Block stairwell emergency lighting upgrade works – 28th April

Electricians from Artek Electrical will be on-site today (28th April) to undertake essential upgrade work to add an additional emergency light to the top floor of each block communal stairwell. This work is to ensure lighting is compliant with latest health and safety recommendations.

Disruption from the work should be minimal although those in the blocks may hear some noise of drilling during the routing of new cables and may notice communal lights in the block being switched on and off during testing.

PWRA apologises for late notice and any inconvenience caused.

Bicycle storage area consultation

We have previously shared communications that storing of personal items such as bikes, buggies etc in the communal areas is not permitted other than existing shared bicycle racks. This is a health and safety hazard, which was again highlighted in the recent assessment conducted. The PWRA board believe one of the reasons for this may be the lack of a covered and secure storage space for such items, specially in the blocks of flats.

We would like to get your views on whether we should look to providing additional covered / secure storage spaces and understand whether such an additional space may be useful for you to consequently avoid items being stored in the common areas. In this regard, please could you answer the following questions.

This consultation will run for 21 days and hence responses must be submitted by 18th May.

This survey is open to all residents, both owners and tenants. To complete it please click on the following link.

https://us19.list-manage.com/survey?u=74177838413281aa7a31c069f&id=1f9aae004e

Manhole repairs

As part of our recent Health & Safety assessment it was identified that several of the manholes on the development are uneven and in need of attention. We have raised this with the owners of these services. BT Openreach have attended site and surveyed their manholes and agreed that work is required to those outside houses #11, #15 and Block 2 (Flats #20-#31). A temporary safety barrier has been erected on the manhole outside #15.

We are awaiting a date for the BT Openreach contractors to undertake the work and will keep you informed when we know more. It is likely that this will involve some disruption to vehicle access for a short time especially at the respective properties adjacent to the affected manholes.

Health & Safety and Fire Risk assessment 16th February 2021

PWRA has commissioned a Health & Safety and Fire Risk assessment which will be undertaken by Tetra Consulting on 16th February 2021. This primarily involves the 4 blocks and communal areas. No disruption to residents is expected as part of this inspection and contractors will be observing COVID secure working practices.

We remind residents that they should not store personal possessions (such as bicycles, scooters and prams) in the communal block areas and especially in front of the electrical cupboards blocking access as they can amount to an enhanced fire risk. Furthermore, riser cupboards adjacent to the flats in blocks should also be kept clear and not used for storage.

We thus request that any items be removed in advance of the inspection. Should this not be done, the Board reserves the right to remove these items and place them by the bin cupboards. Bike storage areas are available by both Block 1 & 4 in the communal driveway and are covered by CCTV. Thank you for your cooperation. 

Update from Tower Hamlets – Tier 4 rules – stay at home this Christmas

*** This article has been reposted from a Tower Hamlets Mayor communication ***


The government has announced that London has entered tier 4 restrictions to slow the spread of Covid-19.

We will be moving into new, additional coronavirus restrictions on Sunday 20 December to help combat the spread of the virus in the capital as rates are dangerously high and a new strain is spreading faster than previous strains. 

All non-essential shops must close, along with hairdressers, nail bars, indoor gyms and leisure facilities. People should not travel unless absolutely necessary, and work from home wherever possible. 

Household mixing will no longer be allowed on 23-27 December. The rules say residents must not leave the area nor mix with anyone outside their household, apart from support bubbles. It is important we follow the rules to keep everyone, particularly those who are older or more vulnerable, safe. 

An ‘infographic’ spelling out the rules is included above. But to spell out a few key points:

  • Faith gatherings are allowed provided there is no mixing and proper distancing but even then remember the virus is carried through droplets in the air so a face mask is the best way to keep you and others safe. 
  • And as we all know, the Christmas period, even if you don’t celebrate the Christian faith, is an important time for families to gather together. But because this virus is surging again we must all scale back massively our plans, not meet outside our ‘bubble’ and the rule the government suggested of 5 days with up to three ‘bubbles’ has now been withdrawn. 
  • So it’s going to be a very different Christmas. But I do want you to look out for your friends and neighbours who may be isolated by this. Call a friend. Meet, if you can, (just two of you, socially distanced) in a park or for a walk. And a single bubble can still work. But be very careful. 

I know these added restrictions are disruptive to both residents and businesses but they are in place to keep us all safe. We will continue to work with the government to increase testing and make the case for adequate economic support for Tower Hamlets.

Please play your part to #KeepTowerHamletsSafe. Check on friends, family and neighbours by phone. Uncertain times can affect people’s mental health, so it’s vital we look out for each other safely. A host of health and wellbeing resources are available.

We also have a dedicated phoneline for vulnerable residents to get support with self-isolation, supplies and urgent needs throughout the pandemic.

