THE 4 ESTATES FORUM
THE 4 ESTATES FORUM

Latest News

Check back here regularly to find out what's going on at 4 Estates Forum.

Resident Steering Groups

For all the latest news about the Resident Steering Group in your area click on the Resident Steerring Group tab above. 

Kedge House, Starboard Way & Winch House 

On Tuesday 14th November 2018 a meeting was held for the residents of Barkantine Estate where One Housing Group did a presentation on why they have embarked on a conversation with the residents of certain areas only.

 

Many residents from Kedge House, Starboard Way and Winch House were in attendance and they are keen for the conversation to start in their block.

 

Our Independent Advisor, Mike Tyrrell was present and agreed to organise a meeting just for the residents of these blocks on Tuesday 27th November 2018 at 7pm in the Barkantine Hall.

 

Mike will then be able to report back on the request made to One Housing Group, on how the conversation could be speeded up.

On Tuesday 14th November 2018 a meeting was held for the residents of Barkantine Estate where One Housing Group did a presentation on why they have embarked on a conversation with the residents of certain areas only.

 

Many residents from Kedge House, Starboard Way and Winch House were in attendance and they are keen for the conversation to start in their block.

 

Our Independent Advisor, Mike Tyrrell was present and agreed to organise a meeting just for the residents of these blocks on Tuesday 27th November 2018 at 7pm in the Barkantine Hall.

 

Mike will then be able to report back on the request made to One Housing Group, on how the conversation could be speeded up.

Kingsbridge Estate 

On Tuesday 4th December 2018 a meeting of the TRA will take place and residents will discuss setting up a Residents Steering Group. All are welcome. It will start at 6.30pm and held in the TRA Office at 4 Montcalm House. 

Alice Shepherd House & Oak House

On Tuesday 4th September 2018 a meeting was held for the residents of Alice Shepherd and Oak Houses to discuss the possibility of residents of these blocks starting a conversation with One Housing Group on the future of thier homes.

 

The meeting heard from our Independent Advisor, Mike Tyrrell on what this could mean. Mike spoke to a report he had prepared setting out the kind of questions that residents will need to ask should they want to start a conversation with One Housing Group. 

 

Residents present asked for the report to be added to the 4EF website so that it can be shared with those who could not attend.

Report of the Independent Advior - Alice Shepherd & Oak Houses - 04.09.2018
Report of the Independent Advisor – St J[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [102.2 KB]
Minutes of a meeting for the residents of Alice Shepherd House & Oak House - 4th September 2018
St Johns TRA - Minutes - 04.09 2018.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [129.9 KB]

One Housing Group to consult with 3 areas on the Island on the options for their future

On Wednesday 13th June 2018, the 4 Estates Forum met with Richard Hill, One Housing’s Chief Executive, to find out how they intend to respond to the results of the Stock Condition Survey.

 

At that meeting (the full details of what he said at the meeting are set out in the June 2018 newsletters for each estate) Richard Hill suggested three initial areas on the Island where One Housing Group could start to work with residents to develop options for their homes.

 

These options could range from doing nothing, refurbishment, infills, partial or full regeneration. The three areas he suggested where consultation with residents could commence were: 

  • Montrose House, Montcalm House and Michigan House – Kingsbridge Estate
  • Kedge House, Starboard Way, and Winch House – Barkantine Estate
  • Alice Shepherd House & Oak House on St John’s Estate along with the Samuda Community Centre and the redundant housing office.

The 4 Estates Forum were not happy as the residents in these areas had not put themselves forward for such a consultation. Other areas on the estates which might have welcomed a conversation about the future of their blocks appeared to have been excluded.

 

One Housing Group have since written to the residents concerned on Friday 15th June 2018.

 

The St Johns Estate will be discussing it at their TRA meeting on Monday 18th June 2018 at 7pm in the St Johns Community Centre.

 

The Kingsbridge Estate will be discussing it at their extraordinary TRA meeting on Tuesday 19th June 2018 at 6.30pm at 4 Montrose House.

