One of the gardening group’s aims is to brighten up the estate and the local area. Recently we brought a disused planter on Palace Road, outside Baly House, back into use.
In June we cleared the planter of weeds and self-seeded trees. We also broke up the compacted soil. Here are members of the group hard at work.
Then in July we put in the wonderful plants shown in the photos below. These plants were donations from Chelsea Physic Garden. This amazing garden, tucked away beside the Thames, is the oldest botanic garden in London. It contains a collection of around 5,000 different edible, useful and medicinal plants that have changed the world. It’s well worth a visit!
Many thanks to Nell Jones, the Head Gardener at Chelsea Physic Garden, for passing these spare plants on to our community gardening group. Thanks too to Iain Houten, Marketing Officer, for helping to arrange for us to collect them.
Do you have further ideas for how the gardening group could brighten up the estate? Would you like to get involved? Do contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Would you like to have superfast fibre broadband? A company called G.Network is installing superfast broadband across Lambeth during 2020. This will operate at 1 Gb/s – about 100 times faster than we currently get with ADSL broadband.
G.Network will be starting installation in the Coldharbour and Brixton Hill areas. They will then prioritise streets that show the greatest interest so, if you are interested, register your interest here.
Yesterday the three new benches were finally installed around the estate. One bench is by the playground, one is on the service road and the third is at the top of the steps down to Christchurch Road. Thank you to Engie for installing them and to Veolia for funding the purchase of the benches.
You may have noticed small areas on the estate cordoned off with fencing. Within these are concrete plinths that are being laid for our benches. We owe thanks to Engie for doing this for us, free of charge.
The concrete will require a few days to set hard before the benches can be installed.
Responding to a request from a resident, PRERA applied last year for some funding from the Veolia Recycling Fund for Communities. We recently heard that we have been awarded £1000 toward purchasing a bench (or some benches)! The bench will be made from recycled plastic, so we will be able to see where some of our recycling ends up.
Once we have the funding in our account we will be able to place an order and arrange for the bench to be installed. In the meantime, please let us know what style of bench you think would be best and where you think it should be located.
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.
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.
We have just received confirmation that our local MP Chuka Umunna will be visiting the estate this Friday. He is coming to meet residents of the estate to find out about our concerns. Representatives of the PRERA committee will be there, but all residents are welcome, so do come along. We will be walking around the estate, starting at the childrens’ play area at 2pm.
This weekend and last weekend, members of the PRERA committee were out planting daffodil bulbs around the estate. We planted a couple of hundred, around the edges of the flower beds on Bushell Close and along Coburg Crescent, as well as in some of the tree-pits along Palace Road.
The bulbs were donated by Pinnacle, our grounds maintenance contractor, who also lent us the bulb-planting tool. You may have noticed that the oval bed by the entrance to Bushell Close has recently been planted with roses, again courtesy of Pinnacle.