Hello everyone. Bit of a long one today, but please do read through as there is definitely something here for everyone. The main thing will be an update in the shape of a newsletter to keep you all informed of what has been happening in a slew of recent meetings. But first a couple of other notices. First up, another public event has been organised by Hackney Council for this coming weekend (Saturday 27th October) here in the Square. Running from midday until 4.00pm, to celebrate the opening of the new Young Hackney Centre on Forest Road/Beechwood Road, there will be free, yes FREE, bungee trampoline! Trained instructors will be there to ensure complete safety and no booking is required: First come, first served. For full details visit the council’s dedicated Dalston Square website HERE. The other quick mention I wanted to make is regarding the new permit system for the underground parking here on the Square. As you will all be aware (thanks to Consort posting out to every residence) the new system is now up and running. If you have a vehicle parked in the underground parking but do not have a permit to display in your vehicle’s windscreen, get one asap from the concierge guys or you will very soon find you have received a parking ticket (if you didn’t get one already). Okey dokey, newsletter time (courtesy of DSRA Chairperson Ben Collins, thanks Ben).
Dalston Square Residents Association Newsletter – Autumn 2012
Damage to glass canopy
The glass canopy (between Gaumont and Collins Towers) was vandalized by persons unknown throwing stones from one of the nearby building roof-tops. It seems that an intruder entered through a poorly working security door in either Collins or Gaumont Tower on both Friday 29th and Saturday 30th of September. The damage and repair costs are estimated at around £25,000.00. It is not yet clear who will pay for this. The residents association will argue that the damage was caused by care-taking negligence, resulting in a lapse in building security. There is also a case of inappropriate design and use of materials, on behalf of Barratt Architects. The DSRA will campaign to ensure any costs are not met retrospectively by an increase in our service charges for 2013-2014. We need your support for that so please come along to our next meeting.
Changes to site management staff
The residents association have long been concerned that Consort site staff have not been delivering value for money for the high service charges we all pay to keep the building in a good state of cleanliness and repair. The smashed canopy was in part a result of site management negligence. There have been ongoing small issues which we feel have not been properly addressed. Amongst these have been keeping all entrance doors in good working order, keeping paintwork in corridors clean, ensuring rubbish containers are accessible, and keeping entrance thresholds and lobbies clean and litter free. Consort management are aware of our concerns regarding these matters, as well as a number of others. We will continue to monitor progress on these items under any future site team, to ensure we get value for money.
Co-op and new café to open on the Square
Work is now under way on the new Co-op which will soon be opening in the North West corner of the Square beneath Ocean House (next to Dalston Junction overground station). We do not have a date for that opening but assume it will be soon. Also, a new café by the name of Café Square is to open in the commercial unit beneath Gaumont Tower, facing Collins Tower. While this is clearly a welcome development, residents are concerned about proposals for a vent grille at ground level, which could well see kitchen odours travelling up to resident’s balconies and windows above. If you want to respond to this plan, you may do so by visiting the Hackney Council website HERE. Simply enter the application number 2012/2818 (all comments must be in by October 31st). There is also some concern regarding the café’s licencing request to the council: The application request seems more suited to a bar than a café. More details available at our discussions forum in this thread HERE.
Good Neighbourliness and noise abatement
The issue of noisy parties into the early hours continues to cause many residents stress on week-end nights. The resident association appeals for respectful consideration of the right of others to a quiet night’s sleep. Those who are subjected to unreasonable noise by unreasonable neighbours at night should not hesitate to contact the concierge service who will keep names private but will intervene on your behalf. You can pop down to speak to the concierge or call them on 0751 630 2926. It is also advisable, should there be a repeat, or a noisy late night event outside the building, to contact the Hackney Council Noise Pollution Team on 0208 356 4455 (alternatively you can contact them through there website, a link to which is in the link list on the homepage of our website). Following repeated complaints by several neighbours about noisy parties at one particular residence on the Square, the resident association has been informed that the tenants responsible were evicted earlier this month. They were in breach of the terms of both lease and tenancy agreements, which stipulated that noise should not be audible in neighbouring flats after 11.00pm or before 8am. So if you suffer because of thoughtless neighbours, you can do something about it.
Bike Storage – a design shortfall
The residents association is campaigning for an improvement in the bike storage and security in the Square, both inside and outside the buildings. It seems that while good space was made for cars, the provision for bikes was an afterthought. Secure bike stores are either not secure or often not easily accessible to the user. Both these defects mean that many, if not most, are obliged to take bikes up in the lifts causing a number of problems. We are meeting with Barratt to push for some changes in location and design to see if matters can be improved. We need the backing of cyclists on this! Let us know your views via our discussion forum HERE.
Next DSRA meeting: Nov 20th 2012 – Looking ahead to 2013 Service Charges
The Dalston Square Residents’ Association is keen to ensure all resident’s voices are heard. We invite all residents, owners and renters alike, to our open, 6 weekly, committee meetings. The next open committee meeting is on Tuesday Nov 20th. More details nearer the time on our website. We also encourage everybody to make use of our discussions forum. Anyone can read the posts on the forum but to reply to someone’s post or start a conversation yourself you will need to register (a quick and simple 2 minute process). If you have any opinions regarding anything mentioned here, or anything else come to that, don’t keep them to yourself, share them.