Churchill Gardens – Darwin House and Balmoral Castle proposals
Westminster Council’s planning application for the redevelopment of Darwin House and the Balmoral Castle site on Churchill Gardens has now gone live on its planning portal. You can view the Council’s full proposals – and leave your views and comments about the plans – at www.westminster.gov.uk/planning, using the reference/search term 20/06899/COFUL.
Churchill Labour councillors have raised the concerns of Shelley House residents and others over the proposed height of the tallest block. We will always welcome the creation of any new social housing in Westminster, including the creation of improved and extra community supported housing – and we welcome a local lettings policy which will give Churchill Gardens residents priority on this scheme. But will we continue to reiterate to the Council that we believe all new housing built on Churchill Gardens should be social housing.
We are taking up the case of an elderly resident who was left without heating for 10 days. We have called on the Housing Department to take action on this catalogue of failures by the Council’s contractors:
“An upstairs flat burst a radiator pipe and water was pouring out over the balcony on 4th November. It took two days for Morgan Sindall to attend to this. Morgan Sindall came to the flats and turned the heating off to stop the water overflowing. Only because we demanded it they left two pathetic 2 kw fan heaters to heat a two bedroom Flat. They then left promising to fix everything.
They haven’t done anything to fix or turn back the heating on. On 16th November, I contacted the Council as it had been ten days without heat. It turned out that there was no record of any report or action planned to solve the issue of burst radiator/no heating. Another job requisition was made and Morgan Sindall said they would just turn the heating back on, despite the fact that the water would flow again.
Despite Morgan Sindall promising, at 6pm tonight there is still no heating and the out of hours customer services advisor has said that they visited the block but ‘needed to go away for a part’.”
Following our enquiries, we received this message: “My Mother just called me to let me know that the heating has just come back on. She asked me to thank you for helping her in making this happen so please accept this email as her thanks (and mine). It’s good to know we can rely on our conscientious Labour councillors to make sure WCC are held to account”
We have received the following update from the Parking Team about Tesco vans parking on the zig-zag lines by the zebra crossing on Lupus Street:
“Our Marshals can only issue PCNs if they are on-site when the vehicles are parked in contravention. Where necessary, they will also engage with delivery staff and management, reminding them to avoid parking on the Zig-Zag lines, at all times. The Store management are aware of the residents’ concerns and to operate without causing a nuisance.
Our recommendation to residents is to continue to highlight any instances. Report It; or 020 7641 2000 are the best methods of contact and we will continue to do everything possible to limit any further disruption.”
Ebury Food Surplus
Like many local people, we were concerned to hear of fears over the future of Ebury Food Surplus – the food bank run by volunteers from Ebury Bridge Estate which brings vital food and supplies to local residents and families in need. We raised these concerns with Westminster Council and asked for their commitment to continue supporting the vital work of Ebury Food Surplus.
We’re pleased that the Council has now underscored its support for the food bank, including assisting them with finding a new base (due to the building work on Ebury).
We will always stand up for vital local community services like food banks and do whatever we can to help safeguard their future. Thanks to Mike Smith and the team at Ebury Food Surplus for the brilliant work you do!
Pimlico Food Waste recycling
The Waste and Recycling Team is encouraging residents living in the following housing estates in Pimlico to encourage participation in the food waste recycling trial:
- Churchill Gardens Estate
- Lumley flats
- Peabody Avenue and Close
- Vauxhall Bridge Road Peabody Estate
- Tachbrook Estate
“It’s one year since our food waste recycling trial started on your estate and we wanted to thank you and give an update on the trial. We have collected over 270 tonnes of food to be recycled from all the properties included in the trial. Any food collected to be recycled is taken to an anaerobic digestion facility in Hertfordshire. This plant uses the food waste to produce biogas (used to generate electricity and heat) and bio-fertiliser which is used on local farmland.
Unfortunately, food is still being thrown out in the rubbish. Please recycle all of your food waste! Need more food waste liners or a silver kitchen bin? We provide these for free. Please email the team at email@example.com to order.”
We continue to be contacted by Sanctuary Housing tenants about the mismanagement of their flats and the failure to do essential repairs, upkeep and maintenance. We have called on the City Council to mount a full investigation of Sanctuary properties in the Pimlico area and to take all the necessary action to require Sanctuary to do outstanding repairs.
This month we reported appalling conditions in a house in St George’s Drive and asked for immediate action to undertake a long list of outstanding repairs. The Council’s Environmental Health team told us:
“A surveyor has been arranged to attend as a matter of urgency to measure the door and frame, with a view to fitting a replacement as soon as practicable. Sanctuary have also arranged a general survey of the building to report back on any other repairs and maintenance issues. Any identified works are due to be carried out as a matter of urgency. Sanctuary also advise that a deep clean to the building is been arranged and the local housing officer will be taking action to remove the items left on the terrace. Environmental Health will continue to request updates on these items of work as they are carried out. “
A Sanctuary tenant in Denbigh Place told us:
“Thank you for all of the updates I’m very pleased that the lighting has finally been fixed and that I can vouch for! Thank you so much for your assistance and support”