Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Consultation and BBQ on contaminated garden

The invite from EastendHomes

EastendHomes and the Mile End Estate Management Board appear to be trying to improve their abysmal reputation for dialogue and consultation with tenants/residents by having an event to "discuss the improvements to the Estate".  However the invitation appears to have overlooked a few important facts.

EastendHomes do not listen. We can only conclude that EastendHomes suffered from complete deafness when they attended all the Strategic Development Committee meetings. 
  • In no way do residents of the Estate consider the infill developments as "improvements"!  To characterise the invitation in this way is just plain insulting.  Many tenants/residents campaigned throgh five long meetings to get the developments rejected.  Perhaps this blog needs to remind Eastendhomes about how many people signed petitions, wrote letters and regularly turned out for the meetings of the SDC at the Town Hall?
 MERA protest at the Town Hall at Mulberry Place
  • Proposed developments on the Estate - for both social housing and private sector housing - are way in excess of that indicated as at the time of the ballot.  Many residents have said that they would have never have voted for the transfer if they had known what was going to happen to their estate.
  • The replacement of kitchens and bathrooms are also NOT improvements.  The internal works more correctly have the status of maintenance because they are required by central government to bring all the housing units on the Estate up to the mandatory "Decent Homes" standards. 
Lack of communication with ALL Tenants:  There has been no communication with the residents of Ennerdale House to date - and the consultation starts in two days time.  We got this invite from a resident of Derwent House

Lack of communication with ALL local residents:  As per usual - EastendHomes' appreciation of the impact that works to the Estate will have on all local residents is absolutely non-existent (but what's new?).  Nobody living in streets affected by the development have received invites.

Lack of awareness of Site Contamination and remediation required prior to all soft landscaping:  The consultation is to mark the formal opening of the Recipe Tree Garden (aka The Butter Garden).  It would appear that EastendHomes managers and management board have:
  • NOT read the contents of the reports that their architects have commissioned.
  • NOT appreciated the contents of documentation supporting the latest planning conditions submission to Tower Hamlets Council on their behalf PA/10/01093 - Approval of Details - Site Remediation
  • NOT recognised that half a metre of top soil may well have to be removed from all public landscapes area on the Estate due to the presence of widespread contamination. (see Phase III Remediation Strategy)
Possible site Remediation Measures
Site Soils
  • Confirmation that the entire site area is contaminated and that remedial measures are required to remove risk to all areas of soft landscaping
  • Likely removal of soils within the site to remove thr risk to human health
  • alter the chemical state of the site soils to reduce the impact of the end use soils on the proposed receptors
Phase 11 Remediation Strategy - Site at Eric and Treby estates (para 2.5 page 8)
In other words, the garden they are opening/celebrating may well have to be dismantled and soil removed to a depth of at least half a metre in order to remediate existing contamination.

A couple of good questions to start with during the consultation might be to ask
  • why don't EastendHomes officers read and act on reports? and 
  • why is EastendHome consultation always so poorly organised?
In the meantime we'll be blogging in future posts about the site contamination and plan for remediation works prior to our formal comments on the application for approval of details to satisfy the planning conditions

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