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Hornsey Town Hall Construction Steering Group November 2020

21 December 2020
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Meeting Minutes

Wednesday 25th November 2020, 5pm

Attendees:

BP Beth Park (Newington Communications) Chair
LG Laura Griffiths (Newington Communications) Secretary
MA Mark Afford (Crouch End Conservation Area Advisory Committee)
DB Cllr Dawn Barnes (Haringey Council
PB Phil Briscoe (Newington Communications)
AC Amanda Carrara (Crouch End Festival)
LCH Cllr Luke Cawley-Harrison (Haringey Council)
SG Susan Cooper (Resident Representative)
CC Chris Currer (Crouch End Festival)
KG Katy Ghahremani (Make Architects)
DH Dean Hermitage (Haringey Council)
GJ Graeme Jennings (Hornsey Town Hall Trust)
SL Scott Lau (Far East Consortium)
BL Benjamin Lesser (Hornsey Town Hall Trust)
AM Andrew Major (Time + Space Co.)
TP Cllr Tammy Palmer (Haringey Council)
MP Miranda Pattinson (Resident Representative)
JP Joe Pitt (Ardmore)
AW Angela Walsh (FEC)

Apologies:

Ruth Selig (Weston and Haringey Park Resident’s Association)
Sharon Kean (Weston and Haringey Park Residents’ Association)
Liz Sich (Hornsey Town Hall Trust).

1 Apologies for absence

1.1 BP thanked everyone for joining the meeting and outlined the virtual meeting procedure.

1.2 BP noted apologies from Ruth Selig, Sharon Kean, and Liz Sich.

2 Attendance

2.1 BP read through the list of expected attendees, to confirm who was present.

3 Minutes of the Last Meeting

3.1 The minutes from the previous meeting were approved on a proposal from SC. This was seconded by MP.

4 Update from Ardmore Construction

4.1 JP provided an overview of Ardmore’s latest on-site activity. He noted that the concrete pour to Block A was 50% complete in the large block and that they are close to completion of the basement in the second half of the block.

4.2 In Block B, sheet piling is due to be completed imminently; Ardmore were undertaking this work over the weekend and had agreed this in advance with the businesses in the neighbouring library building. Concrete will shortly begin coming out of the ground and will be viewable from Haringey Park Road.

4.3 In addition, most of the concrete construction has been completed for the mews building. The restoration of the Town Square façade is also 90% complete.

4.4 JP noted that the Marketing Suite is located within the annex and is currently open by appointment only. Construction work will begin on the annex in March 2021, meaning that the Marketing Suite is likely to move with the show flat located in Block A.

4.5 JP added that, although an issue with Thames Water had arisen, they were endeavouring to keep to the intended completion dates where possible.

4.6 Finally, JP explained that the white canopy over part of the site is where some of the slate roof for the Town Hall and theatre is being replaced. The first mock up bedrooms for the hotel are also being constructed.

4.7 TP noted that she, DB and LCH, as local ward councillors, had received complaints about construction noise from those living close to the site. She raised some concerns about the tone and length of time in which Ardmore had been responding to these matters.

4.8 KS said that dust had been found in neighbouring gardens and presented an example of a piece of plastic she had found on her property. She also mentioned that there were rattling noises from the site when it is windy, which she can hear from her home. JP responded that Ardmore are aware of these issues and were engaging with residents accordingly.

4.9 TP said she felt that such issues hadn’t been properly addressed. JP apologised and said that Ardmore do endeavour to respond to each and every complaint. However, he agreed to look into how they are being dealt with on a case by case basis. He noted that some disruption during Monday to Friday construction hours is unfortunately inevitable, particularly now more residents are working from home during the daytime, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ardmore are working hard to mitigate this.

4.10 KS said she had raised these issues directly to the Considerate Constructors Scheme and they were addressed very promptly. However, she would like Ardmore to be quicker with their direct responses.

4.11 LCH made reference to a meeting Ardmore had held for local residents and said that he hadn’t received the follow up emails agreed. He asked that a procedure be put in place to respond to local residents within a certain timeframe. JP responded that Ardmore do try their best to respond to residents and to do so as quickly as possible. However, he would be happy to look into this further. BP suggested that this would be worthy of a separate discussion internally.

4.12 AC then asked about seating installation in the Town Square, as there are fewer places for residents to sit down along the local high street, due to the closure of this area for restoration. JP responded that Ardmore are working hard to deliver the new, upgraded Town Square as soon as possible, hopefully by the summer of 2021.

4.13 CC said that the Town Square green is one of the most important matters for residents. AW confirmed that the works to transform the Town Square were taking priority in FEC’s communications.

4.14 DB suggested undertaking a session with residents specifically to meet the Construction Steering Group, so that they could have more visibility as to its membership.

