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Resident Steering Group meeting 17 April 2023
April 17, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
This is a closed meeting for those who have applied to be part of the ‘residents steering group’ (RSG).
It is mandatory to have attended the steering group training provided by Source Partnership.
The steering group comprises of residents from both the old and new blocks and provides resident input into the next stage of new build and refurbishment of Kings Crescent.
Key Summary Points:
* Mulalley have been appointed as Hackney’s building contractor
* Plan: 1 year of design review for cost optimisation then 1 year for design approval process and ‘Building Safety Act’ compliance (new regulation). So work due to commence in 2 years
* Part of the Play Street will be out of action for approx 2 years once the work starts at the Green Lanes end of the site
* There will be opportunities for residents to be consulted and meet the contractors during this coming year of design review
* Hackney Regeneration Team will be sending out a newsletter to all residents in June to provide an overview of the process and programme with Mulalley
* Source Partnership will be resuming a drop-in service from June onwards to answer resident questions
Notes of Kings Crescent Steering Group Meeting held on 17th April 2023
|Cllr Clare Potter (CP) (Chair)
Cllr Soreya Adejare (SA)
EP, JWM, EV, PS, PA, PD, KM, AF
|Ron Greenwood (RG)
Carol Squires (CS)
John Morris (minutes)
Lee Walsh (LW)
Source Partnership (ITLA)
Source Partnership (ITLA)
Source Partnership (ITLA)
|Introductions and apologies
Apologies were received from resident KH
|Notes of previous meeting held 13th October 2022 and any Matters Arising not elsewhere on the agenda
The minutes were agreed as a true record
|Introduction to Mulalley and the Kings Crescent project – Lee Walsh , Contracts Manager
Lee gave a presentation, (slides below) followed by questions.
CP asked for the slides to be circulated.
PA – can data from previous site surveys be used by Mulalley to reduce the work involved?
LW – these will be used to provide a basic understanding but Mullalley will need to explore in much greater detail, e.g. soil surveys will be taken at 5m intervals.
CP – will the extended period for redesign etc. mean that investigations will be more thorough, so chance of issues arising later is minimised?
LW – no, the delays at this stage won’t mean the surveys will be any more thorough; they will be thorough anyway but it means that due diligence can be completed earlier, making good use of the extended period of redesign, sign off etc.
SA – can we be assured that the length of time at this stage will not have a detrimental impact on leaseholders?
RG – leaseholders will benefit from cost optimisation but it is important that the principle of design parity between new build and refurb is maintained. Cost optimisation is a way to balance quality and cost.
LW – no one can predict market forces but there are signs that costs are starting to plateau. The pressures on the building industry have been unprecedented following Brexit, the pandemic and the Ukraine war (an example of the latter was a 500% increase in the cost of concrete and steel in 3 months). RG added that estimates of build cost inflation had been factored into the approval of the scheme.
SA – what does ‘added value’ mean to Mulalley?
LW – it differs between projects and depends on what communities’ priorities are. It could be funding existing projects, business development mentoring, local school equipment donations, work in schools on career options and job-readiness.
KM – the plan to use the section of Murrain Road at the Green Lanes end is a real concern as Hackney Showroom and the street immediately outside have become a valuable focus for community activity. It is a ‘people street.’ How can you help limit the impact? JWM added that taking away the play area and the other site logistics mean that there will be little space for young people to play, gather etc.
LW – unfortunately, the only way to get construction vehicles on and off site is from Green Lanes; there are height and width restrictions that prevent other means of access.
JWM – can’t the currently vacant area adjacent to Green Lanes not be used as it was for phase 1&2?
LW – we will be building on that. The plan is that the new build blocks will be constructed all at the same time; a phased programme for this part of the development will prolong the build period by years.
EV – will the refurbishment take place in parallel with the new build?
LW – there is some flexibility in when and how long the refurbishment takes. If it is done at pace, it will obviously be completed sooner but there will be more disruption. If the community want to see less disruption, then the programme for the refurb. could be lengthened.
CP asked how long the half of the play street nearest Green Lanes will be out of action.
LW – maybe 2 years?
RG added that there will be photographic and video evidence stored of the play street in its current form so it can be reinstated exactly as before. Items on the play street that need to be moved will be stored or re-located. This includes the trees. It was noted that pedestrian access along Murrain Road to Green Lanes will still exist.
EV – it will be important to maintain easy pedestrian access across the estate, so the north and south sides are not completely separated. Does this mean the ball court will go?
LW – yes.
RG – we aim to try to find solutions to some of these issues with residents through workshops etc.
CP – it will be important that the estate continues to be brought together through the social value part of Mulalley’s contract.
