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TNRA news October 2018

04 October 2018

Regeneration of Dickens Square Park

Southwark Council has published the delayed report on the second consultation on the redevelopment of Dickens Square Park. The Council has now decided to develop a design for the new park with the current REPA park building removed. The existing playground will also be removed and replaced with a new playground that meets modern standards. Gym equipment and a "trim trail" will be installed. The Brockham Street entrance will be opened up, with the wall replaced with railings, to discourage anti-social behaviour. The redesign of the park will be more coordinated with schemes to improve Harper Road in relation to the park's entrance on Harper Road.
A third consultation meeting is scheduled to take place on 30 October from 7.15pm to 8.45pm at the Rockingham Community Centre, in the Rockingham Estate off the south end of Falmouth Road. In order to attend this meeting, please confirm your attendance to rowena.scrimshaw2@southwark.gov.uk by the close of 22 October.

Trinity Village gardens

On 13 September, TNRA had its annual meeting with Knight Frank and Greenmantle, their gardening contractor. In Trinity Church Square, we discussed planting in the four central beds, more bulbs in the side beds and improved paving at the entrance. In Merrick Square, our focus was on maintaining and spraying to protect the central box parterre. In both gardens, we asked for the re-seeding of "bald patches" in lawns and treatments for the grass.

Greenmantle will be doing a survey of the communal back gardens in Trinity Village, identifying those where work is required, considering options and making recommendations on which should get priority treatment. When it is agreed that action is required, we suggested that a hard landscaping plan and a planting plan is produced for agreement, including with the tenants.

Improvements to the bed north of 1 Merrick Square have been a great success. We suggested that Greenmantle replant the beds running along the pavement on the south east end of Swan Street once the Swan Street/Harper Road development is nearing completion.
We discussed the pruning of the plane trees in the two square gardens, the back of 6 Merrick Square and at 36B Falmouth Road. Southwark Council will not allow hard pruning or pollarding. Greenmantle will look to trim and remove "dangly bits" within the scope allowed without planning permission being required.

There have been more cases of noisy parties, littering etc in the two square gardens than in previous years. We suggested that Knight Frank's policy on the use of the gardens should go on the Trinity Village website (only the access policy is on the website at present). Anecdotal evidence suggests that more non-residents are using the gardens than in the past. The use of an exit button instead of a key fob to open the gate on departure is likely to have contributed to this development. Knight Frank will check on best practice in other private gardens in central London.

Rent negotiations

TNRA has had several reports from tenants negotiating rent increases for 2018 with Knight Frank. Based on the feedback we are getting, it appears that Knight Frank are agreeing to rent increases in line with inflation (circa 2.5%) or below. The proposal for each property will vary according, inter alia, to current rent levels and the condition of the property.

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.

Fox trouble

We understand that there has been an increase in fox activity across Trinity Village over recent months. A number of tenants have contacted us about damage to gardens caused by a family group of half a dozen animals. Others have complained about the noise and disturbance caused by foxes at night. In one particularly unpleasant incident, the corpse of a dead fox lay in a back garden in Falmouth Road for three weeks before it was removed by Knight Frank.

TNRA intends to contact Knight Frank to ask them to engage a professional urban fox control specialist to deal with the issue. Before we do so, please share your experiences of local foxes with us at info@tnra.net. And, please, do not encourage foxes by feeding them!