59 Great Suffolk Street


Find out about what is happening at 59 Great Suffolk Street in the sections below:

We constantly update the information on this page so please refer back for the latest revision



Project overview

Project updates: 19 April 2022
Scaffolding works commenced on Monday 28 March 2022 beginning with the rear elevation, then moving onto Pocock Street, and then finally onto Great Suffolk Street.
As well as the scaffold starting, Crestwell Ltd has taken receipt of the storage containers/hoists which will be situated on Pocock Street as per the agreed licences issued via the local authorities.
All efforts will be made to ensure that the works are carried out diligently and with the minimum inconvenience to you.
Residents should inform their contents insurers that there are works being carried out on the replacement of the fabric of the building, and that there will be scaffold on the building which will be fully sheeted with Monarflex during the cladding removal.
Buxton Homes has provided us with a draft works programme, which residents can view here. 
We would like to thank you for your cooperation during these works.


57-59 Suffolk Street was was built in 2007, meeting all building and fire safety regulations of the time.

In 2019, changes were made to building regulations. As a result, building management teams across the country must now make sure all buildings are compliant with these new regulations.

Investigations on the building have been concluded by Skymode, the External Managing Agent (EMA) and have identified the areas where work is required in order to meet the updated building regulations.


Who are all of the parties involved at Great Suffolk Street?

Aside from residents, there are a number of parties involved at Great Suffolk Street.

The Freeholder is Buxton Homes Ltd.

Buxton Homes instructs the External Management Agent (we often refer to this as an 'EMA') which is Skymode Properties Limited. 

Skymode Properties is instructed to act on behalf of the Freeholder, Buxton Homes to manage Great Suffolk Street in accordance with the lease.

Southern Housing Group is the HeadLessee for the affordable homes within the scheme, including the Shared Ownership homes there.

A headlease is the primary lease agreement that is signed between Southern Housing Group (as the tenant) and the Freeholder (the landlord). We have then entered into individual sublease or tenancy agreements with our home owners and tenants.

As headlease holders at Great Suffolk Street, we are not actively involved in the current fire safety works investigation or responsible for organising or completing any building safety work. We will however work closely with all the relevant stakeholders in order to represent the interests of our residents in this programme as it progresses and ensure that the terms of our lease are fully complied with and residents are kept informed.


What do we understand the current position to be at Great Suffolk Street?

1. The external walls of the building were assessed in June 2020, and the recommendation was that the external wall system  needed to be replaced. This is due to there being some combustible material present. 

2. This report showed that if the building was to be fully assessed for the purposes of issuing an EWS1 form, it would receive a B2 rating. We have seen that this is not usually of a standard that will be acceptable to mortgage lenders.

3. Buxton Properties has submitted the first stage of its application for funding to cover the costs of this project. The Greater London Authority (GLA) has advised that the work at 59 Great Suffolk Street is potentially eligible for government funding, and Buxton Properties has been invited to submit a full application for consideration ahead of the 30 June 2021 application deadline.

4. Buxton Homes has advised us that at this time there has been no recommendation to put in place any interim fire safety measures, such as a waking watch service or common alarm. 

5. Scaffolding works on the building began on Monday 28 March 2022.

Current fire safety advice

This page was last updated 5 May 2021

Updated Fire Evacuation Procedure  

TBC

Important documents
Frequently asked questions

This page was last updated 11 May 2021

Does this mean that the building isn’t safe? 

We would like to reassure our residents their home is safe. All of our homes have an up-to-date Fire Risk Assessment, which are independently reviewed every year and any recommendations are dealt with immediately or, where appropriate, put into a programme of work to be completed within a suitable timeframe. We are in regular contact with the local fire service, and have taken all their advice and suggested measures to mitigate any risk to residents. 


When will work be taking place?

We have been advised by Skymode that work should begin at Great Suffolk Street before the end of September 2021.


Can I stay in my home during the work? 

We are waiting for further information from Skymode on the exact scope of the work that will take place. As soon as we have this, we will let residents know what they can expect.

However, it is unlikely that residents will be asked to vacate their homes while this work is underway.


What should I do if there’s a fire?

TBC


Will leaseholders be charged for the costs of the remedial work?

We will do all we can to protect leaseholders from these costs.   

Skymode Properties confirmed on 4 May 2021 that an application to the government's Building Safety Fund has been made for Great Suffolk Street, and that the GLA has invited a full application for the building.

At this stage the fund has not provided further guidance on the estimated timescales for review, however we will continue to provide updates on this matter.

We anticipate that due to the number of applications being made across the UK, it is likely that we will have to wait some time before we hear whether these applications have been successful. 

We are a charitable housing association and the way we are run and how we spend our money is regulated by the government. What this means in practice is that if we cannot find an alternative source of reimbursement for the costs of the work then we are obliged to seek to recover costs under the terms of leases. This is because the way we spend our money is subject to strict rules and we are not permitted to write off these costs if there is an alternative option. This is never our preferred way forward and we understand that this may be concerning for leaseholders. We hope that this will not be necessary but it would be wrong not to be clear about the possibility at this stage. 


This situation is causing me hardship - can Southern Housing Group help me? 


We will be working closely with the management company Skymode Properties  to ensure that the building safety programme is completed as soon as possible although we recognise that this is a nationwide issue affecting many homes and therefore there may be some delays. If you are in hardship because of the timing of the programme for your building please speak to us.

We want to support our residents and recognise that this is stressful time for many. There may be other options that we can discuss with you that could help. In some circumstances, permission to sub-let to a tenant may be granted, although this is subject to our sub-letting policy conditions. 


What do I do if I want to sublet to a tenant?

If you have fully staircased so that you now own the lease to your home then the terms of your lease will apply if you want to consider letting your home. You will still require permission, but we can provide more information if this applies to you. If you are a shared owner then our subletting policy will apply. We are happy to provide you with details of our policy upon request. We will consider subletting requests from shared owners but subject to strict criteria being met. Please contact us for more details if this applies to you. 


How can I find out more?

We completely understand how important it is to be able to get reliable information. Our Building Safety Team will work closely with Skymode Properties to ensure that information is available to residents and us, in a timely manner.

For general housing related issues your Housing Services Manager continues to be Adnan Zubair. 

However, for all building safety issues including the progress of the programme the building safety team will be happy to answer your questions.  

It can sometimes take a while to find the answer to things so please bear with us – we know this is a worrying time for residents so we will do our best to support you and answer your questions as fully as we can with the information we have. 

We'll be updating these pages whenever there is new information.