By Ben Lynch
The resident who supported the plan asked the committee to “restore our pride at Crescent House”, while the 50 other residents objected.
The roof of a listed building in Central London, which is considered an important example Brutalist Architecture, will be repaired to prevent heat from escaping. Over 50 people filed objections to the planned works at Crescent House, on the Golden Lane Estate. Concerns included disruption, and the need for residents to move out of their homes. However, the City of London Corporation committee unanimously approved the plan.
Chamberlin Powell Bon built the Crescent House and Golden Lane Estate before they worked on the Barbican. The Crescent House is a Grade II*-listed example of postwar architecture. The Corporation submitted proposals for repairs and renovations to Crescent House as part of an upgrade package planned for the Estate. This included fixing broken windowpanes, installing vacuum-glazed windows, and repairing the concrete vaulted rooftops. The findings from a pilot project on one flat in the building were incorporated into the larger proposals.
Crescent House residents have long fought for repairs to their exteriors. The current application is expected to make significant improvements in the energy efficiency of the building. Some residents had expressed concerns about the impact of the plans and ongoing issues like damp and mold.
In their objection to the proposal, one objector wrote: “The bay windows in many flats are damp with mould. This must be included in the work schedule, because any project which fails to repair these damages is not addressing the true scope of the works.”
It was not a case of no support. Groups such as the Twentieth Century Society, a heritage advocacy group, and Historic England backed the application. Officers recommended in their report to proceed with the listed building consent.
Several speakers spoke in favor and against of the plans for refurbishment at the Corporation’s Planning Applications Sub Committee on Friday, December 8. Residents of Crescent House were divided on whether to support or oppose the refurbishment plans.
He said: “The application that is currently being considered will cause major disruptions in the lives of residents.” We will be required to vacate our homes for a minimum of three months. Leaseholders will have to pay more than PS100,000.000 for each flat. This is about 25% of the market value. “This will cause a lot of disruption to residents and some may even become homeless.”
Jason Hayes told the members that the length of time residents would be out of their homes “depends largely on the state of the windows and how much work is required”. While he said that a list of works needed has been given, he added that more work may need to be done as refurbishments progress. He said that it is important to keep residents informed about the progress of the project, and the most difficult properties will take the longest.
Gaby Robertshaw also lives at Crescent House and was among those to support the proposal. She is a more recent resident of the estate. She moved into the house in the past year.
Ms Robertshaw emphasized the potential that the application offers, saying the residents have been waiting for over 20 years to see the project come to life, with the Windows Project in particular taking 10 years. The application will help to solve many issues. There is only one chance. “Give us our pride back in Crescent House.”
Members raised questions about conditions that would accompany a possible approval, and expressed concerns over the testing and pilot done so far. Marianne Fredericks, Cllr. of Newmarket Council spoke about the importance to balance any renovations with the history and role of the property as a residence. She also urged officers to “continue that dialogue” and to work with residents during the upgrade process. After the discussion, all members of the committee unanimously approved the recommendations.
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