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Noel Park Pods

Noel Park pod replacement works frequently asked questions

Why do the bathroom pod extensions need to be replaced?

Can I have a brick-built bathroom extension?

Will the work have a guarantee?

My hot water cylinder/gas boiler is in the pod extension, would this be relocated?

The new layout for the bathroom pod seems to be small, will it be extended?

Will I be able to keep my sanitary and personal fittings?

I have mobility problems; would the bathroom be adapted to suit my current/future needs?

My pod feels cold; will the new pods be warmer?

Are you proposing to replace the metal staircase attached to my pod?

Do you propose to extend the kitchen area?

What are the requirements for replacing windows on the Noel Park Estate?

My property is in need of major works to renew windows, rewiring etc. When will this be carried out?

How can I get more information on the works taking place?

How much will the new pods cost?

Will leaseholders have to pay a proportion of the costs of the works?

I have received a letter quoting a large amount for the works. When do I need to pay this by?

But the figures quoted are large, and I won’t be able to pay that in one go?

Can leaseholders source their own quotes for the work and choose to proceed with that provider instead?

What is the freeholder contribution to the works?

Would I be able to obtain replacement parts for the bathroom fittings in the future?

If I do not have a pod but the flat on the ground floor does, will I have to contribute towards the cost of their extension?

If leaseholders own both upper and lower flats of the same property, would we be able to buy the freehold and replace the pods ourselves?

I have a single pod; will I be able to carry out the work to replace it myself?

My consultation letter is asking me to contribute to roof repairs despite my roof being in good condition. I don’t think the works are necessary, how can I dispute this?

The resident below me has a single storey pod. Would it be possible to extend the pod up to the first floor?

Tenants and leaseholders

Why do the bathroom pod extensions need to be replaced?

  • The prefabricated pods were installed nearly 50 years ago (circa 1972) and have come to the end of their useful life. This work will improve the property and reduce the maintenance costs. The new pods have a guarantee for 60 years.

Is the pod classified as internal or external works?

  • The pod is classed as an integral part of the building.

Can I have a brick-built bathroom extension?

  • The costs for a brick-built extension are comparable with a prefabricated pod extension. However, associated costs for removals, storage and temporary accommodation costs would need to be added which would make this option more expensive. Residents would also need to be moved out for approximately three months if this option were chosen.

Will the work have a guarantee? Will this be transferable to leaseholders?

  • The guarantee is in the name of the property, so in the event of a Right to Buy purchase, it is simply passed to the acting solicitors for transfer to the new owner.

What maintenance will the pods need in the future?

  • The maintenance programme for the pods are expected to be similar to that of traditionally built extensions, including a standard maintenance programme for roofs, guttering, windows and doors, which would be carried out on all structures. Modular construction is widely used in the modern construction industry due to the construction method providing better quality than would have otherwise been achieved through traditional construction.

My hot water cylinder/gas boiler is in the pod extension, would this be relocated?

  • We will try to relocate the existing heating facilities to a suitable area within your home, but this will be considered on a property-by-property basis.

The new layout for the bathroom pod seems to be small, will it be extended?

  • We are consulting with the council’s Planning & Conservation Team to see if the pods can be extended.

If you install a new bathroom in the new pod, will I be able to keep my sanitary and personal fittings? Will I be able to use my own wall and floor tiles?

  • We will offer a range of designs and colour choices for the proposed bathroom pod renewals and therefore would not be able to consider requests for residents’ own improvements and installations.

I have mobility problems; would the bathroom be adapted to suit my current/future needs?

  • We will discuss the bathroom layout and design around your individual needs. If you need adaptations, we will arrange for an Occupational Therapist to visit and assess your needs in relation to the works.

My pod feels cold; will the new pods be warmer?

  • The new pod extensions will have insulated floors, walls and ceilings, which comply with current building regulations. The rear door and windows are double-glazed, which will improve the thermal efficiency of your home. This means that they should be warmer and easier to heat.

I have a metal staircase attached to the rear of my pod extension. Are you proposing to replace this when you renew the pod?

  • A survey will be carried out to determine the condition of each staircase. It will be refurbished if it is in good condition and replaced if not, but this will be considered when full pre-works assessments have been completed.

The five-year plan agreed in 2018 set a £12million budget for the Noel Park pod works. We have since been told that the works are now set to total £21million. Why has this figure increased so dramatically?