We will provide more local advice and updates soon. Until then, please read more in this newsletter and share the latest advice with your networks.

Stay safe, 

Mayor Biggs


Celebrate safely this Christmas, stay at home

Follow the new rules and play your part to keep our community safe, including:

  • Do not meet socially with anybody you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble, indoors or in any private garden.
  • Hospitality settings, such as bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants can only operate takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.
  • Reduce the number of journeys you make and work from home where possible.
  • Places of worship remain open, but you must not attend with or socialise with  anyone outside of your household or support bubble while you are there, unless a legal exemption applies.

The Government has also reintroduced shielding for clinically vulnerable people in all areas entering Tier 4.


Get a Covid-19 test in Tower Hamlets 

Following a worrying rise in Covid-19 cases across London and in Tower Hamlets, we have expanded testing capacity in the borough. It remains extremely important that residents book a Covid-19 test if symptomatic. 

We continue to operate local testing units in Shadwell, Mile End, Isle of Dogs and Billingsgate. Appointments at all testing sites can be booked by calling 119 or online.

In order to protect yourself and other people, please remember to wear a face covering when going for a test. If you’re attending a walk-in test centre, please walk or cycle and avoid public transport or taxi. Don’t go if you’re very unwell or at high risk (shielding) from coronavirus – choose a home test instead.

COVID-19 Tier 3 restrictions update from Tower Hamlets

*** This article has been reposted from a Tower Hamlets Mayor communication ***


The government has announced that London is entering tier 3 – very high alert – from Wednesday morning, 16 December.

With cases of Covid-19 rising so rapidly this change is necessary to stop the virus spreading in bars and restaurants and other places where people might mix. While shops remain open I urge you to be extra careful to prevent transmission in the run up to Christmas. Remember, you’re potentially infectious for 10 days after getting Covid-19, even if you do not have any symptoms. 

It remains critically important to avoid mixing with other households inside – as this is one of the main ways that infection is rising again in our borough. 

Check the rules to see how the change of tier impacts on you.

I know these added restrictions are disruptive to both residents and businesses but they are in place to keep us all safe. We will continue to work with the government to increase testing and make the case for adequate economic support for Tower Hamlets.

Please play your part to #KeepTowerHamletsSafe. Do also check on friends, family and neighbours by phone. Uncertain times can affect people’s mental health, so it’s vital we look out for each other safely. A host of health and wellbeing resources are available on our website.

We also have a dedicated phoneline for vulnerable residents to get support with self-isolation, supplies and urgent needs throughout the pandemic.

Stay safe,

Mayor Briggs


Fire door upgrade works Block 1-4 – 24-28th September

Following on from our recent fire stopping works, further works are planned on 24-28th September to upgrade fire doors in Blocks 1-4. This is being undertaken as part of a number of steps to ensure the development, built in the late 1980s, is compliant with the latest health and safety guidelines relating to fire.

The work will involve replacement of electrical cupboard doors with new doors that meet the latest standards as well as upgrades to the existing block entrance and 1st and 2nd floor entry doors.

There should be minimal disruption to those in the flats although residents may experience some noise during the hours of work (9am-5pm). Houses will not be affected by this work.

Fire stopping in riser cupboards – July 20th – 22nd

Works are planned between July 20th and 22nd to undertake fire stopping in the riser cupboards in Blocks 1-4. This is being undertaken as part of a number of steps to ensure the development, built in the late 1980s, is compliant with the latest health and safety guidelines relating to fire. Furthermore, this work will serve to provide an additional level of protection to prevent possible entry points to pests such as mice etc.

The work itself will involve ensuring that any gaps where services (water, gas, electricity etc) enter the flats from the riser cupboards are filled with appropriate fire stopping material. This may also necessitate removal of existing non-compliant filling material.

There should be minimal disruption to those in the flats although residents may experience some noise during the hours of work (9am-5pm). We have sought assurances from our contractor that they will be following COVID-19 government working guidelines, which they have confirmed. Houses will not be affected by this work.

New mandatory electrical safety testing for private rental properties

Mandatory electrical safety testing for all new tenancies in England is being introduced from July 1st this year with all existing tenancies required to be compliant by April 2021, following this date the regulations will apply to all properties across the Private Rented Sector.

PWRA remind any shareholders letting out their property that complying with this regulation will also be an obligation under the terms of the lease.

Further official guidance from government was expected on June 1st, however given the ongoing Covid-19 crisis this guidance is unlikely. PWRA advice to landlords is to commission an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), fixed wiring test. These certificates are usually valid for 5 years. Landlords must rectify any Category 1 hazards immediately and Category 2 hazards as soon as possible but within 28 days.