 

The BMT, the Barkantine TRA will be discussing it at their meeting on 19th June, and at a public meeting in late June / early in July

 

We are meeting this week on Wednesday 20th June 2018 to discuss how the 4 Estates Forum responds to the latest situation.

Stock Condition Survey

The independent Stock Condition Survey undertaken by Hunters was been published on 28th February 2018. Click on the Stock Condition Survey tab above to see the full survey.

GLA Consultation on Estate Ballots

The Mayor is consulting on a proposal that a resident ballot would be required for estate regeneration schemes seeking GLA funding that include the demolition of homes. 

Full details of the proposal and the consultation questions are available in the consultation document which can be found on this link:

 

https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/housing-and-land/improving-quality/good-practice-guide-estate-regeneration

 

The consultation is open until 5pm on Tuesday 3 April 2018.

You can respond to the consultation:

  • By email ballotsconsultation@london.gov.uk
  • By post: Consultation on ballots in estate regeneration, Housing & Land Directorate, Greater London Authority, 169 Union Street, London SE1 0LL

 

GLA Good Practice Guide on Estate Regeneration

In February 2018 the GLA have published “Better homes for local people”, which is the London Mayor’s good practice guide to Estate Regeneration. The final version of the guide sets out the Mayor’s expectations for how local authorities and housing associations should engage with residents as part of estate regeneration schemes, as well as outlining his three Better Homes for Local People principles:

  • an increase in affordable housing

  • full rights to return or remain for social tenants

  • a fair deal for leaseholders and freeholders

In addition, the guide sets out how the Mayor intends to ensure these principals are implemented using his planning and funding powers. This includes outlining his support for the principle of requiring resident ballots in estate regeneration schemes which involve the demolition of existing homes. This differs from his previous stance but take a closer look at the wording:

 

“Where demolition is involved, I intend to use my planning powers, and a new requirement for resident ballots where my funding is involved, to help ensure this is the case.”

 

Therefore if no grant is applied for can demolition be forced through without a ballot? This should still remain a concern. Grant funding for new homes is at its lowest that it has ever been and estates can be redeveloped without grant In Tower Hamlets because of the high land values. 

 

There is still good news in the guide and to save you reading it all, take a look at these paragraphs:

 

The Mayor believes that for estate regeneration to be a success there must be resident support for proposals, based on full and transparent consultation from the very start of the process, and meaningful ongoing involvement of those affected.

 

Where proposals include the demolition and replacement of existing homes, the Mayor believes those social tenants affected should be guaranteed full rights to return (or to remain through a single move), and leaseholders and freeholders must be offered a fair deal.

 

Where demolition and rebuilding are pursued as part of an estate regeneration project, this should only happen where it does not result in a net loss of affordable housing. This must be on a like-for-like basis, so that, for example, homes at social rent levels are replaced with homes based on the same rent levels.

 

The Mayor supports the principle of mandatory ballots as part of estate regeneration schemes where demolition is involved.

 

When considering the option of demolishing and rebuilding homes, councils, housing associations and their partners should always consider alternative options to demolition first. They should balance the potential benefits of demolishing and rebuilding homes against the wider social and environmental impacts of this option.

 

Residents should be the primary consultees during an estate regeneration project. As well as social tenants, resident leaseholders and freeholders, councils and housing associations should also seek to consult with private tenants or those living in temporary accommodation on the estate, as well as non-resident leaseholders and freeholders.

 

To view the full document please follow the following link:

 

https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/housing-and-land/improving-quality/good-practice-guide-estate-regeneration

4EF 2018 AGM and Elections

The 4 Estates are electing their representatives for the 4EF. 

Watch out for news on your estate.

Stock Condition Survey Update

The Independent Stock Condition Survey that was undertaken last year by Hunters will be published on 28th February 2018.

 

The Stock Condition Survey was undertaken to establish what it is going to cost One Housing Group to maintain the estates over the next 30 years compared to their income over the same period.

