Residents living in a flagship Woolwich development are complaining of a number of issues since moving into their homes.
Trinity Walk in Woolwich is being built as part of “One Woolwich”, which sees the replacement of three estates. I covered the plans way back in 2013.
The scheme is controversial as it involves demolishing estates and a large reduction in social homes – to be replaced by “affordable” homes at higher cost. A total of 1,064 mainly council homes across the Connaught, Morris Walk and Maryon Grove estates are being replaced with 1,600 mixed tenure homes of which just 35% are “affordable”.
The Council leader previously denied it had led to a reduction in social homes.
Problems cited by residents moving into homes on the first stage at Trinity Walk include homeless people living in bin stores.
Thefts from the cycle store are also reported with the most recent theft happening last week. A lack of security is cited. Broken locks at bin stores enabled the homeless to move in. How desperate do you have to be to live in a bin store? Poor sods.
Car park gates and other door locks are also often faulty according to those living in new flats.
Another issue cited is the yearly service change by Pinnacle was given to residents without a breakdown of where costs were coming from. After querying costs they received a breakdown yet there were several discrepancies that had to be disputed. This is something I’ve seen at various new build developments. Regulation seems sorely lacking in this area.
General maintenance seems poor according to some residents. Lifts are sometimes broken for days at a time.
Residents have requested 24 hour on site security to deal with the concerns, most notably after the first round of bike thefts, but the company operating maintenance, Pinnacle, have so far failed to do so.
A lot of these issues sadly seem common at many new builds with slack standards and high service charges.
Residents have arranged meetings but are frustrated at the slow pace of change. And concerns are raised about the rest of the One Woolwich project if Stage 1 is poorly maintained. It doesn’t bode well. The old blocks had the “sink estate” label attached. Could the replacements gain that same stigma – with the difference being many residents now paying far more than previous occupants?