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TNRA news October 2017

08 November 2017

Harper Road/Swan Street development

The work on the Swan Street/Harper Road development is moving from the demolition to the construction phase under Galliard Construction. Galliard's non-compliance with planning permissions and building regulations has  proved hugely disruptive for residents in the area. Construction and demolition work should only be carried out within specified hours or with permission from the Council and is considered a nuisance outside these hours: Mon to Fri - 8am to 6pm, Sat - 9am to 2pm.

When the contractor works outside these hours, please tell  Southwark Council by emailing ken.andrews@southwark.gov.uk, who is monitoring complaints, marked 'Formal Complaint'. Please copy in TNRA at info@tnra.net when you report such matters to the Council so that  Ali Walker and Sue Trinder, who are co-ordinating our efforts, can build up a record of the contractor's performance.

TNRA is paying for the services of a chartered acoustic engineer to help build a case against Galliard and the developers with the aim of obliging them to work within the prescribed guidelines. Our acoustic engineer has advised that residents affected by noise and vibrations should log incidents for a two-week period and has provided us with forms for recording this. If you would like to receive these forms and join our monitoring team, please email us at info@tnra.net.

Filming in Trinity Village

Trinity Village is a popular location for TV and film production. In 2016, Trinity Church Square was used as a location to film Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock and Tom Hardy in Taboo. This September, Merrick Square and Trinity Church Square were major locations in Walt Disney's "Christopher Robin" starring Ewan McGregor and Hayley Atwell, the live action sequel to "Winnie-the-Pooh". The shoot was the longest in Trinity Village to date, with setting up, filming and clearing taking more than a week. Ali Walker liaised with the production company and Southwark's Film Unit to ensure that the disruption to residents was minimised.

Inevitably, given the scale of the filming, there were one or two issues but the feedback TNRA has received from residents was overwhelmingly positive. In recognition of inconvenience caused to residents, the production company has made a significant contribution to TNRA's funds. While membership subscriptions cover our core running costs, we use such film money to finance events that we organise for the community "free of charge" but with cost implications for TNRA. We always work closely with the Southwark Film Unit about proposed filming to try to avoid residents being disturbed too much or too often.

Trinity Village gardens

On 28 September, TNRA had its Autumn meeting with Capita and Greenmantle, the gardening contractors for Trinity Village.

TNRA has asked Capita to be more respectful of the work by tenants in communal gardens. The back garden of 29 Trinity Church Square is being replanted after plants were destroyed by Capita's contractors. Major improvements are planned for the back garden of 38 Trinity Church Square.

The plane trees in the two square gardens will be pruned during the coming winter. There are areas of grass in both square gardens that need re-seeding. The terms of the recent Disney filming included the provision of money to repair damaged grass. Greenmantle will also ask for Disney to pay for a full scarification of both lawns.  Euphorbia and bulbs will be planted to fill gaps in ground cover at the front of the Trinity Church Square garden and bulbs will be planted in the parterre in Merrick Square.

The small beds to the north of 1 and 32 Merrick Square will be composted. Greenmantle has been spraying the Merrick Square parterre to protect it from box tree caterpillars. We encouraged Greenmantle's team to use a sprinkler for watering the two square gardens in the Summer.

Long leaseholder update

In the light of Mainstay's continuing inability to communicate effectively and regularly with long leaseholders, TNRA decided in the early Summer to bring matters to the attention of Capita, as a result of which Mainstay was instructed to produce a fortnightly progress tracking chart for regular review by Capita. Tim Horsler and Meera Rajan had a meeting with Adeel Akhtar and Rebecca Cox of Mainstay on 22 September to review progress in dealing with outstanding issues. Mainstay has made good progress in dealing with the backlog of required action. Of the 48 individual items on the latest progress tracking chart, 27 have now been completed and progress on many of the others is well under way or nearing completion.

Nevertheless,  we argued that Mainstay is still insufficiently responsive, pro-active and efficient despite repeated requests for improvements. Adeel agreed that Mainstay's performance has not been as good as it should have been and that he and his team need to up their capability and performance. In response to questions concerning Mainstay's charges, Adeel noted that their management costs include a number of significant back office support functions. Certain other costs have also risen as a result of increased or new compliance, HSE and other statutory requirements. Nevertheless Adeel will raise with Capita the possibility of a cap being placed on inflationary increases.

We have subsequently emphasised to Capita the importance of their specifically pursuing and reviewing Mainstay's communication service. The next meeting between TNRA and Mainstay is scheduled to take place in November.  Mainstay will present details of expenditure to date and draft estimates for the next year.  It has been  agreed in principle that someone from the Mainstay Finance Department will attend this meeting to answer questions.

Cleaners wanted

We have recently had an approach from a resident of Trinity Church Square looking for a cleaner who we can recommend. If you are aware of a cleaner, handyman, window cleaner etc  looking for more work of this sort, please let us know at info@tnra.net so we can advertise their services on our web-site.