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TNRA news December 2018

05 December 2018

Rent negotiations

TNRA has worked with a number of assured shorthold tenants ("ASTs") negotiating rent increases for 2018 with Knight Frank. The proposal for each property will vary according inter alia to current rent levels and the condition of the property. However, it appears that Knight Frank are generally going for rent increases of between 1.5 and 2% at the moment, a bit lower than inflation (CPI), probably reflecting current softness in the rental market. There may be limited room for manoeuvre, particularly if a tenant is prepared to sign a lease for four instead of two years (four-year leases have been agreed with a number of ASTs who have asked).

If you are in discussions with Knight Frank about the rent for your property and would like advice from TNRA, please email us at info@tnra.net. If you have recently agreed a new rent level with Knight Frank, we would appreciate your feedback as this may help others in their negotiations.  Any information received will only be disclosed on an anonymous basis. On 6 December, TNRA is meeting with Graham Hockley, the Secretary (ie CEO) of Trinity House to encourage a more sensitive approach to rent and lease negotiations with their tenants.

Developments in the Trinity Village area

TNRA has provided formal comments on the width restrictions in Harper Road. Increased flows along Cole Street are causing more vehicles to turn into the Quietway cycle route along Globe Street, often at speed. We have asked for a Stop sign to be installed on Cole Street at the Globe Street junction to encourage drivers to reduce their speed and halt before entering Globe Street. We have also suggested that all residential properties north of Harper Road should have general refuse and recycling collections in the same day to reduce the number of rubbish trucks travelling through the area. Cllr Helen Dennis has commented that our points "seem very sensible" and agreed to feed them into Council officers.

We have also provided input on the formal consultation on the redevelopment of the Dickens Square park. We are generally in favour of the current draft proposals and have made only relatively minor comments. After the current consultation, technical designs will be produced prior to a final round of consultation in Spring 2019. Planning approval will be sought in the Summer. Work will begin in Autumn 2019 at the earliest with the new park opening some time in 2020.

Patients of the Falmouth Road doctors' surgery were recently invited to a meeting at the practice where they were told that the site had been "sold" and a planning application had been submitted for a 13-floor tower block. We understand that Southwark Council is the freeholder of the site and has agreed a 127-year lease with a third party which has sold it on to Greyport Ltd, which will be leading the re-development. Patients were told that the surgery will be accommodated on the lower levels of the new building but that in the interim the surgery will be located in temporary cabins over the road in Newington Gardens. Cllr Dennis tells us "that there have been no pre-application conversations on this" so the project is "still in very early stages of development." She tells us that "if there are any discussions with Council Officers before Christmas, I've been promised an update".

Plans for a 13-storey block on Falmouth Road just south of the Trinity Church Square Conservation Area are similar to the plans for a 14-storey block in the King's Place development on the corner of Harper Road and Borough High Street. A Planning Statement Addendum for the latter argues that the benefits from building such tower blocks can be "sufficient to justify some harm to views out of the Trinity Square Conservation Area which is already characterised by tall buildings being clearly visible around it. As such the proposal is considered to be fully compliant with planning policy in terms of housing and the heritage matters." The tall buildings clearly visible around the Conservation Area are a consequence of building developments of the last five years only. TNRA is concerned that the Conservation Area will be further compromised by more tall buildings in the years ahead. In order to judge whether this application and future tall buildings are "fully compliant with planning policy" we need to know what the Council's planning policy is regarding building heights around the Conservation Area. On 12 December, we have a meeting to discuss this point, kindly arranged by Cllr Karl Eastham, with Cllr Johnson Situ, Southwark's Cabinet Member for Growth, Development and Planning.

Christmas with TNRA

As you shop for presents or plan your Christmas festivities, don't forget to use the TNRA discount scheme offering discounts ranging from 5% to 20% from more than 20 local businesses. Offers are available on gifts including kitchen accessories and craftworks. We have arranged deals with interior and garden designers, a dry cleaner, a printer, a barber and a cobbler. Six local restaurants and a wine merchant have signed up. And for those of you who are already planning your post-Christmas recovery, there are discounts from a gym,  a transformative coach, a yoga teacher and even a local solicitor! See http://www.tnra.net/drupal/noticesdirectorydiscounts/discounts for further details. Members must show a valid TNRA membership card to be eligible for a discount.

TNRA also offers greeting cards capturing scenes of our historic estate through the seasons. Many make ideal Christmas cards for you to send Christmas wishes with a personal touch. Cards cost only 50p, with a discount for 20 or more cards. Buy them now on our web-site or from 57 Trinity Church Square. See http://www.tnra.net/drupal/about/what-we-do/greetings-cards for all available designs.

Finally, for some bargain presents or stocking fillers, visit the Pop-up Bookstall outside 57 TCS on Saturdays 8 and 15 December (weather permitting). As well as the usual bargain books, there will be some second-hand games and toys for you to snap up.