E-newsletter Volume 3: Issue 5 – June/July 2016
Welcome to this latest edition of our newsletter. One of the most important events which has taken place since the last issue, is the Quarterly Meeting that the GPRA has with representatives of Linden Homes, Grange Management and Affinity Sutton. This took place on 22nd June and was particularly significant in that it was the first one since the changeover of personnel at Linden Homes. Consequently, rather than sitting in the sales office discussing various issues, we did a two hour walkabout of the whole site, identifying many of the problems which residents have raised with us, followed by a further hour agreeing the way forward.
We are pleased to report that Daryl Roberts (Linden’s Senior Technical Manager) and Robin Pearmain (Senior Planning Manager) showed considerable sympathy with, and understanding of, our position. Unfortunately, the representative from Affinity Sutton wasn’t able to join us on this occasion, due to an emergency, but she will receive information relating to Affinity Sutton by e-mail. Full minutes of the meeting, including action points, will be published on the website as soon as they are available but, in the meantime, below are some of the issues we raised, to give you a flavour of our discussions.
This has always been a concern, particularly from the point of view of residents or their visitors, who have been unfairly ticketed, often when someone else has taken their allocated space. There has also been the issue of the uneven distribution of visitor spaces, most of which seem to be concentrated opposite the sales office, which has meant a long walk for some people visiting properties in phase 3. These are generally underused during the day.
The response to these concerns has been very positive and we have scheduled a meeting between Grange, the car park management company (CPM), Linden and the GPRA on Friday 8th July, to look for a solution to all these, and other problems.
In addition, some residents entitled to spaces have had to use temporary spaces because theirs have either been inaccessible or not built at all. Thankfully, this is already being addressed by Linden Homes who hope to release those spaces during August.
There is still a problem with residents using their visitor permits to park a second or third car on a regular basis. This clearly limits the number of spaces available for general visitors or those residents who are still waiting for their allocated spaces, especially in the evenings, and Grange, with CPM, will be looking at ways in which this can be addressed.
Landscaping and gardening
Some of the landscaped areas have been looking very unkempt recently, with grass left to grow to an unacceptable length and weeds allowed to smother some of the recently planted shrubs. Linden will ensure that grass in those areas yet to be taken over by Grange will be cut on a more regular basis and also have already made plans for areas where the landscaping needs to be improved.
Anyone who has tried to work out the numbering system in Longley Road will have discovered that there appears to be no logic to it, and those of us awaiting a delivery will have wondered if that precious parcel will ever find its way to our front door. Others will have gazed bemused at the sight of a large lorry trying to back out of a cul-de-sac into the main part of Longley Road, the driver having assumed that there was a way through.
You will be pleased to know that signs are being made, which identify no through roads and also indicate the house numbers to be found down each side street.
Bin and bike stores
There are on-going problems with bin stores, which have been addressed in earlier newsletters. However, Grange are going to look at the possibility of arranging for the dumpsters to be rotated so that empty ones are moved to the front during the week to prevent overfilling. Guttering will also be fitted by Linden to the front of bin and bike stores, where they are currently missing.
Grange are investigating the use of locking nuts to secure the bike hoops to the concrete in existing bike stores and we have asked Linden to embed the hoops into the concrete of all future stores, to make them more secure.
Daryl and Robin were able to see, at first hand, the problems that have arisen with the render on properties in Lloyd Road and took a number of photographs. Similarly, guidance was sought regarding the varnishing of cedar cladding, originally intended to weather naturally to a silvery grey.
They also saw speeding cars on the road, driving over kerbstones (several of which are already broken and need replacing) to avoid the speed bumps.
There is evidence across the whole site of a few residents failing to adhere to the covenants – the legal restrictions that apply at Graylingwell to ensure the quality of the development. These include such things as: no additions to properties without consent from Grange; no satellite dishes or aerials; no burglar alarms on the front of houses; no using of properties or communal spaces for commercial purposes and no parking of commercial vehicles between 7.00pm and 7.00am.
We will be publishing some guidance on these covenants on the website in due course.
Recently, the football areas on Havenstoke Park have not been mown as regularly as they should have been and so Linden will ensure that these spaces are included in the mowing schedule for the perimeter of the park.
There will be another mow and collect of the whole park before the Summer Garden Party on 9th July, to ensure a good surface for the festivities.
Those of you with children or grandchildren will be pleased to know that quotes for the adventure playground have been sought and it will not be too long before that particular requirement under Section 106 is delivered by Linden. The trim trail will also be delivered at this time.
Lighting around the park and the Clock House has been vulnerable to bad weather and it has often taken far longer than necessary to reinstate it by resetting the trip switch. Linden will investigate the vulnerability, as well as a system for doing a reset more quickly.
Grange has looked into how the flooding across the perimeter path during wet weather might be prevented. The cost of digging the amount of drainage needed, given the high water table, is prohibitive. There may be other solutions, one of which might be to raise the path in those areas most affected, but again, the cost to residents would be very high and cannot be justified. It may be that Linden could step in here.
Even on midsummer’s day the path was flooded as you can see below!
There has been a very positive response from the new Head of Customer Service, Robert Caister, as well as from Daryl and Robin, regarding our concerns over response times, updating residents on progress, checking that work is done and so on. We believe that we will be seeing an improvement in Linden’s Customer Service over the coming weeks and months.
Many of the issues discussed at the Quarterly Meeting, had been raised by residents, who had brought their concerns to us at one of the GPRA’s Saturday Cafés. These are held in The Lodge on the third Saturday of every month from 10.00am until noon. Everyone’s welcome and our home-made cakes are legendary.
Here’s a reminder that there’s just over a week to go to the Summer Garden Party, to be held on the park from 12.00 until 4.00pm on Saturday 9th July. For more information you can find the latest news by following this link to the CCDT website.
We like to keep people informed about what’s happening at Graylingwell, so please encourage neighbours to sign up for this newsletter via the GPRA website if they have not already done so. Just forward this email to them and they can follow the link. Don’t forget that the Useful Contact Numbers page on the site gives you the lowdown on your first point of contact, should any problems arise.