 

The 4 Estates Forum argued that the Stock Condition Survey was required to show that the claims from One Housing Group in their Project Stone proposals that the estates on the Isle of Dogs were too expensive to maintain were incorrect.

 

As we all now know Project Stone is not being pursued by One Housing Group. Nevertheless the Stock Condition Survey is still important, as its findings will inform residents as to what works their homes will need over the next 30 years.

 

As soon as the Stock Condition Survey is published on 28th February 2018 it will be available through this website:

 

The report is very detailed as its main audience are the technical and finance staff at One Housing Group who require it to draw up the programme of works that are required to maintain the estates. If you have any queries on it, Hunters staff will only be too happy to help at the planned exhibitions.

 

There will be exhibitions on the Stock Condition Survey on each of the four estates at the beginning of March 2018 as follows (if you can not make the one on your estate, you can call in at any of them):

  • Tuesday 6th March 2018 – 3.30 to 7.30pm

    Barkantine Community Hall, The Quarterdeck, Millwall, London E14 8SH

  • Tuesday 13th March 2018 – 3.30 to 7.30pm

  • Samuda Community Centre, 44 Stewart Street, Cubitt Town, London E14 3EH

  • Wednesday 14th March 2018 – 3 to 6pm

    St Johns Community Centre, Glengall Grove, Cubitt Town, London E14 3NE

  • Thursday 15th March 2018 – 3.30 to 7.30pm

  • Docklands Sailing Centre, 235a West Ferry Road, Millwall, London E14 3QS

The End of Project Stone

At the end of  November 2017, Richard Hill, the new Chief Executive of One Housing Group, told the 4 Estates Forum that the 2014 masterplan for the four estates known as Project Stone will no longer be pursued by One Housing Group. Therefore, the prospect of all our homes on the four estates being demolished is no longer a possibility.

 

Richard Hill went further and said that One Housing Group have no intention of using the land it has on the Isle of Dogs to improve their finances to build elsewhere.

 

So what do OHG want to do? He reported that they would like to start to engage with residents during 2018 on what can be done to improve their homes and the estates in general. It could mean that OHG are happy to work with residents where:

·     the Stock Condition Survey shows a block is in poor condition, and residents are keen to look at a regeneration option.

·     blocks need be to refurbished and residents agree.

·     some new build homes could be built on estates in “infill sites” and residents can see the benefits of the new homes to the estates.

Minutes of meeting with Richard Hill OHG CEO
4EF JV mins RH Nov'17.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [67.2 KB]

Correspondence with Mayor Biggs on Ballots

At the outset, the Mayor of Tower Hamlets made it clear that he would only support the redevelopment of the Barkantine, Kingsbridge, Samuda and St Johns Estate if there was resident support for the proposals by One Housing Group and their partners, Argent. 

 

The concern of the 4 Estates Forum has been how the Mayor would guage that support. The 4 Estates Forum have stated that the support must be guaged through an independent ballot of no other acceptable method is forthcomuing. The exchange of letters below between the 4EF and Mayor Biggs clarifies that he supports our position on this. 

4EF letter to Mayor John Biggs re. ballots on Development
Letter - 4EF to Mayor Biggs - 18.09.2017[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [47.2 KB]
Letter from John Biggs To 4EF
17.10.12 Coppin, Arthur - Project Stone.[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [40.7 KB]

More on the Stock Condition Survey

By now we would have hoped that we would have been able to publish the completed Stock Condition Survey. Alas that is not the case. The draft version is ready but given the delays and the work on the extra investigations that are required are to be reported on soon, it was felt that it would be better to publish all the information at the same time. 

 

As a reminder, the Stock Condition Survey has been jointly commissioned and carried out by Hunters with the aim of identifying the cost to maintain each block over the next 30 years. You will recall that one of the reasons that One Housing Group are proposing the redevelopment of our estates is that they claim that the blocks will cost more to maintain than One Housing Group collects in Rents and Service Charges. The results of the Stock Condition Survey will be able to show if this is true or not.

