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.

Resource centre Q&A session

Lambeth Council and the construction contractor held an question and answer session on the estate yesterday, so residents could pop along, view the building plans and ask any questions they had.

Inspecting the plans

The event was attended by residents and members of the Palace Road Estate Residents’ Association. Lots of useful information was talked through, questions answered and there were also discussions about the location of the temporary shop. The current shop will close as it will become part of the site boundary during construction works, however a temporary shop will be installed beside the site on Palace Road. 

The proposed location for the temporary shop

Concerns about construction noise, contractor parking and the duration of the project were answered by staff representing the contractor and Lambeth Council.  The contractor will have an open door policy during the construction works as well as issuing regular newsletters to keep residents updated on the works.

It is anticipated that the construction works will start in late Autumn and take approximately one year to complete. The finished building will bring a new energy to that end of the estate after years of being an empty space, as it will contain a shop and cafe for residents to use. 

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.

Resource centre planning application variation – new deadline

Recently, we wrote about an application for a variation to the planning permission for the new resource centre on Coburg Crescent, giving 26 July 2019 as a deadline for comments. However, no planning notices had been posted about the variation. As with the original application, the planning department appeared to have forgotten their obligation to post such notices. After being reminded, notices appeared on 20 August (see photo) with a revised deadline for comments of 10 September 2019. Comments can be made on the planning website, here.

Brixton Chamber Orchestra – free concert and party

The Brixton Chamber Orchestra will be putting on a free open-air concert at Cressingham Gardens Estate on Saturday 31 August 2019, from 3pm until 5pm. The 30-piece orchestra will play “Euro-Classics, fresh pop covers & Samba dances”.

The concert/party will take place on the ‘mounds’ – the hillocks on the Brockwell Park side of the estate. There will be children’s activities, including a bouncey castle. Early-birds will be provided with food from a Caribbean barbecue (please make a donation), but otherwise, bring a picnic.

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.