Chalcots Estate works update – 18 September 2020
This is the first of a new monthly major works update for the Chalcots Estate from Camden Council. If you would like to receive these updates and other information about the major works by email, you can sign up at camden.gov.uk/chalcots-signup
Let’s keep each other safe – social distancing in lifts
Please continue to follow social distancing measures when using the lifts. Only one household or support bubble should use a lift at a time. If someone is already using the lift, wait for the next one or take the stairs.
Removing the Wates construction site
The full programme to remove Wates’ site and return the estate to how it was will be completed by Friday 6 November. The first phase of the programme started in July and aimed to remove as much hoarding as possible and remove scaffolding to ground level. This phase is now complete and the second phase of works started this week. Works in the coming weeks will include:
• 14 September to 18 September: removing underground scaffolding and reinstating the handrails and canopies near the communal entrance doors to each block.
• 21 September to 25 September: repairing any paving damaged by scaffolding, testing and reinstating estate lighting, testing CCTV cameras.
• 28 September to 9 October: removing the hoists, hoist cage, remaining hoarding and underground scaffolding. Reinstating the walls and railings that were removed for the site set up.
• 12 October to 23 October: repairing where scaffolding was attached to walls, reinstate landscaping, allotments and planters, weeding, reinstate bin areas, parking and playgrounds.
• 26 October to 6 November: any final repairs relating to the site set up, deep clean internal communal areas of all blocks, window cleaning of all blocks except Blashford (Blashford’s windows were cleaned in August), final quality check and snagging of all completed activities, transfer site and items back to Camden Council.
• We have prepared all the documents for the planning application to replace the cladding, win-dows and curtain wall at the Chalcots Estate. Completing the application before we appoint a contractor will help to move the procurement process forwards and we hope to start on site in about 12 months’ time.
• We will tell you more about the planning application and how you can have your say towards the end of this month, and engagement events are planned for October 2020.
New procurement for the major works
• It is essential that we get the new procurement right to make sure we get the best deal for our project. We have been doing a lot of work to move the procurement forward including looking in detail at the market and holding site visits for interested contractors
• Once finalised, we are taking the new procurement strategy to the Cabinet Member for Better Homes for approval in early October 2020.
• As we are already clear on design, specifications and quality for the project, what we’re looking for in a new contractor is a work method that minimises disruption to residents. There will be opportunities for your resident representatives and other resident volunteers to be part of the process, particularly around disruption and impact on your homes. If you would like to be involved, contact Abdul at email@example.com or on 020 7974 1312.
Helping you with this winter’s additional heating consumption
• We committed that you will not pay any more for increased heating usage while the cladding is off the blocks. We can confirm that you will not be charged for increased heating consumption as a result of the cladding works. This will cover the winter months of October 2020 to the end of April 2021.
• If you live in Bray, Burnham, Dorney or Taplow, your gas is supplied by the council. To make sure you are not being charged more to heat your home as a result of the cladding works, your weekly charge is calculated based on the gas you used before cladding was removed.
• As Blashford is not on the council’s gas supply, we will again make direct payments to Blashford residents of £35 per month to cover the cost of additional heating use. Please call us on 020 7974 4444 (option 7) to set up your payment. You will need your council tax reference number to confirm your eligibility as a Blashford resident.
• If you have any questions about this or unsure on how the charges are applied, please contact Abdul on 020 7974 1312 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Fire safety is up to everyone
Your quality inspectors regularly carry out fire safety checks in all Chalcots blocks, but fire safety is up to everyone. Please play your part to keep you, your family and neighbours safe:
• Never prop open fire doors – this puts you and everyone else in your block at risk.
• Don’t let anything get in the way of you or your neighbours’ way out – don’t leave anything on staircases, in corridors or in front of exits that could catch fire or get in anyone’s way if they need to leave the building. That includes shoes, rubbish, furniture and bikes. If you are having problems accessing the cycle storage in your block, speak to your neighbourhood housing officer.
• We carry out a fire safety check every two weeks and resident representatives or volunteers are welcome to join this walk around every two months or so. If you would like to take part please contact Abdul on 020 7974 1312 or email@example.com
Keep everyone safe at Blashford
The corridors in the basement shed area at Blashford need to be urgently cleared as they currently are a fire risk. Nothing should be stored in these corridors but if you are keeping anything there please remove it by Friday 2 October – anything left after this date will be removed and may be disposed of.
