Coburg Crescent: missed recycling collections

Recycling was not collected on Coburg Crescent for two weeks in a row. A PRERA committee member and a Street Champion from Coburg Crescent got in touch with Veolia last week to try to get this sorted out.

Veolia did then come to the estate yesterday (Friday) and they picked up recycling along the service road. However, recycling which has been building up in other areas of Coburg Crescent due to the missed collections was not removed.

A build up of recycling due to two missed collections (this was finally removed yesterday)

A further request has been sent to Veolia today (Saturday) to ask them to pick up the remaining recycling as soon as possible. We have also asked them to look into why the collections were missed and to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.

An example of a build up of recycling which is still here today (Saturday)

If you ever need to report a missed collection of rubbish or recycling, you can do it online using this the form on the Lambeth Council website:

Nature blog: common frog

Did you know that we have common frogs living on Palace Road Estate? We might expect them to be living in ponds. That’s where they breed during spring. However, they spend much of the rest of the year living and feeding in places like gardens, meadows and woodland.

A common frog (Rana temporaria) photographed in a garden on Coburg Crescent

Common frogs are carnivores, meaning that they feed on other animals. They eat things like flies, worms, snails and slugs. These types of animals are known as invertebrates (animals without a backbone) or mini-beasts. There are plenty of mini-beasts living in the gardens and grounds of Palace Road Estate.

This common frog has been spending time in an Ophiopogon plant in a garden in Coburg Crescent. It’s well hidden there from predators like cats.

Where do you think it will go to breed? One of the ponds in Palace Road Nature Garden, perhaps?

You can read more about common frogs on the Froglife and the Wildlife Trusts websites.

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.

Updated: Resource centre – Site activity

UPDATE: Following its successful delivery on 24th July, Farrans have been able to complete a substantial amount of the work that required the use of the Piling Rig. However, due to the discovery of unexpected electrical cabling there is a small amount of remaining work to do using this equipment.

The piling rig left site on Monday 3rd August and will return once the cabling is safely removed. Farrans will keep residents updated on when this will be.

In Farrans’ recent newsletter updating residents on the progress of the Coburg Crescent Learning Disability Resource Centre it was mentioned that a piling rig would be delivered during the week commencing 20th July. 

The cleared construction site, ready for piling work to start

Following the newsletter distribution, the Project Manager from Farrans, Gerard McNamee, has been in touch with PRERA to let us know that this equipment has to be delivered with a police escort, due to its size, and that this is only possible before 7am

The agreement with contractors is that work should not start before 8am and so Farrans is planning the following to minimise disruption:

  • The lorry delivering the piling rig will arrive on Friday 24th July at 6:45am, with police escort as required.
  • It will reverse from the junction at Hillside Road to the construction site and then turn off all engines to minimise noise outside of working hours.
  • The equipment will be unloaded between 7:45am and 8:00am, with Farrans being careful to keep disruption to a minimum.

Farrans has stressed it appreciates that this is outside of usual working hours and will aim to ensure residents are not impacted by this. 

Should any residents need any further information on this, please contact Farrans directly: Gerard McNamee, Project Manager, 07885268525,

Grass repair: thank you Engie

Thank you to Engie who have levelled and sown grass seed on a patch of damaged ground. Engie are performing major works on the estate and the damage was caused by vehicles accessing their site compound. Damage first occurred 8 months ago back in November 2019 and continued to occur during the winter and spring.

Luckily the two new apple trees which were planted nearby by residents in February have remained unscathed. Hopefully the grass will soon re-grow in the re-seeded patch and this lawn area will regain a uniform and attractive appearance.

Damaged ground back in 2019
Ongoing damage in spring 2020
A photo of the repaired ground taken today

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.

Wall and railings: when will they be repaired?

The wall and railings at the pedestrian entrance to the estate on Christchurch Road were badly damaged 6 months ago (early December 2019). This was due to a lorry crashing into them.

The Neighbourhood Housing Officer for the estate provided the following update this week:

“The repairs team have informed us that the works are authorised and are on issued status. The target date is 19th August 2020.

“All the information relating to the driver was passed over to our claims department, which are dealing with the driver’s insurance company.”

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.