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 Properties has begun the process of tendering for the work that is required. These tenders are expected to be returned by the end of June 2021. Once these have been assessed, we will advise residents as to what the works programme looks like.
5. Buxton Properties has also applied for the appropriate planning permission to undertake the required works
6. 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.