Security preparing to leave site from November
Once the site is returned to normal and the CCTV cameras are fully operational, from November security will be scaled down to then leave site.
Reporting a repair in your home or on the estate
You can report a repair online at any time at camden.gov.uk/housing-repairs or call 020 7974 4444 option 3 then 1 from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. We are not carrying out non-essential repairs like decorating or mould washing at the moment so please don’t report these – see the full list of repairs on our website.
Complete the Chalcots Residents Engagement Framework survey and you could win a £20 shopping voucher
o The Chalcots Residents Engagement Framework, a group of Chalcots residents from across your estate, are running a resident survey – take part and you will be entered into a prize draw and could win £20 in shopping vouchers. All Chalcots residents can complete the survey until Tuesday 6 October.
o ‘Living through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and recovery’ is a survey designed by residents to find out how Chalcots residents were affected and are now feeling about the coronavirus pandemic. The engagement framework will use your feedback to identify what we can do together to make things better for all residents living on the Chalcots Estate.
o This is also an opportunity for you to choose themes that are important to you or initiatives to get involved with, to help deliver our Chalcots Estate Resident Engagement Framework.
o If you are unable to complete the survey online, contact Abdul on 020 7974 1312 or firstname.lastname@example.org to send you a paper copy.
Letter to residents from the Cabinet Member for Better Homes
All residents received the letter below about the window designs on Friday 28 August 2020 from Cllr Meric Apak, Cabinet Member for Better Homes.
The window designs explained – virtual meeting with TRA reps
In August we held two virtual meetings with your TRA representatives about the new window designs. You can read the meeting notes here:
Resident update - Tuesday 18 August
Taking down the scaffolding
The works to take the scaffolding down to ground level are running to plan, with the exception of Dorney. We have had to pause the scaffolding removal at Dorney because of dangerous antisocial behaviour (ASB) towards scaffolders and are busy putting extra measures in place to make sure staff are safe while working. We will be writing to all residents at Dorney, setting out the consequences of ASB.
We are currently in the process of putting the entrances back to normal, reinstating rails, canopies and lighting, removing hoarding where possible, and repairing damaged brickwork and paving. The next key steps are to remove the scaffolding from underneath the blocks and to remove the hoists, which will take another four weeks from the time the scaffolding is taken down to ground level. It will take slightly longer at Taplow because there are two underground levels.
Plans are being put in place to reinstate bin areas, planters, benches, allotments and playgrounds. We will arrange a deep clean of the inside communal areas in each block and for window cleaning at the four remaining blocks (Burnham, Taplow, Dorney, Bray) once all of the scaffolding has been removed. We expect the construction site will be fully removed by Friday 6 November 2020.
We are currently speaking with contractors to finalise our procurement strategy with the aim of having a new contractor appointed in May 2021. To speed up the process to start works on site, we are seeking planning permission for the new façade designs in September and engagement sessions are being arranged for our residents and for the local community – we will share these details with you soon.
Window repairs and other repairs plans
The window repairs programme is now complete. If you need to report a new window repair, contact the repairs team in the normal way as set out in ‘How to report a repair’ below.
We have carried out surveys of drains and descaled the system and are finalising further solutions to prevent overflows in future.
The team is working to fix roof leaks and to make the buildings watertight. Detailed surveys of the concrete walls will help us to identify and find the right materials and contractor to fix leaks and dampness to external walls, and to prepare these walls for the new cladding. All of this work will be done by abseiling and we will make sure abseilers are as quiet as possible when carrying out the work – we will share the dates with you once the programme has been finalised.
Speak to your quality inspector
Each block on the Chalcots Estate has a dedicated quality inspector who continues to check on the safe removal of the scaffolding and any fire stopping quality concerns raised with them. Your quality inspector’s job is to make sure your block remains safe and they will oversee quality standards of the major works. You can speak to your quality inspector if you have any questions about the major works or fire safety:
How to report a repair
You can report essential repairs such as plumbing, electrical, lift repairs, carpentry, roofing, bricklaying, paving, welding, glazing, flooring, essential plastering and tiling between Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm. You can report emergency repairs (for example burst pipes, gas leak, no water) on 020 7974 4444 at any time. Please use the repairs service to make sure all reports are logged and tracked.
