The latest news and updates from the Chalcots Estate – w/c 22 January 2018

Camden no longer making payments to PFIC

Since November 2017, we have been withholding our regular payments to Partners for Improvement in Camden (PFIC), the private firm who were contracted to refurbish and maintain the Chalcots Estate until 2021.

The costs of these repair and maintenance works run into millions of pounds, therefore the decision was taken to withhold payments in an attempt to protect the public purse and recoup costs incurred by the evacuation of the Chalcots Estate.

There are no changes to your internal repairs service, if you have any issues inside your flat you should continue using your existing contact numbers. If there are any changes to this, we will keep you updated.

We will shortly be writing directly to leaseholders about their charges.

Cladding update and cabinet decision

On Wednesday night, councillors agreed that solid aluminium panels would be the most suitable cladding replacement for the Chalcots. You can download a video of cabinet meeting

The new panels will look very similar to the previous cladding system, are straightforward to install and easy to maintain. They will also fit onto the existing rails on the outside of the blocks and work around the existing window frames.

Now that a decision has been made on the replacement cladding, we will be submitting a planning application. This will be open to a standard consultation process. We will share details of how you can respond once the planning application process has begun.

In addition, we expect the cladding removal works on Taplow to finish imminently. We will be writing to Taplow residents about changes to their fire warden cover next week.

Independent review

The chair of the independent review would like residents from all five tower blocks to share feedback from the period of evacuation. Please return your comments by midnight on Wednesday 14 February. You can respond online at communications-strategy-improvement/chalcots-independent-review.

Other news

We remind residents not to open their windows beyond the 100mm restrictors. In particularly strong winds, we ask that you keep your windows closed. If you are concerned about ventilation or damp in your flat, ensure the trickle vents on your windows are open, or alternatively open your window as far as the 100mm restrictor to allow air to circulate inside your flat.

To report damp or mould, please call 020 7974 4444 (option 7). Alternatively you can email the Chalcots Works Coordinator directly on[email protected]

Thank you to all residents who attended our housing options drop-in. We hope this session provided some useful advice.

Feedback from TRA technical meeting, Wednesday 24 January 2018, present Blashford, Taplow, Burnham, Bray and Dorney

The TRA group said that some residents were confused as to whether they could open their windows to prevent damp. Camden replied that residents should not open their windows beyond the 100mm restrictors. Camden also noted that windows had trickle vents that when opened help alleviate effects of condensation.

The TRA group asked for an update on the investigation into the broken windows at Blashford and Dorney. Camden said that investigations were still ongoing. They also noted that Rydon were going to put forward a proposal for new restrictor specifications so that windows cannot be opened beyond 100mm. Camden has also asked PFIC and Rydon to come up with a long-term solution that also allow windows to be opened beyond 100mm in exceptional circumstances (this is sometimes called ‘purge’ ventilation).

The TRA group asked what the sign off process was for doors as some residents felt their door was not finished yet. Camden reminded the TRA group that tenants are given a sign off sheet when snagging or adjustment works have been undertaken, the tenant should not sign off the door if they do not feel it is properly finished. Camden said that if any problems arose after the sign off sheet was completed, residents should let the Council know so that the issues could be looked into.

The TRA group raised again, the issue of internal and kitchen doors in relation to fire safety. They said that residents were still confused as to whether or not Camden planned to install missing doors inside resident’s flats. Camden stated that its main focus has been to fit a fire resistant front entrance door, which is the requirement of the building regulations. Camden has installed front entrance doors that offer 60 minutes of fire resistance and has also fitted additional smoke and heat detectors in flats. Building regulations make no provision for internal doors being fitted, however, when properties become vacant the Council will reinstate kitchen doors with a closer if required.

The TRA said that the solution used for sealing the outer concrete has a strong smell. Camden said that according to the manufacturer these fumes do not cause any harm and will dissipate soon. The TRA asked whether residents should have their windows open or closed whilst works are being completed using the mast climbers. Camden said residents should close their windows when mast climbers are in use.

The TRA said they were still confused about parking, Camden said residents with parking spaces has been contacted and the situation explained.

The TRA asked what had been done to resolve disabled access at Taplow. Camden said they would look at this before the weekend,

The issue of metal strips on stairs and glow in the dark floor numbers was raised again. Camden said these issues would be dealt with at the next meeting with the Director of Resident Safety.