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Hi folks, I'm just about to move into Great Arthur House :)

I'm aware of the impending major works and have seen a copy of the March 2010 newsletter

My question though is does anyone know how the Corporation will bill long leaseholders - to  bill people for the entire amount (which could be upto £40k) with a "please pay within 14 days" sort of thing seems unrealistic - people (I certainly don't) have that kind of cash lying around.

Anybody got any hints from the Corporation? Or have other blocks had major works with large bills and how have these been handled.

Thanks all
B

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This very point is under discussion currently - the City of London is not working to a "payment due within 14 days" conclusion, and there are hopes of arranging suitable time for people to pay based on their circumstances. It is too soon to be specific as to what is achievable, but the City will not want a situation to arise where people are forced to sell up to pay for the works.

Efforts will also be made to achieve what is needed in terms of necessary or reasonable works to carry out in the near future for this project in a cost effective manner in the hope the final outcome will be less than the "all in" indicative costs currently available. Deciding what needs to be tendered for this project and what prices come in for that specification from bidders for the contract will establish the "real" costs of the works.

There is a Great Arthur House Group looking at this at the moment, as well as the Golden Lane Estate Residents' Association and they should be able to help with more detail.

David.
Leasehold Tribunal have moved to 10 Alfred Place, London WC1E 7LR.  The Great Arthur working party are aware of this.  There is a meeting of the City and the working party next week and any further information will be notified to all residents of the block.
i was just wondering,is glass in the windows of great arthur just normal glass or is it toughened/safety type anyone know?
The City of London has agreed a subsidised loan agreement whereby the cost can be spread over up to ten years with no interest to pay initially and a "reasonable" rate after the interest free period finishes. The exact details should be confirmed before anyone receives a service charge bill for the works. There is quite a lot of detail underlying my summary - too much to set out here. The Estate Office may be able to help as to when the exact details will be communicated. The 'special deal' is not just for Great Arthur House - it applies generally for residents of the City's HRA Estates facing big bills for capital projects.

I can't help re the glass question, I'm afraid.
what about the curtain wall? will leaseholders be billed for this if it has to be replaced or the windows only. if the wall is to be replaced is this not a fault of bad design and whoever built it should be made to replace it?
The answer is that the official view is that the curtain wall is over 50 years old and has come to the end of its natural life and needs replacing anyway. In addition to that there is also a decent homes rationale to improving the thermal efficiency of the building, on top of banishing leaks into flats through the curtain walling.

Whether the design has contributed to the "failure" of the system is an understandable question to ask, but the answer would need to come from a competent expert in such matters, and the official view on that is in the paragraph above.

Hmmm, interesting.

 

cladding

According to the Architects the Windows in Great Arthur House will not be replaced in 2013 the new design has not yet been approved by The listed building consent and nothing has been agreed with residents re payment plans ,The whole Project seems to be a complete joke Considering that the Leisure Centre was rubber stamped and completed in a couple of years including several changes to appearance with no problems   What do we get ? Another two winters of cold and damp rotting windows and fabric of a building that his been left in a disgusting state of repair . Mr Alderman can you let us all know whats really going on here ? Decent Homes my farce !

Based on what I have heard it may indeed not be until 2014 that the works to GAH are completed, although the replacement of the existing cladding may start very early in 2014 and be finished before year end. The original plan had involved a 2013 completion, so you are right that rather like all City projects I have personal knowledge of, there has been some slippage in the progress of the project. If the (usual) delay means that the extra time is being devoted to getting the end product right, this is time well spent. You may be unlucky if your flat is particularly cold and damp with lots of rot - some flats as I understand it are not nearly so badly off. What is really going on is that the process is working its way to a conclusion - I agree that the programme has slipped, but that is pretty much par for the course with most building projects. And I can well believe that re-skinning the entire east and west facades of GAH is a more challenging job of work than upgrading the Leisure Centre. That said, I had already registered the slippage in the programme - I would have wanted the GAH works to happen over Summer 2013, but despite the fact that is unlikely to happen, I don't think anybody is trying to slow the project down unnecessarily. 

The GAH cladding has been the subject of condition reports going back many years, so the understanding that "something must be done" has been there for a long time, and a recent poster has complained over the length of time it will take to finish the project. Have any condition reports been commissioned for Cuthbert Harrowing House? If so, what do they say, and if not, is this because the overall condition is not so poor as to call for a complete re-skinning of the exterior. The GAH cladding issue has been around for a long time, and even the current project has been inching forwards for about 3 years, so not sure why there is now a query about this, compared to other blocks. If they have needs which some feel have been neglected, surely these should be flagged up so a view can be taken about priorities?.  

David

The Decent Homes legislation was intended to ensure that homes reached the standard by 2010. The Corporation was able to gain an extension because of the complications of restoring a listed building. The Peabody towers, for example, were wrapped in insulation and reclad, an option not available here. However, the wait for a warm dry home has been extraordinarily long. When you look at the speed at which office blocks in the area have been reclad or rebuilt, it is rather dispiriting that it has taken so long to implement these changes. If you read through this forum, a large number of people are enduring exceptionally poor, badly-insulated living conditions. It would be good if the Housing department and relevant committee could give some reassurance that action was to be taken as a priority.

It is my experience from dealing with City Departments in one capacity or another for the last 10 years that the Local Authority projects (nearly) always end up taking longer than anticipated - sometimes much longer. This may partly reflect a difference between Local Authority resources/mentality and private organisations, in which time taken is more of the company's money being spent versus someone else's money being spent (ie taxpayers/long lessees). There are many dimensions to this - if we abolished consultation, no doubt that would speed things up, if mere speed was the overriding priority. I do understand the frustration, and I share it myself to some extent reflecting on the fact that when the project got seriously under way about 3 years ago, the deadline for completion was 2013. I would very happily agree to be shown an example of a cold and wet GAH flat - I do not think that this is the case for every flat in the building. That is not a reason for taking time over the problem flats, but I do think that the overall level of "indecency" is not 100% cold, wet and miserable accommodation - and I am happy as stated to be shown the worst examples to put this in perspective. The professional external (ie private sector) team is now working on this, and has been on the case now for several months, and the recent exhibition in the new R Perrin location shows that the project has been moving forward. I think there is a disadvantage to rushing this now, as we all hope that none of us will need to be around to work on the project for the replacement of the replacement cladding - I hope at least 50 years away, so we should take time to get this right. 

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