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TNRA news November 2018

07 November 2018

Protected and assured tenancies

If you are a protected tenant (pre-1989 leases) or an assured tenant (1990s leases), recent decisions of the First-tier Tribunal Property Chamber (formerly the Rent Assessment Committee) for rents of three flats in Gloucester Court may be of interest to you in negotiating your next rent increase. The tribunal made considerable reductions from the rents proposed by Trinity House, seemingly based on the fact that the properties are now old and not "in the condition that is considered usual for an open market letting". If you would like advice about a proposed rent increase, please contact TNRA.

Crime in Trinity Village

Crime in Trinity Village is usually minimal and limited to minor incidents. However, at 3am on Saturday 3 November, there was a "very nasty sexual assault" on a woman in Avon Place off Swan Street. This is the second such incident in five years - there was an attempted rape in Avon Place in 2013. TNRA's response then was to make the alleyway "Cleaner, Greener, Safer". We successfully lobbied for a number of measures over 2013-15: improved lighting (there was previously none at the Borough High Street end), new trees and a strategically placed mirror. We also received a grant from Southwark Council for a mural on the south wall of the alleyway - there is a long history in Southwark of street murals being used to enhance public spaces. Our response to this latest incident will be to campaign for CCTV and accompanying signage.

A car was stolen outside a house at the north end of Falmouth Road in the early hours of Tuesday 2 October. TNRA put the owner in touch with the Chaucer ward police team who were unable to find local CCTV footage to help identify the thief.

There was a police raid on a flat in Trinity Street on Monday 29 October. A warrant was executed and there are no on-going concerns for residents.

We have received several complaints from residents in Trinity Church Square about drunken behaviour by teenagers believed to be students from local halls of residence. The police have visited the halls in the last month and are in touch with representatives of King's College London and from Sidney Webb House (used by the LSE). Students have been reminded to be considerate to neighbours. Their behaviour is being monitored.

Regeneration of the Dickens Square Park

On 30 October, TNRA representatives attended a public meeting to discuss the regeneration of the Dickens Square Park. The project is moving in the direction we have hoped for - the existing building and playground will be removed and replaced with a modern play area, open to all, occupying the current footprint (ie well away from the wall with Bedford Row and Merrick Square). 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.

There are still some minor issues that we need to keep an eye on to ensure that the best outcome is achieved.

  • The present wall at the entrance to the Butterfly Walk will be replaced by a 30cm wall topped by new railings. We need to ensure that the railings are in keeping with the others on the east side of Brockham Street and not cheap & modern.
  • At present, Butterfly Walk & the rest of the park are cleaned and maintained by two different bodies. Responsibility for both areas needs to rest with one entity.
  • The present recycling bins will be kept in a new dedicated area. Underground storage would be ideal.
  • There are plans for an outside gym. Currently, this is planned to be close to Harper Road so it is visible and passers-by are encouraged to try it out. Some residents on the south side of Harper Road expressed concern about the noise of people using the gym. We should support the location currently proposed - we don't want it moved north to the wall by Bedford Row and Merrick Square.
  • A number of people at the meeting expressed concern at the loss of parking as a consequence of the cul-de-sac to the east of the mosque being removed. Council officers explained that two streets in the area have already suffered a loss of residents-only parking spaces to accommodate traffic from the mosque. We don't want to see a loss of residents-only parking in Trinity Village.

If you share these concerns, please respond to the consultation on Dickens Square at https://consultations.southwark.gov.uk/environment-leisure/dickens-squar.... The deadline for responses is Sunday 9 December.

Harper Road width restrictions

The second part of the public meeting on 30 October considered the results of traffic monitoring in September 2017 and 2018 to assess the impact of the width restrictions in Harper Road. Council officers seem determined to make the current temporary width restrictions a permanent feature based on the significant drop in overall traffic flows and HGVs in the area. TNRA has pointed out that the analysis between the two periods will be compromised by changes in the flow of construction traffic to and from the Swan Street/Harper Road redevelopment. However, figures for Brockham Street and Swan Street show a daily reduction of 300 and 200 vehicles, respectively, between 2017 and 2018. Even if changes in construction traffic flows account for half of this (which seems unlikely) many dozens of vehicles fewer are travelling along these routes.

The downside has been a rise of 30 vehicles a day travelling through Trinity Village along the Cole Street to Falmouth Road route. All things considered, even allowing for the data being compromised, our membership would seem to be better off with the width restrictions in place. However, the increased flows along Cole Street are causing more vehicles to turn into the Quietway cycle route along Globe Street, often at speed. TNRA will ask 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. Please support this request via the Council's on-line consultation at https://consultations.southwark.gov.uk/environment-leisure/harperroadimp.... The deadline for responses is again Sunday 9 December.