 

Hunters have inspected each block, and 20% of the properties internally. The properties that have been inspected are nearly all tenanted as the Stock Condition Survey needs to identify the cost to One Housing Group of maintaining the insides of the tenanted homes. On the St Johns Estate a handful of leaseholder properties have been inspected where there are so few tenanted homes left in certain blocks as internal inspections were required to check whether there were any communal issues that were affecting the inside of the properties.

 

The draft of the survey sets out the total costs of the communal works to the block that are required over the next 30 years exclusive of VAT under the following headings:

  • Boundaries
  • External Walls
  • Building Services
  • Hard Surfacings
  • Drainage  Above Ground
  • Internal Structural Elements
  • Electrical Installations
  • Roofs
  • External Buildings
  • Stairs & Balconies
  • External Wall Finish
  • Windows

Separately it sets out the costs to tenanted properties over 30 years exclusive of VAT under the following headings: Bathrooms; Electrical Installations; External Doors; Heating & Hot Water; Internal Doors; Internal Structural Elements; and Kitchens. Finally the report sets out the estate wide costs, such as communal heating (if applicable), communal drainage etc.

 

However in its current format it does not set out what the overall cost per tenanted property and leasehold property in each block is. In addition there is no information on what One Housing Group’s income is over the next 30 years and what would be a reasonable proportion from the income to spend on such works. To be fair this is not a matter for Hunters, but for One Housing Group and for publication in a summary document to accompany the report. Without that information it would then be difficult for residents to understand whether their block is expensive to maintain. This has been raised with Hunters and One Housing Group.

 

The final draft will now not be published until February 2018. As soon as it is received residents will be able to access it on the 4 Estates Forum website and drop in sessions will be held on each estate for you to come in and discuss it.

KINGSBRIDGE ESTATE - GLA bid for funding new homes

At the beginning of May 2017 the 4 Estates Forum (4EF) were advised that One Housing Group (OHG) had applied to the Greater London Authority (GLA) for £6m funding for the provision of new homes for rent and shared ownership on the Kingsbridge Estate.

 

This bid implied that the Kingsbridge Estate would be redeveloped and it was put forward to the GLA without any consultation with residents and Tower Hamlets Council; and without the knowledge of OHG’s development partner Argent.

 

OHG have said their bid was only 'indicative,' not a 'firm' proposal, at the GLA's request, and would not prejudge consultations. 

 

John Biggs the Mayor of Tower Hamlets wrote to OHG on 26th April 2017 stating that he would not be supporting their bid as no consultation had been carried out with residents. A copy of the letter from the Mayor to OHG and their reply is set out below.

 

At a meeting on 17th May 2017, the members of the 4EF made it very clear that they were not willing to engage with OHG and Argent any further until:

 

  • OHG and Argent agree that the options appraisal process should be resident led and that any options to be consulted on have been developed by residents

  • OHG agree that no funding bid is made for any of their estates on the Island without resident led consultation having been concluded on that estate to the satisfaction of the majority of residents

  • the Interim Chief Executive of OHG meets with the 4EF Forum to explain how such a bid was made without resident consultation

  • the 4EF meet with James Murray the Deputy Mayor of London to explain our position

  • the full contents of the bid are revealed

  • the bid is withdrawn

  • an assurance is given to residents of the Kingsbridge Estate that no redevelopment of their estate will happen without full and meaningful consultation.

Since then the 4 Estates Forum has had a meeting with the Interim Chief Executive of OHG, John Gregory and the Director of Development, Alan Williams. This has led to an exchange of letters that are set out below.

