Murky Depths

News in London and beyond

Woolwich

Residents complain of various problems at new flagship Woolwich development

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”.

Viewed from Woolwich New Road

The Council leader previously denied it had led to a reduction in social homes.

Problems

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.

The church is also due to be built on

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.

Taken from passing bus

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?

 

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22 Comments

  1. anonymous201486

    Today’s new builds are tomorrow’s slums.

    When will buyers realise that they are being sold a flawed product, shoddily built and with charges that are in no way commensurate with the service provided. Despite that £2,000 per year buyers are charged, nothing gets down when problems surface.

    Regulation is what is required, but don’t look to this government to protect innocent buyers from the operation of market forces.

  2. Joe

    Not good for newcomers at all. The prices of new homes are horrendous and of course the adverts come covered with “Help to Buy” which is one of the biggest frauds out there. Developers making a mint from it. Rents have jumped from around a third of full cost under council operation to up to 80% – and for what?

    The old estate was run down and far from great. The new one creates a whole new bunch of problems. Progress?

  3. Tom

    This development has been very poorly built, weeds coming up already, many areas unfinished, cheap materials which have often left outside for months uncovered before being used. Feel sorry for those who bought….. There are some nice developments in Woolwich…. Riverside for example. Not this one however…. steer clear!!! Buyers beware.

  4. Sim

    I actually own a property on the development and the spec of my flat is very high, also, to get a 821sq ft plot at under half a mil in London is impossible (mine was under £450k). A 2 bed flat at Trinity Walk costs £200k less than a property of the equivalent size in the Royal Arsenal development, so I definitely don’t feel ‘scammed’, these flats are very good value.

    I also expect the overall quality of the development to improve once construction work is complete.

    The main issue here surrounds the communal areas, they’re poorly maintained. There is also a lack of accountability from Pinnacle (Managing Agent) and Lovell (Developer) to rectify these issues, this reflects poorly on them. I have friends who own new build flats and nearly all their developments have 24/7 security which should be a minimum requirement and something Pinnacle and Lovell need to get in place ASAP.

    Apart from that I’m pleased with my purchase and given the low price I paid there is definitely room for the value to increase in the future.

  5. David

    The build quality is simply awful on this estate… only a few years old, already falling to bits. Feel sorry for those buyers who got scammed by the developer. Shoddy.

  6. Joe

    Interesting article, though I’m not sure all residents would agree with all of the content. I’ve lived in one of the buildings here since the development first moved people in 1.5 years ago, and whilst there have been some minor teething issues (which you would expect with any new build) I’ve found the on site team to be helpful and determined to rectify any issues. My apartment itself is finished to a great standard and in terms of square metre-age it was certainly one of the best value i viewed in South East London.

  7. LH

    We have lived here for a year and a half – and we were some of the first to move in. We love our flat! It’s beautiful with a great outlook, and fantastic appliances. It’s really spacious and everything has been well thought out. We haven’t had any issues like what you mention – you’re clearly getting your info from a disgruntled resident, who can’t speak for all of us. New builds will always have teething issues, but I can tell you now that they’re nothing compared to those you’d find buying older homes in London.

  8. Anon

    This is a parody article, surely? The building is absolutely fine to live in. The ones that complain are sad little people with sad little lives

    • Anon too

      There’s a fair number of us unhappy here.

      Rather than bury our heads and pretend its all fine we are trying to get improvements. It’s painful if it impacts out property values but ultimately keeping silent will harm us all more. A place that is cared for will be worth more.

      • Anon

        Fair enough people are unhappy about certain things – as they have the right to be, but a bit of self-awareness and pragmatism would go a long way… rather than passive-aggressively getting an article full of primarily trivial issues published.

        You live in a brand new development… there are going to be teething problems. You don’t live in a five-star hotel where you are waited on hand and foot. For the most part, I would say issues that arise are generally responded to in a reasonable time.

        The self-righteous hysteria that occurs in the building WhatsApp groups is truly astounding – I can only dream of a life where my number one concern is that I have to buzz people in through the intercom twice.

  9. Jeff

    Seems like some people are worried about a negative perception affecting their home price. There clearly are issues.

    And I hate to break it to some of you but you’ve overpaid and havn’t got “good value”. It’s like paying a tenner for some apples from morrisons and saying it’s a good deal as Sainsburys are £15. Help to buy has inflated prices way beyond worth and when it comes to sell buyers won’t pay the premium you paid. The Guardian had a story on it again this week.

    It’s why house prices are sinking now in places like Woolwich as new builds are either having to be heavily discounted after building or when it comes to sell to second buyers. Latest info I have from the trade is a 20% fall.

