Category Archives: Major works

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.

Major works planned for 2019-2020

We have received an ‘indicative capital programme‘ for the 2019-2020 accounting year. This shows that the planned works for Palace Road Estate are in four categories: (i) externals, (ii) water tanks and boosters, (iii) communal heating / distribution / control and (iv) electrics. No other Lambeth estate has work planned in as many as four categories. The draft programme will go to the council’s overview and scrutiny committee for their approval.

External condition report

Perhaps as a result of our request during the visit of Chuka Umunna MP to the estate, the council has carried out an inspection to see what work is required to renovate the external elements of the buildings. The report can be downloaded here.

The report says that the following work is necessary:

  • Total replacement of the roofs.
  • Replacement of windows, including patio/balcony doors.
  • Upgrading of doors to flats to meet fire safety standards.
  • Repairs to balconies, “including timber replacement and replacement or alternative glazing”.

This work, together with the necessary structural repairs, is estimated to cost in the region of £10.5 million. We have been told that this work will form part of Lambeth’s capital works programme over several years, starting in the 2019-2020 budgetary year.

Structural inspection report

We have been provided with a report on a structural inspection that was carried out on 31st May and 1st June 2018. The inspection was made by structural engineers employed by Lambeth Council. It makes a number of interesting observations:

  • Lack of routine maintenance, including painting timber cladding, repairing minor cracks in masonry and replacing damaged windows and glass panels on the balconies.
  • Water ingress in concrete structural elements (lintels and floor slabs) leading to pieces of concrete falling from heights, leading to “health & safety risks to the residents and visitors to the buildings.”
  • “A system of tree management should be set up and put in place to manage the trees in the estate in consultation with Lambeth’s Trees Section.” This comment will come as a surprise to service charge payers who are regularly charged significant sums for tree maintenance.

Despite the reported immediate risks from falling pieces of concrete, the council chose not to inform residents until their letter about initial works to make the concrete safe in mid-July.

The report asserts that “None of the defects mentioned above is considered as impairing the structural stability and integrity of the buildings at present.” However, since the inspection excluded the garages, above which many of the flats are built, PRERA has requested that the garages are also inspected.