Letter from Mayor John Biggs - 26th April 2017
This is the letter that Mayor John Biggs wrote to Alan Williams at One Housing Group on 26th April 2017 regarding the bid that One Housing Group made to the GLA for funding for 106 new homes on the Kingsbridge Estate.
Letter - John Biggs to Alan Williams - G[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [45.0 KB]
Letter from Alan Williams - 3rd May 2017
This is the letter that Alan Williams from One Housing Group wrote to Mayor Biggs on 3rd May 2017 regarding the bid that One Housing Group made to the GLA for funding for 106 new homes on the Kingsbridge Estate.
Letter - Alan Williams to John Biggs - G[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [394.0 KB]
Letter from the 4 Estates Forum to the Interim Chief Executive of OHG - 16th May 2017
This is the letter that the 4 Estates Forum wrote to John Gregory the Interim Chief Executive of the One Housing Group on 16th May 2017 regarding the bid that One Housing Group made to the GLA for funding for 106 new homes on the Kingsbridge Estate.
4EF Letter to to John Gregory - 16.05.20[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [68.4 KB]
Letter from the 4 Estates Forum to the Interim Chief Executive of OHG - 12th June 2017
This is the letter that the 4 Estates Forum wrote to John Gregory the Interim Chief Executive of the One Housing Group on 12th June 2017 following on from a meeting with him on 7th June 2017 regarding the bid that One Housing Group made to the GLA for funding for 106 new homes on the Kingsbridge Estate.
Letter - 4EF to John Gregory - 12.06.201[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [435.3 KB]
Letter from the Interim Chief Executive of OHG to the 4 Estates Forum - 27th June 2017
This is the letter that the 4 Estates Forum received from John Gregory the Interim Chief Executive of One Housing Group in response to their letter dated 12th June 2017.
Letter - John Gregory to 4EF - 27.06.201[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [130.9 KB]
Letter from the Greater London Authority to One Housing Group - 14th July 2017
This is a letter from the Greater London Authority regarding the bid made by OHG for 106 new homes on the Kingsbridge Estate.
Letter - GLA to OHG - Kingsbridge Bid - [...]
Adobe Acrobat document [25.6 KB]
Letter from the 4 Estates Forum to the Interim Chief Exective of OHG - 18th July 2017
This is the letter that the 4 Estates Forum wrote to John Gregory the Interim Chief Executive of the One Housing Group on 18th July 2017 in response to his letter of 27th June 2017 regarding the bid that One Housing Group made to the GLA for funding for 106 new homes on the Kingsbridge Estate.
Letter - 4EF to John Gregory - Final Ver[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [358.9 KB]

Stock Condition Survey

Stock Condition Survey

 

The first issue the Forum has taken on, is to challenge the assumption from One Housing Group that the four estates on the Island are their most expensive homes to maintain. This is one of the reasons that they have given for the Estates to be redeveloped. As a result, with the support of the Council, a fresh stock condition survey is bearly completed. This survey is being undertaken by Hunters with the results being presented in August 2017. (see article above as this will now be February 2018).

 

Before Hunters start they held a drop in event on each Estate as follows:

  • Monday 3rd April 2017 – 4.30 to 6.30pm - Samuda Communty Centre
  • Monday 3rd April 2017 – 7 to 9pm - Kingsbridge TRA Office - 4 Montrose House
  • Tuesday 4th April 2017 – 4.45 to 6.45pm - Barkantine Hall
  • Monday 10th April 2017 – 7.30 to 9pm - St Johns Community Centre

This was a chance for residents to meet the staff from Hunters and find out what they will be looking at in your block.

 

In the middle of the survey, Hunters gave a report back on their work so far at TRA meetings across the Island as follows:

  • Tuesday 9th May 2017 – 6pm - Kingsbridge TRA Office - 4 Montrose House
  • Monday 22nd May 2017 - 6pm - 55 Club, Stewart Street
  • Monday 22nd May 2017 – 7.30pm - St Johns Community Centre
  • Tuesday 23rd May 2017 – 7pm - Barkantine Hall

Get involved!

Find out how by contacting us at:

 

4 Estates Forum

4 Thorne House, Launch Street
London

E14 3LU
Tel: 07958 225416 07958 225416
E-mail: mike@4estatesforum.org.uk

 

Or use our online contact form.

Officers

Chair - Candida Ronald

 

Vice Chairs - Maggie Phillips & Ahmed Hussain

 

Secretary - Arthur Coppin

For the latest news please click on the tab at the top of the page