    • Jack

      Seems some have been told to comment to try and avoid it impacting their house prices. Only have to walk around that development to see the half arsed finish to the estate. Roads and communal areas are a mess, overall finish is poor. Loosing 20% is painful.

      • Anon

        Seems a bit harsh to have a go at people who couldn’t afford to buy a full price flat in London and had to choose between this scheme or the instability of renting. What would you suggest people do?

  10. Mark

    A few keyboard warriors on here, let’s be honest, there are issues with the communal area of the development as mentioned above, however the flats are a good spec and when you buy a property you generally put more emphasis on the property, rather than communal area.

    As an owner I’m not looking to make a quick buck and I hardly think a blog that a few dozen people read will affect the value of my property, however it does frustrate me that people who don’t live on the development (and maybe resent it) feel that they’re experts on what goes on there.

    Love a healthy debate though 🙂

  11. fromthemurkydepths

    I’ve had to delete a couple of abusive comments. You can argue whether the resident’s views are correct or not – and there’s various views above – but do not be personally abusive.

    Also, advocating censorship isn’t going to work. If you disagree with the concerns some people on the development have, then argue why as some have above. Don’t push for them not to be reported.

  12. S.

    I’ve been a Trinity Walk resident for just over a year now and can confirm this article is accurate. Our MP even set up a community meeting but surprise-surprise, Lovell and Pinnacle didn’t attend. As a result of that meeting and with our local Councillors’ support we are now in the process of setting up a Residents’ Association so I’m hopeful this will give us a stronger voice and all these issues will be ironed out soon. Overall, our flats are indeed lovely and spacious for a new build, the estate is super close to the station, lots of amenities – I know we already bought overpriced because of Crossrail speculation but it’s for sure the best deal I could find in London’s ridiculous property market!

  13. Graham

    On the TV news channels recently there have been lots of reports from homeowners of new build properties around the UK stating they have various issues with build quality, This is not just down to Lovell Homes and Pinnacle.

    Friends experienced similar problems when they moved to Thamesmead several years back. Hopefully all the problems will be rectified in the very near future and problems with the public realm on the estate will be improved to make the roads public spaces and security much safer for all residents.

  14. Anon

    Another resident here. I’ve been in for about 8 months, and while there are a few niggles and frustrations, on the whole we’re really happy, especially with the flat itself. It’s really spacious and quiet, and perfect for us. Was a lot cheaper than others we looked at too.

    Unfortunately I couldn’t attend the town hall meeting set up by the local MP, but it was good to see a reaction to the complaints from a pretty high level. With regards to the upkeep of the communal areas outside, I’m not sure what people expect – they are still building on the site after all. Faulty lifts and doors are a constant problem internally, but no less than anywhere else I’ve lived with these things – just comes with the territory of frequently used mechanical things. The estate manager is a pain to get hold of, but they do seem to react quite quickly and whenever I’ve spoken to Pinnacle directly they’ve always been really helpful.

    I’m not sure the negative spin from the piece and the subsequent comments is entirely necessary, and I certainly haven’t noticed any homeless people in the bin stores – though with some residents leaving the bloody doors open after they use it, I’m not surprised at all (looking at you people of Percy Eagles Court).

    Bikes being robbed is a problem and a great shame if true, as is the regular midnight event of shady cars pulling up, but you can’t do much about that if people are thieving scumbags – you will literally get this anywhere in the country.

    All in all, I can see progress and I think this is a wee bit of an exaggeration in terms of the complaints painting the place as a dive. Yes there is work to do, but it’s by no means a rip off, or as grim as y’all are suggesting.

  15. TW resident

    Murky Depths, for accuracy and balance, you should pay Trinity Walk a visit and take photos of the ‘poor finish’ and ‘dilapidations’. I’d be happy to show you around myself as a resident living there!

    I agree with all the comments saying the issues are to be expected at a new build. I have lived at this Estate for 15 months now and enjoy the big spacious flat. I have friends with flats at the Arsenal who paid more for smaller flats and the same quality of finish and appliances. Moreover, Trinity Walk is STILL under construction and is slap bang in the middle of the town so it’s not going to be free from people trying to steal things. Yes security and maintenance could be better and residents need to push management on this but these issues are not unique to us.

    For perspective, I have listed some articles below showing you that there are worse issues happening at other new builds like crumbling buildings, segregation of poorer tenants from communal areas, leasehold issues etc:

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/apr/12/social-housing-tenant-punished-speaking-guardian?CMP=twt_gu&utm_medium=&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1555051116

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-47826166

    https://www.realhomes.com/news/yougov-poll-highlights-growing-uk-housing-problems

    https://metro.co.uk/2019/03/26/poor-children-barred-play-area-new-block-flats-9022253/

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