A copy of the EICR report and its recommendations should be provided to each tenant on completion. PWRA also request that a copy of this report is sent to directors@plymouthwharf.com

Whilst the picture for renewals is less clear, landlords and agents acting on their behalf should assume that any renewing tenancies (including those that fall into Statutory
Periodic) will require inspecting and testing before the existing tenancy renews.

With that in mind and given the likely high demand for electricians, PWRA recommend you instruct works well in advance of a tenancy renewal.

Local authorities can impose a financial penalty of up to £30,000 for a breach of the regulations. Where there are multiple breaches, the local authority can impose multiple penalties. 

PWRA do not provide recommendations of electricians or tradespeople. Electrical Safety First, the UK’s leading charity on electrical safety provide a search tool on their website that can be used to find certified registered electricians.

Parking regulations

We have recently received a number of complaints from residents around parking on the development. The parking regulations are already stated within the Lease (shared with owners – [clause 4(n)] ) and the Residents Handbook (available to owners and tenants). For awareness we are also sharing these regulations here:

Parking permits

From September 2020 a new parking permit system is being rolled out. All vehicles parked on the development must display a valid resident or visitor parking permit. Vehicles not displaying a valid permit may be subject to further enforcement including penalty fines, removal or reporting to local authorities.

Defined parking areas

Each flat is provided a specific allocated space in the area outside the block or around the central garden. The allocated spaces are defined within the Lease and Residents Handbook. For privacy reasons we do not publish the space allocation publicly here but owners and tenants can contact directors@plymouthwharf.com if unsure.

Each house is provided space on their forecourt for parking in addition to garage.

There are also a number of allocated “visitor” bays around the central garden, each one is clearly marked with a sign saying “visitor”.

Parking outside of the allocated areas is not permitted. The only exception being emergency vehicles or if explicitly agreed with PWRA board as a temporary exception. Such exceptions are typically only granted for maintenance of the overall development.

Use of allocated parking spaces

The following regulations are outlined in the Residents Handbook:

  1. Parking for the flats is in allocated spaces around the blocks and garden in accordance with the provisions of each of the Owner’s leases
  2. Flat Owners have exclusive right to use their own parking space.  Flat Owners shall not park their vehicles in other people’s allocated parking spaces – this will amount to trespass – unless they have explicit permission to do so from the corresponding owner
  3. There shall be no parking in such a way as to obstruct access to and from a resident’s allocated parking space – or allocated visitor bay
  4. Parking for the houses is in their own garages and on their own forecourts.  House Owners shall not park their vehicles in other people’s allocated parking spaces – this will amount to trespass – unless they have explicit permission to do so from the corresponding owner
  5. The Lease does provide that the five visitors’ bays may be used, if vacant, on a short-term basis only.  If these are full, then parking shall be outside the development  
  6. No parking is permitted at each end of the centre garden island as this restricts access of emergency vehicles.  No parking of bicycles or vehicles on the communal pedestrian areas  
  7. No  parking of bicycles in the flat block corridors or stairwells, nor the chaining of bicycles to railings, as maintenance of these areas is the responsibility of PWRA. There are two cycling racks to the left and right as you enter the main gates where you can park your bikes 
  8. Commercial vehicles cannot be parked anywhere on the development – unless explicitly agreed with PWRA board as a temporary exception. Such exceptions are typically only granted for maintenance of the overall development.
  9. Owners and Tenants are responsible for ensuring that their visitors comply with the parking regulations set out in the above paragraph.  The maximum stay for visitors’ vehicles in the visitor’s bays shall be 48 hours per week, after this time any visitor shall remove their vehicle from the Wharf – unless explicitly agreed with PWRA board as a temporary exception. Such exceptions are typically only granted for maintenance of the overall development.
  10. It is not permitted for residents to utilise their allocated space for commercial purposes or to rent it out for use by other people who do not reside on the development
  11. Any vehicle parked on the development must comply with government regulations – specifically be: registered with the DVLA, have up-to-date vehicle tax, have a current MOT and be roadworthy

Speed limit and direction of travel

The speed of vehicles in the Wharf shall not exceed 10 mph and vehicles shall comply with the one way system, which is clockwise from the Saunders Ness Road entrance.

Enforcement

PWRA board of directors will take action to enforce breaches of the parking regulations; including application of penalty fines, reporting to the police or even legal action if necessary.

Use of visitor bays and communal areas for parking is monitored regularly including via CCTV system where security or safety is a concern.

With regards to unauthorised use of private allocated spaces by others, we rely on residents to report this as we do not maintain a list of vehicles and their owners. Any resident whose space is being used without their permission can report this to directors@plymouthwharf.com. All emails will be treated in confidence.

Longer term we are looking to introduce a parking permit system to enable more effective policing of parking.