Category Archives: Major works

Major works bills: payment holiday announced

Lambeth Council posted the following information on Twitter this afternoon:

“Lambeth is announcing a three month payment holiday for all leaseholders, who have recently received Major Works Bills for 2020/21 financial year.

“No payment will be expected until late June at earliest.

“No interest will be charged on these bills during the 3 month period.

“The council will review the national situation at the end of May and possibly extend this payment holiday further.

“We are taking this action because we are committed to supporting our residents during this difficult and unprecedented period.

“Get in contact with our Collections Team – Tel: 020 7926 7132 or Email: hmhomeownership@lambeth.gov.uk

Major works update

A representative from the PRERA committee attended a meeting with the contractor, Engie, and Lambeth Council last week to get an update on the major works. The works at Coburg Crescent should be completed this week. Here is a summary of the other information provided, which mainly related to Ducavel and Baly Houses:

  • There was a delay with securing the nets around the scaffolding due to the recent strong winds, but this work should be finished this week.
  • Letters are to be sent out this week, regarding surveys of the windows and asbestos.
  • Windows surveys will start from the middle of this week.
  • The process of fitting windows should take six to eight weeks.
  • Wooden frames will be fixed onto the roof to protect the skylights when the roof is being repaired.
  • The skylights will be replaced, though no date was given on that.
  • We don’t have a timeframe for renovation of the balconies.
  • Heating will be turned off at some point during window replacement to the front of the properties. Letters will be sent out to the residents before this happens.
  • Asbestos could be within external wooden parts of properties and will need to be removed by a specialist. Residents may have to leave their homes for a short time during the removal process.
  • A monthly newsletter will be sent to keep residents informed.
  • A new Liaison officer will be stating soon. Letters will be distributed with their contact details.
  • Works are expected to be completed by June this Year.

Major works consultation meeting

We have just been informed that there will be a consulation meeting held at the Lambeth Town Hall in connection with the forthcoming major works. The meeting will be held on 11th October 2019 from 4:30pm to 7:30pm at the basement committee room, Lambeth Town Hall, 1 Brixton Hill, London, SW2 1RW. Representatives will be present from the contractors, the consultant (Pellings) and Lambeth’s project delivery and home ownership teams.

The planned works are:

External building repairs to: Baly House, Ducavel House and Coburg Crescent (104, 96, 18, 109, 103, & 123)

The works proposed subject to surveys will be:

  • windows and roofs renewal
  • rain water goods
  • brickwork/concrete repairs
  • balcony repairs  
  • decoration of communal areas

Mains water pipes renewal works to the following blocks:

  • Ducavel House
  • Baly House
  • Ponton House
  • Despard House
  • Chalner House
  • Bushell Close
  • Coburg Crescent 130-139

Bushell Close heating replacement: The replacement of distribution pipework from the boiler room, boiler replacement in dwelling heating systems and modification to the existing boiler room.

Bills for major works

We have been hearing from leaseholders that bills for major works have started being delivered. The sums involved vary, but are large – tens of thousands of pounds. We expect this to be a great concern to many residents, so we encourage you seek advice and to talk to your fellow leaseholders.

If you contact us, we can put you in touch with other leaseholders. You can get advice from the following organisations:

We have set up a web forum for discussion amongst leaseholders. You can access it here. You will need a Google account.

We have been informed that enquiries about Section 20 notices received from Homeownership services should be sent to Chris Ojo and Karen Kellaway using the following email addresses:
HMhomeownership@lambeth.gov.uk, COjo@lambeth.gov.uk and kkellaway@lambeth.gov.uk.

Ducavel House planning application

A resident of Ducavel House has contacted the committee to let us know that they have received a planning notice for works to Ducavel House. Details of the planning application can be found here. The works include:

  • Replacements of windows and entrance doors with white uPVC versions.
  • Replacement of the disintegrating boxing around the external pipework with white metal boxing.

The expiry date for the consultation is 23 September 2019.

The properties that are directly affected by this planning application – all flats in Ducavel House.

Major works – meeting with contractors

Last Thursday, our treasurer, Phil, met with representatives from Engie (the contractors), Pellings (the consultants) and Lambeth council to discuss the major works programme. The meeting initially discussed points carried over from the last meeting:

  • The major works won’t be able to pick up all ‘responsive repairs’ as the Major works will be phased over a number of year, so residents are still advised to raise repair requests in the normal way (as opposed to assuming that major works will cover them).
  • Lambeth acknowledged their database of freeholders on Coburg Crescent is wrong, and are rectifying this. This came to light as homeowners were wrongly sent letters implying that their homes were council owned. Correction letters are being sent, and the contractors (Engie) have been knocking on doors to speak to owners.
  • Leaseholders in Baly and Ducavel should expect to receive Section 20 notices (S20s) by late September ‘at the very latest’. This is to allow works to commence in November/December (after 6 weeks consultation).
  • The S20s will include a package of works. For Baly and Ducavel Houses this is water works and improvement works; for Bushel Close this is water and boiler works.
  • The council agreed to contact the department working on Palace Road Community Center to ensure some kind of link up here.
  • The phasing means that a number of tenanted properties on Coburg Crescent have seen works begin. This will be followed by Baly and Ducavel Houses, with boiler works on Bushell Close and the rest of the estate after this.

