Writing workshop

There is a free writing and performing workshop this coming Wednesday (29th May) at Cressingham Gardens Estate – see below. The event is aimed at 11 to 16 year olds and will feature readings from local poet and authors, lunch and a book giveaway! If you are interested in attending, you must book in advance with the organiser, Anne Cooper.

Hillside Gardens Park Annual Sports Day

The Friends of Hillside Gardens Park are holding their annual sports day on Saturday 18 May. There will be events for all ages and abilities, including those who just want to drink tea and eat cake! Everything will be free of charge. Check out the picture below for timings.

There should be no need to book, for most events, but some may be very popular. To be sure you can get to do the event that you are interested in, book here: https://clubspark.lta.org.uk/HillsideGardens/Events/Event/1f398361-d0bf-440c-8e0f-4bac8a550380


Cladding survey

PRERA carried out a quick photographic survey this morning on the cladding over the communal heating pipes. The cladding was found to be coming apart in a number of locations across the estate. It appears that the plywood boxing beneath the white PVC fascia is decaying and losing its structural integrity. Residents and visitors are advised not to loiter beneath.

Falling cladding

Last week another piece of cladding fell from the boxing around our communal heating pipes. This has happened several times previously and the poor state of this cladding has been raised with the council many times. Following this latest fall, we have been promised an “urgent inspection” and “any identified issues will be urgently addressed “.

The poor quality of the work to box in these heating pipes has been clear for several years, now. The work was originally carried out without planning permission. When permission was applied for in 2015, permission was refused, partly because the plywood used was not deemed sufficiently robust. Some sections where bare plywood was used were subsequently replaced with metal, but no work was done where the plywood had white PVC cladding.

A rear view of Ponton House, showing the missing cladding
The cladding, with a wheelie bin, for scale

New bollard on Palace Road

At the end of January a new bollard appeared on Palace Road, just outside the Palace Road Nature Garden. It is beside the gate that blocks the road to motor traffic, but obstructs wide cycles (such as tricycles), mobility scooters and wheelchairs.

What is it for? We asked the council and they replied that someone had been driving a Smart car through this gap, leading to complaints by “a number of” residents – hence the new bollard. As for non-motorised road users who can’t get through the gap any more, they are advised by the council to “use the footpath running parallel”. This may well be illegal, of course.

Mystery concrete has gone!

As quickly as it arrived, the mystery concrete has vanished, replaced with soil. Who knows why it visited us for three weeks, or how much its visit cost council tax payers? PRERA will seek answers to these and other questions in the hope that similar destructive and wasteful operations are not carried out in the future.

Where there was concrete this morning, there is now just soil.

Hazard at Ponton House

Don’t loiter outside the rear entrance to Ponton House – there is a large piece of metal hanging by a wire four storeys up above the entrance. This was reported to Lambeth Housing on 6 April and again on 10 April. No timescale has been given for its removal.

Update 29/4/2019: Work appears to be starting today, to remove this hazard. A platform is being constructed at the foot of the wall, presumably to allow access.

The metal, which appears to be a cable rack, hanging at fourth storey level.

Raised bed maintenance

The raised beds sitting on the garages outside Baly, Ponton and Despard Houses are still not being maintained by Pinnacle PSG, so volunteers have been out weeding. Would you like to help? It doesn’t take long, and they look so much better afterwards. Contact us, if you would like company, or just get stuck in!

A volunteer clears weeds as Despard House on Monday

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.’

Planting day

What a day! We planted hundreds of pot plants and bulbs all over the estate, in flower beds and planters and around trees. They don’t look like much at the moment, but, come the summer, the estate should be a riot of colour.

We planted geraniums, nepetas, heucheras, asters, campanulas, phlox, gaillardia, heleniums, snow drops and bluebells. You can make sure that these survive until the summer by watering them, if they are near to where you live.

Thank you to everyone who came to help, particularly Dot, Taye and Mark from Urban Growth.