  • The 2018 estimate was based on an initial scope for the project, with further reviews establishing that additional work would be required to bring the properties up to Decent Home standard, including the replacement of kitchen pods on some properties, the revised costs for the removal of the current pod structures and the replacement with a permanent modular bathroom extension. The original estimates in 2018 also did not include all properties in the area, which was corrected on subsequent reviews. Homes for Haringey believes it is important that its properties are brought up to its Decent Home standard and the scope of the works have been designed to achieve that aim.

When you replace the pods or carry out major works, do you propose to extend the kitchen area, as my kitchen is very small?

  • We know that some properties, particularly in Farrant Avenue, Moselle Avenue and Morley Avenue have very small kitchen areas. We have already explored the scope of increasing the kitchen sizes during our pre-works surveys and design process with Ridge & Partners. We shall explore this option on a property-by-property basis to determine how these improvements can be achieved, subject to planning and conservation requirements and approval.

What are the requirements for replacing windows on the Noel Park Estate?

  • The Noel Park Estate is in a Conservation Area. Planning restrictions mean that the windows to the front of the properties must be replaced with timber windows on a like-for-like basis. We are only able to replace the windows to the rear of the property with uPVC windows.

My property is in need of major works to renew windows, rewiring etc. When will this be carried out?

  • All relevant but outstanding major works will be carried out as part of this project.

Will the works be completed by ENGIE in their entirety or will they be subcontracted?

  • ENGIE will use subcontractors to complete sections of project, as is standard practice in the construction industry. All work will be assessed by HfH through a dedicated project manager, an onsite Clerk of Works to oversee quality and workmanship, and a consultant from Ridge and Partners LLP (who has been appointed to manage the contract on a day-to-day basis) to ensure work is carried out to the specifications and standards laid out in the contract. 

What incentive is there for ENGIE to ensure the works are to a high standard if they are in a long term contract with HfH to carry out maintenance work?

  • All major works contracts require contractors to complete the works in accordance with specifications and standards laid out in the contracts. These include relevant best practice regulations and recognised industry standards. The payment mechanism within the contract is dependent on the work being formally signed off as meeting these high specifications and standards. If the work fails this test, the contractor is not paid for the work.

How can I get more information on the works taking place?

  • Our contractor ENGIE have sent affected residents newsletters about the proposed works and will continue to do so throughout the project. You can also contact our Major Works team with queries about the project at majorworksenquiries@homesforharingey.org

 

Leaseholders

How much will the new pods cost?

  • Costs will be confirmed when designs of the new pods are complete. The apportioned costs and potential payments plan for the pods replacements and major works will be discussed separately with leaseholders once Ridge & Partners, our appointed lead consultants, have submitted the full designs and costs breakdown to Homes for Haringey.

Will leaseholders have to pay a proportion of the costs of the works?

  • Under the terms of your lease, you are liable for a proportion of the cost of carrying out repairs and maintenance to your building. The amount you are charged depends on when your lease was assigned, but it is based either on the rateable value or on the number of bedrooms in your flat.

    For further information on what proportion of building costs your lease says that you have to pay, please contact the Leasehold Services Team at leaseholdservices@homesforharingey.org or on 020 8489 5611 (available Monday to Friday 8.45am-5pm).

Why are different leaseholders receiving different estimates for the work being carried out?

  • The estimated costs of the works are based on the terms of individual leases and on the outcome of an individual property survey, that will be made available to each leaseholder. The scope of works is therefore assessed on a property by property basis.

Why are costs for internal works included in my estimate?​

  • A cost breakdown and scope of work has been provided for leaseholders in the Section 20 notice. Leaseholders don't pay costs towards any internal work in a council tenant’s property. The cost for internal works in the estimates sent to leaseholders relates to work covering the internal aspects of the property when the bathroom work extension works are carried out. The breakdown is broken up into separate components:
    • External Repair and Redecoration works
    • Windows and Front External Door (FED)
    • Internal Works, which are designed to protect the property during the bathroom extension removal and replacement works.
    • Modular Replacement

Will the new pod affect my ability to sell or re-mortgage my property?

  • The new pods are classed as a permanent structure with a Built Offsite Property Assurance Scheme (BOPAS) accreditation which provides assurance of a minimum 60 year lifespan. Haringey Council believes that leaseholders will be able to remortgage and sell their properties in the future owing to these specifications.

I have received a letter quoting a large amount for the works. When do I need to pay this by?

But the figures quoted are large, and I won’t be able to pay that in one go?

  • We know that due to the nature of the work, the costs are big. We offer a range of loans to help you pay for the work, and are also proactively working with Haringey Council to improve the support we can offer to leaseholders.

