telegraph, Zoono was told to stop claiming that Z-71 was “more than 99.9pc effective against COVOID-19 [sic]”. This claim was removed from their website after the intervention of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The safety data sheet for Z-71 can be downloaded here.

Brixton Chamber Orchestra play live on our estate – 15th August

The famous Brixton Chamber Orchestra will soon be performing live on Palace Road Estate! The orchestra are a group of classically trained musicians who perform in a range of musical styles, from classical to jazz, hip-hop to pop. If you’ve not heard them before, you’re in for a treat!

The orchestra performing in 2018 on the Cressingham Gardens estate.

The performance will be on Saturday 15th August at 2pm on the grass between Ponton and Despard Houses and the service road.

The Brixton Chamber Orchestra can be found on Facebook and YouTube.

PRERA is 5 today!

Five years ago a group of residents came together to create the Palace Road Estate Residents’ Association (PRERA). Since then we have been busy working to make the estate an even better place to live. There has been a lot of hard work, but also a lot of fun. Thank you to everyone who has contributed over the years. Here’s to the next five years!

Click to enlarge

Update on major works

A meeting was held on Thursday to give residents an update about the progress of the major works. There were representatives from the council, Pellings, Engie, MPS and PRERA present. Here is a summary:

Baly House and Ducavel House

Covid-19: The contractors confirmed that the delay and subsequent extension in period that scaffolding was required will not increase costs. A reassuring update was given covering distancing, use of sanitiser, staggered breaks, regular cleaning of shared spaces, and strict management of contractors (two strikes and they’re out) as well as all workers signing a compliance sheet and having daily temperature checks.

Asbestos: Found on window sofits in Baly and Ducavel will increase costs, residents will be informed shortly.

Doors: Replacement doors were being considered, but there is a substantial shortage of the right doors accross Lambeth, so it looks like this will be removed from the scope of the works.

Balconies: It was confirmed that both the private and communal balconies will be renovated, with new glazing and replacement timbers.

Scaffolding: Expected to come down in September or October.

Access to properties: To replace windows, internal access is required. Residents will be asked if they accept this, given concerns about Covid-19. The contractors are putting in place Covid-19 safety plans for access. Any refusal will be respected, but will delay the programme.

Communication: A newsletter is being created and the Resident Liaison Officer will ring all residents where access is needed. The newsletter will include information about the process for ensuring Covid-19 safety concerns are addressed.

Bushell Close

Boiler room: New boiler has been installed but not piped up at the moment, so we are still running on the temporary boiler. Within the boiler room they are around 10% complete on the pipework. 

Hot Water Issues: It’s believed the issues with hot water were due to the changeover to the temporary boiler. This changeover was done without notifying residents. This should not have happened and will not happen again.

In-flat system upgrade: The in-flat heating systems upgrades could require up to a week of work in flats. At present the plan is to replace the main communal boiler and distribution pipework to each of the flats. The contractors will then consider doing in-flat works once all of the external work is complete. If Covid-19 guidance has not changed by this time, they will hold off on in-flat work until safe to do so. However, they would not complete this work in the winter. If they could not complete, they would likely close the current scope of work and then enter into a new agreement for the internal works.

MPS scaffolding: The additional (green) scaffolding at the front of flats 6-8 is through responsive repairs and not related to the major works. Lambeth have now told responsive repairs that anything additional on-site must be notified

Water main replacement

This has mostly been completed, but completion is being prevented by the scaffolding on Baly and Ducavel Houses. Contractors will return when the scaffolding has gone.

Historical photos of Palace Road Estate – construction is complete

This is part of a series of blog posts of historical photos of Palace Road Estate. We can now show photos taken in 1977 – a few years after construction was completed.

A view from Palace Road.

The interior of the estate.

Residents enjoy sitting outside Chalner House.

A car parked on Palace Road.

Looking out from a Despard House balcony.

One entrance to Coburg Crescent.

A view from one of the walkways.

If you enjoyed looking at these photographs, you may be interested in finding more at the London Metropolitan Archives or the Lambeth Archives.

Do you have any old photographs of Palace Road Estate? Would you like to share them with other residents? Get in touch!

Planning update: works to Chalner House, Despard House and Coburg Crescent flats

Planning applications have been made for the works to Chalner House, Despard House and the flats on Coburg Crescent. The links in the previous sentence take you to these applications on the council’s planning website. Note that there are two applications for Despard House; one for flats 1 to 18 and one for flats 19 to 30.

The work includes replacement of the roofing felt, repair to degraded concrete and brickwork, replacement of entrance doors (to meet fire safety and security regulations), replacement of the plywood boxing over the external heating pipes and replacement of the timber cladding that is under some of the windows.

Detail from the drawing showing the repairs to the disastrously-bodged work to move the hot water pipes to the outside of the flats.

Planning update: resource centre

Permission was granted yesterday for the modified resource centre plans. Various documents relating to the application can be found here. The Construction and Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) is of particular interest. It contains lots of useful information about how the construction should proceed and has been revised following feedback from PRERA.

A drawing from the CEMP document showing the first stage of construction – excavation works.

Work should commence soon. Working hours will be weekdays from 08:00 to 18:00 and Saturdays from 08:00 to 13:00. Work can be carried out on Sundays or bank holidays if agreed with the council.

Historical photos of Palace Road Estate – building begins

This is part of a series of blog posts of historical photos of Palace Road Estate. After showing various architects’ models of the estate, we finally move onto the actual construction.

This photo (above) shows a terrace on Coburg Crescent at an early stage of construction. The foundations have been laid and services installed. The characteristic split-level design of most of the houses can already be seen.

Here we see the split-level design on the roadway of Coburg Crescent. The existing houses on Limetree Close can be seen in the background.

Steel reinforcments are put down, ready for pouring the concrete floor slabs.

With the floor slabs laid, building of the walls progresses, with a mixture of blocks and bricks.

Builders meet to discuss their work.