Resident update - Wednesday 29 July 2020
Parking on and around the estate
The temporary street parking restrictions have been reinstated as large lorries need to access the estate to regularly pick up the removed scaffolding. We are working with Camden Council’s parking team to lift the street parking restrictions in late September or early October. We will write to you separately to hear your views on whether you think it would be worthwhile reinstating the car parking bays on the estate once the scaffolding is removed – for a limited time – until a new contractor comes on site.
Reducing antisocial behaviour
We have had an increase in complaints recently about residents throwing rubbish out of their windows. This is not just antisocial and dangerous behaviour, it is a public health risk. Everyone living at the Chalcots deserves to live in a clean, safe place. If we can identify the people endangering the Chalcots community, we will take immediate action. If you see anyone throwing anything out of a window, report it to the Chalcots project team on 020 7974 4444 (option 7) or email email@example.com or call your neighbourhood housing officer. If it happens out of working hours you can leave a message – you don’t need to give us your name if you’d prefer to let us know anonymously.
Live monitored CCTV
We are pleased to let you know that Chalcots Estate has been prioritised and the faulty CCTV radio transmitter has been replaced with a new digital transmitter, three weeks ahead of schedule. Over the next couple of weeks, engineers will be testing it thoroughly and connecting the existing CCTV cameras back to the council’s CCTV control room for live monitoring.
Window repairs and cleaning
The window repairs programme is now complete with only a few repairs remaining, mostly in the scaffolding area due to access issues which we will come back to. Thank you to everyone who contacted us with feedback and for your support which helped us to carry out these works smoothly. We are currently planning the window cleaning programme for the estate. The windows will be cleaned by abseilers and will start at Blashford from Monday 3 August. We will arrange for window cleaning at the remaining four blocks in late September, once the scaffolding has been removed.
Carrying out DIY in your home
If you are a council tenant and are planning to carry out any DIY (decorating inside or outside your home, changes to the structure etc) please contact your neighbourhood housing officer or visit camden.gov.uk/apply-for-building-control-camden to make a permission request. Leaseholders must apply formally to the council before carrying out any building works – visit the link above. If your plans are approved, please speak to your neighbours (from a safe distance) to let them know before starting the DIY. Don’t do noisy work in the evenings or early in the morning, especially at weekends.
Your neighbourhood housing officers:
Your feedback is really important to us and there are lots of ways you can have your say on your estate, about many aspects relating to the major works projects. If you would like to get involved in plans to improve the estate, we’d love to hear from you. Projects residents are discussing include what matters to residents for the new contract procurement and many other initiatives such as recycling and bike sheds. You can contact Abdul (Chalcots project officer) on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can get involved.
Major works notice – temporary changes to parking
Please do not use the parking bays in front of the following blocks:
Burnham (Fellows Road side) from Thursday 16 July
Dorney (Fellows Road side) from Monday 20 July
Taplow (Winchester Road side) from Monday 20 July
We will be using these spaces as we take the construction site down and will let you know when you can park in the bays again.
Thank you for your patience.
We will be carrying out window repairs at the Chalcots Estate from Tuesday 16 June to Friday 31 July. You can book an appointment if your window(s) has a broken hinge, lock or handle. Visit your block's page for more details.
If you have already reported your window repair, we will call you this week to make your appointment. Contact the Chalcots team on 020 7974 4444 option 7 if you need to report a new window repair.
Cabinet meeting – Wednesday 13 May
The Cabinet meeting where the decision will be made about the major works contract at the Chalcots Estate is on Wednesday 13 May at 7pm. This will be a remote meeting and you can watch it live or at a later time you choose at councilmeetings.camden.gov.uk
You can submit a deputation (a request to speak at the meeting) by email to email@example.com by 5pm on Monday 11 May at the latest. More information on deputations can be found at camden.gov.uk/deputations If you have any questions about submitting a deputation please contact committee services on 020 7974 5726.
Ahead of the Cabinet meeting, we have answered residents’ frequently asked questions which were delivered to residents on Thursday 7 May.
Read the Cabinet report (PDF) on the Chalcots major works contract.
Letter to residents – an update on the major works
All residents received the letter below on Wednesday 29 April 2020.