LW also noted that a lot of space on the estate will be taken up by storage of materials (illustrated by black cross-hatched areas on the site plan).
CS – could meanwhile uses be considered for e.g. storage facilities when not in use? Also what are residents’ views on the proposed respite facilities?
There was discussion about the respite provision, noted that it wasn’t well used in phase 1&2. Can it be used for more social/community/play activities? LW – this is all up for further discussion and community will have the opportunity to reshape provision in dialogue with Mulalley.
CS noted that there is only one lift serving Weston Court – at the Datchworth Court junction. If the access to Green Lanes at the north end of the block is closed off, it will be a long walk for residents to access the lift.
LW – would be open to keeping the access available at the other end of Weston Court.
CP – phase 1&2 had major problems with lifts and the energy centre working efficiently. If better aftercare can be assured for installations in this phase, perhaps by sourcing from UK, more expensive manufacturers, this might be worth it to save costs after completion.
LW – the cost optimisation process is being done in collaboration with the client; ultimately, these sort of costs are not Mulalley’s decision. Note that the cost optimisation exercise isn’t a way for Mulalley to make savings and maximise profit; it’s about getting best value.
RG – there is a new, borough-wide spec for lifts that will be used and there will be an enhanced M&E clerk of works inspection process.
LW – Mulalley will employ its own lift consultants who will have an input into design, will lead on market testing of suppliers and will carry out an inspection function pre-handover, at snagging before the lifts are put into operation.
CP -what about the energy centre?
LW – Mechanical & Electrical contractors will be managed separate M&E managing agents, who are consultants, not Mulalley, therefore there is independent scrutiny of this aspect of the contract.
PA asked when the Weston Court podium will be coming down.
LW – we will look to progress this as early as possible. However, it will be a process of deconstruction rather than demolition in order to minimise noise, dust etc.
AF asked about access to Weston Court for deliveries.
LW confirmed that access will be maintained.
EP sought confirmation of the timeline; 90 to 100 weeks before start on site?
LW – yes, it will be that long. An early start to the refurb. was considered but compliance with the new Building Safety Act is needed for all aspects of the contract before any work can start. Planning consultation and the impact of the BS Act are 2 key factors that will affect the timeline that are out of Mulalley’s control.
CP noted that another 2 year’s wait is hard to hear for residents but commended Ron on providing consistency throughout the process leading up to this point.
|Future resident engagement – Source
CS noted that Source have now vacated the VM Community Centre but we want to agree a programme of activities to maintain momentum with resident engagement. We propose monthly drop ins at Hackney Showroom to provide information and seek views on e.g. meanwhile uses and other issues that residents can help to influence. Noted that information needs to be disseminated widely across homes; the 8 households represented at this meeting cannot be expected to be the conduit for spreading all info.
RG – there is a newsletter due to go out.
CS – if there are design and other significant changes, these should be communicated as we go along. This could include introduction of meanwhile uses to soften the blow of losing part of the playstreet.
RG agreed and highlighted the importance of resident input into design of the public realm.
CS – we could use the logistics plan to generate residents’ views at drop ins. We could start drop ins this month.
JWM suggested speaking and visiting the Elders Lunch Club.
RG also noted ongoing discussions about site visits. Mulalley sites in Bethnal Green, Parkview (Highbury New Park) and the now completed Bridge House still possibilities.
CP – are there any other communities we are not reaching?
EP – non-resident leaseholders?
SA – are translated written materials needed?
EP reported back:
· A newsletter was produced in Nov 2022.
· The winter market, where the TRA had a stall was a success.
· The recent Community Meeting which was less formal engaged more people.
· Youth Club going well.
· Gardening also going well.
· Upcoming events:
o 7/5 – a coronation event, with LBH funding will be held at the VMCC
o 13/5 – a gardening event
o 14/6 – next Community Meeting
o 20/9 – TRA AGM at which Emley will stand down as Chair
ETRA meetings have stopped in their previous format. LBH/resident liaison will be organised differently.
|Any other business
SA wished to record thanks to Emley for her participation in the Council’s scrutiny review of regeneration.
|Date of next meeting
CP proposed quarterly meetings would be appropriate, so the next RSG would be early July. However, it was agreed to wait until the new year’s municipal calendar has been published to confirm a date when CP and SA can attend.
CS – there needs to be something to say to make the meetings worthwhile.
RG – next meeting could include discussions about preparing for the cost optimisation exercise.
CS – once people have had a look at the slides from tonight’s presentation, there should be more questions.
LW – Mulalley can commit to attending all future RSGs, even if LW himself does not attend; it may be more relevant for specialists within the company to attend to deal with specific issues with RSG meetings focusing on one or two themes at future meetings.
The meeting ended at 8.45 pm
Slides from Mulalley presentation: