Saturday, March 23, 2013

Decent Homes programme on Crossfields

Lewisham Homes' contractors MITIE were on hand at the Pink Palace on Wednesday afternoon to outline to residents the proposed works to Crossfields' homes over the next year as part of the Decent Homes programme.

The Pink Palace (corner of Frankham House) has recently been renovated by MITIE and sports a brand new kitchen, so tenants were able to see how their new kitchens might look. There was also a carousel display showing the six different counter surfaces, door veneers and handles they can choose from. 

However, we were told that first of all tenants' homes would have to be surveyed to see the current condition of kitchens, bathrooms and toilets and whether the tenant would be eligible for an up-grade. This was a bit of a wind-up, since mostly everyone's kitchens, bathrooms and toilets on the south side of the estate have not been upgraded in 17 years, since the last major works of this kind. Did this mean that if you'd kept your fixtures and fittings in the best condition possible over this time, you would not be eligible?!

Leaseholders can partake in the scheme if they can afford it, but we were told that if they did, they would have to take the whole package – that is, if you want a new bath, for instance, the job would include new tiling and flooring, basin and (fairly basic) taps and not just a new bath.

Work has already been taking place at Congers, Finch and Farrer as part of Phase One. Phase Two is the rest of the estate (hopefully Frankham has not been left out) and will start in April and go on till next April. Tenants will also get new front doors – an upgrade that satisfies new Fire Safety regulations.

MITIE would like to commandeer a part of the Holden area carpark (opposite the Creekside Discovery Centre) as a compound to accommodate materials, vehicles, portaloos, a site liaison office and workers' respite. The very small number of resident car owners who use this space will have to find another parking spot, as will all the non-residents who currently enjoy free parking here during the week days. Crossfields TRA have provisionally agreed to this and that the compound will be surrounded with painted hoardings, rather than the rather untidy looking alternative ('Harris fencing').

The TRA have also suggested that the Pink Palace is made available for those tenants (especially the elderly) who wish to escape the building works going on in their own flats – a place where they can come and make tea and relax...


  1. former major works site manager.Wednesday, May 08, 2013

    Nothing like trying to set up a contractor to fall before they've started. What is known as an internal condition survey is based on age and health and safety aspects of the two/three rooms. The overall condition bears no relation to the reccomended works unless it is impacting a tenants health. No wind ups Sue :)

    1. No wind ups intended. If you can't make it clear in the first place, you can hardly be surprised if you are misunderstood. A lot of tenants were excited to hear they would be getting the works done, but then deflated at the meeting when told they might not be eligible. BTW, your comment does not make the situation any clearer.

  2. former major works site manager, Johnny.Monday, May 13, 2013

    Hello again Sue, sorry for the long reply. Just to be clear, MITIE, who are the principle contractors, DO NOT under any circumstances determine what work they will do. The council (Lewisham) will employ surveyors from a consultancy to determine what works need doing.

    This is to prevent MITIE from claiming all sort of works as they'd be paid to do them. To meet everyones needs, rules will be determined to ascertain when a Kitchen and Bathroom can be changed. It is based purely on the age of the room. i.e when it was last recipient of any major work. This only becomes void when there is a severe health and safety flaw in place i.e cooker in a dangerous position, dangerous materials on walls etc. Mitie can ONLY do what YOUR landlord, the council, tells them too, be fair with them.

    Anyway, big fan of this blog, very fond of your fight against the bookies, keep that up!

  3. Thanks Johnny. I didn't say who were doing the surveys and could have made it clearer.