There followed an update from Engie on the current works:

  • Scaffolding is up on the first 6 houses, surveys are underway. Once these are complete the pace of works can pick up, with the remaining 31 houses to do.
  • They are looking for a site to place an additional storage containers, the unused below surface garages were suggested.
  • They will erect notice boards to provide information on site workers, contacts, etc.

Lastly, Phil raised some points:

  • With wrong letters sent out how will they improve communications? Whilst an all resident newsletter was rejected, those receiving works will receive monthly newsletters. An additional idea was accepted, to put notices up on all notice boards.
  • Can they have a resident meeting? They are looking to set up a leaseholders drop-in meeting, but are undecided whether this should be extended to all residents as many are not receiving works in the current phase. I strongly advocated to open it to all.
  • Phil emphasised that letting him/the TRA know about stuff was not the same as communicating with residents, and that the TRA is not responsible for sharing information about these works. This was agreed with.

These meetings will be held monthly at Engie’s compound in the car park on Coburg Crescent. The committee will endeavour to send a representative to each meeting. Please let us know if there is anything that you would like raised at these meetings.

Major works have started

Scaffolding has been erected at a number of houses along Coburg Crescent. Following enquires by the committee, PRERA has learned that six houses will have external work carried out. We are told that this includes:

  • Front entrance door replacement
  • Replacement Windows
  • Fabric repairs to building (bricks, concrete or both)
  • Roof works
  • External decoration
Some of the scaffolding that has gone up on Coburg Crescent

The work is to be carried out by the contractor Engie and is expected to be completed by the end of September. Engie will then move on to working on Baly House and Ducavel House.

Letters have been sent to many Coburg Crescent residents informing them of this work. Unfortunately, we are aware of at least two freeholders who were sent letters informing them that Engie will carry out work on their properties. Have you also received a worrying or confusing letter about these works? Has scaffolding appeared on your house and you don’t know why? Let us know.

Section 20 notice for consultancy costs

A resident who is a leaseholder has recently received a letter from the council notifying them of a proposal to appoint a contractor for ‘consultancy and asset management services for our capital and technical programmes’. The letter is dated 5 July 2019.

The front page of the letter, with names and address of recipients removed. Click to download a PDF of the full document.

The letter refers to a ‘notice of intention’, dated April 2018. Did you receive this letter? If so, could you let us know?

Major works update

On the 1st of March PRERA representatives attended a meeting with Pellings (who are lead consultants for the forthcoming major works project on the estate) and Lambeth.

A summary of the meeting on further communications is below. PRERA will continue to insist on early and clear communications to all residents directly from the council and Pellings. Please note, this is all the information that PRERA have at the moment. We will endeavor to keep residents updated should more information be made available.

Two packages of work
There will be two packages of work, an external works package and works relating to the replacement of the existing water mains to each block on the estate. This means residents will receive two separate Section 20 notices.

Plan and Cost
PRERA have been told there will be approximately £2.5m spent annually over the next three years. Due to this, the work will be phased across the estate. The order of works has not been finalised by PRERA have been informed that the current intention is that

  • Phase 1 (2019-2020) includes 1-38 Baly House, 1-46 Ducavel House, and 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 Coburg Crescent.
  • Phase 2 (2020-2021) includes Chalner House, Despard House, Ponton House and 130-139 Coburg Crescent.
  • Phase 3 (2021-2022) covering the rest of the estate.

The intention is to begin phase 1 in June/July, once the S20 consultation is complete and resident engagement has been undertaken.

Section 20’s
We understand Section 20’s will be block specific. So Baly House and Ducavel should receive these first, expected currently in the next few weeks. There will be two separate Section 20’s: one for the major works and one for water works.

The Work
Relating to phase 1, PRERA have been told the works include:  ‘communal/ external decorations, roof replacement, external fabric repairs (brick/concrete) (provisional sum only), scaffold for access, window replacement, asbestos surveys and removals (provisional sum only), balcony repairs (provisional sum only), balcony drainage surveys and associated repairs.’

Lambeth Reprocurement Panel

Committee member Michelle is part of a panel of Lambeth residents that will help with the procurement of a contractor to provide the following services across the borough:

  • Capital Works / Decent Homes
  • Responsive Repairs, Void Property Repairs, Planned and Cyclical
  • Maintenance, Estate Cleaning and Grounds Maintenance
  • Door Entry, Access Control and CCTV systems
  • Gas Servicing, Heating Systems, Water Storage and Landlord’s
    Electrics
  • Lift Maintenance

The first meeting of the new panel was on 29th October. Please contact us if you would like to read the report of the meeting.