    We would urge you to contact our Leasehold Services Team at leaseholdservices@homesforharingey.org on 020 8489 5611 (available Monday to Friday 8.45am-5pm) to discuss your circumstances so we can identify the best way to support you.

Does Haringey Council/HfH believe that there are no cheaper alternative options?

  • Other alternatives have been explored by HfH on behalf of Haringey Council. HfH sought support and advice from Haringey Council’s Strategic Procurement team and determined the London Construction Programme (LCP) framework as being the optimum course of action. This was due to the LCP framework being legally compliant, value for money and delivering speed of access to quality-checked contractors and companies that focus their resources in the local area.

Are the estimated cost of works the maximum costs of work?

  • The detailed surveys will determine the scope of works and the final costs. HfH is committed to ensuring these are as cost effective as possible, and our hope is that the overall costs will reduce as a result.  The estimates issued in September 2020 are our best estimate as the maximum costs of work.

Can leaseholders source their own quotes for the work and choose to proceed with that provider instead?

  • No. The works are being carried out under a type of contract called a Qualifying Long-Term Agreement. When works are carried out under these types of contracts, leaseholders do not have the right to nominate contractors for the works.

Why is it necessary to replace my front door and windows? Why is the replacement front door so expensive?

  • Prior to any works being undertaken a detailed survey will be carried out to determine the scope of works.  Only works that are necessary will be carried out. If work is not required on a specific door and window, assuming it complies with the required standards and safety regulations, it will not be carried out. It is important that any replacement of key parts of the building, such as doors and windows, meet the requirements of fire safety regulations which can increase the cost. HfH works with contractors to source the best value product that meets these requirements.

I would like to replace my own windows and front door. Can I do this?

  • No. Following a consultation with leaseholders about proposed changes to the Leasehold Alterations policy, Haringey Council's Cabinet agreed the new policy in December. Leaseholders are now no longer allowed to replace the windows and doors of their properties themselves.

What is the freeholder contribution to the works?

  • The freeholder pays 100% of the cost of the works to the contractor. Leaseholders are then charged a proportion of the cost of works to the building as set out in their lease.

Would I be able to obtain replacement parts for the bathroom fittings in the future?

  • We will try to ensure that any replacement parts are available for the near future.

If I do not have a pod but the flat on the ground floor does, will I have to contribute towards the cost of their extension?

  • Under the terms of your lease, you are liable for a proportion of the costs of carrying out repairs and maintenance to the external structure of the building. This would normally include any works carried out to the pods.

If leaseholders own both upper and lower flats of the same property, would we be able to buy the freehold and replace the pods ourselves?

  • Yes, you can buy the freehold if both leaseholders agree. For further information, please contact the Leasehold Services Team at leaseholdservices@homesforharingey.org or on 020 8489 5611 (available Monday to Friday 8.45am-5pm).

I have a single pod; will I be able to carry out the work to replace it myself?

  • No. Haringey Council, as freeholder, is responsible for the external structure of the dwelling.

My consultation letter is asking me to contribute to roof repairs despite my roof being in good condition. I don’t think the works are necessary, how can I dispute this?

  • Leaseholders were sent a 'Section 20' letter which outlined the proposed works to their building. You have the right to make any observations on the proposed works, which could include challenging the necessity of carrying them out. To comment on any aspects of the proposed works, please email comments to leaseholdservices@homesforharingey.org by 24 October 2020.

The resident below me has a single storey pod. Would it be possible to extend the pod up to the first floor?

  • We will need to explore this in further detail and consultation with the council’s planning and conservation teams.

Do the pods have asbestos? Why are leaseholders liable to pay for the removal of asbestos?

  • The pods are constructed from a timber-framed enclosure with timber panels to the exterior and plasterboard internally, with asbestos insulation board ‘sandwiched’ in-between. Asbestos was a common construction material when the pods were originally built and had been used for decades in the construction industry. Asbestos is not considered harmful unless it is disturbed or damaged, and remains in many buildings across the UK. A periodic inspection programme is carried out by HfH, in accordance with safety regulations, to ensure the asbestos has not been exposed or disturbed, with remedial work undertaken if any issues have emerged. During extensive building works, where the material is likely to be disturbed, asbestos is completely removed as part of the works. Asbestos forms part of the structure of the building, and under the terms and condition of the lease, the leaseholder is required to contribute to the cost of its removal.

ENGIE’s brochure ‘Noel Park Pod Replacement and Major Works’ states that the proposed pod will use Trespa cladding. But I’ve read there may be safety concerns about this cladding?​

  • Fire safety is an important priority for Homes for Haringey. Trespa cladding will not be used.

Page Last Updated:

21 January 2021