4.15 CC reiterated his point about promoting the HTH project, particularly the transformation of the Town Square. JP noted that there is a CGI image of the Town Hall Square as proposed, which is situated near Barclays’ Bank for everyone to look at.

4.16 GJ suggested that a hotline be set up to deal specifically with construction related issues. BP confirmed that there is such a hotline, which is run by Ardmore.

5 Update from Far East Consortium

5.1 AW provided an update from FEC, in particular focusing on the new hoardings around the Town Hall Square. LCH asked whether the hoardings could be used to direct people to the Ardmore Video screen and also to show how the new Town Hall Square will look. However, AW noted that it is now too late to change the design because it had already been ordered and is being installed. AW added that the hoardings also need to help direct people to the Marketing Suite and arrows in different directions would be confusing.

5.2 AC noted that the site video screen primarily circulates marketing images, and asked whether this could be changed to include construction updates. JP asked if he and Eillish from Ardmore could be contacted about this so that they could work to update it.

5.3 MP asked whether the temporary hoarding could have a window or screen installed, potentially by the bus stop, so that people could look through to see the works and progress on site.

5.4 DB reiterated LCH’s suggestion about using the hoardings to display messaging about the transformation of the Town Square. MA added that the original hoarding had a full set of images. In response, AW explained that whilst the hoardings are currently blank, the new boards ordered to wrap around them include graphics and imagery.

5.5 AW added that JP had covered the topic of completion dates and that FEC were focusing their communications on exploring the history of the Town Hall. In doing so, they have been writing a blog and case studies to record the restoration process. She added that FEC are producing progress photos to demonstrate this.

5.6 BP posed a question that was submitted in advance by Liz Sich, who had sent her apologies. She asked for an update on the timetable for the completion of the Arts Centre, as this would affect the timings for when the Construction Steering Group would evolve into the Community Use and Access Steering Group. AW explained that there had been some small delays due to the aforementioned issue with Thames Water but that the team were working toward the same completion dates as previously advised.

5.7 LCH asked for an update on the neighbouring Pera Kitchen. AW said that FEC were considering moving the Marketing Suite into the unit in the short term but that conversations were still ongoing on this matter.

6 Theme in focus: CSG Annual Review

6.1 PH began his presentation about the role of the CSG by explaining that the first meeting took place 12 months ago. He summarised the Terms of Reference of the CSG, with the key points being that the group representatives receive updates on the construction process and can help to share this information with the local residents they represent.

6.2 PB outlined the challenges that the CSG had faced in its first year, in particular not being able to meet in person, as a result of COVID-19. He also highlighted the opportunities that the CSG offers and thanked everyone for their feedback on how the group was running.

6.3 PB listed the membership of the CSG and noted that he was aware of some groups having changed; for example, he had been informed that the Weston and Haringey Park Residents’ Association is no longer in operation. As such, Newington intends to send letters to residents living in closest proximity to the site and invite them to elect one resident each from Weston Park Road and Haringey Park Road to act as representatives.

6.4 KS suggested that the CSG membership should include the Primezone Residents’ Association, which she is a member of, as they also live very close to the site. PB agreed that this would be considered.

6.5 TP returned to the topic of complaints handling and suggested that it was important to have a 24-hour phone line in place. PB explained that Ardmore’s Community Manager, Eillish Kwai is responsible for dealing with construction enquiries from the hours of 08.00-17.00 during the week and that Ardmore’s 24-hour emergency hotline is in place for urgent enquiries outside of these hours. The relevant telephone numbers have been included in community newsletters and advertised on the hoardings. He added that it was important that day-to-day issues be dealt with by contacting these numbers, as it would not be feasible to deal with such issues promptly if members of the group waited until the next CSG meeting to raise them.

6.6 TP responded that she should be able to raise complaints in the CSG forum. PB explained that members can of course raise such issues within CSG meetings, but that complaints requiring prompt action were best directed to Ardmore’s construction phone lines.

6.7 AW acknowledged that there are outstanding matters to resolve with regards to construction communications and complaints, and that FEC and Newington would be happy to arrange a direct meeting with the councillors to discuss this specifically.

6.8 LCH asked for clarity on Newington’s role and whether there was overlap in terms of fielding complaints. PB explained that Newington have been instructed to co-ordinate the CSG meetings and work with the stakeholders represented to get messages out to the community, as well as to issue the quarterly community newsletter. However, Ardmore are directly responsible for fielding complaints and construction enquiries.

6.9 DB stated that there should be a Service Level Agreement put in place for dealing with construction enquiries. For example, the Council’s own procedure is that officers must respond to queries from members within a period of 10 days.

6.10 DB also said that there should be more interaction by the Hornsey Town Hall team with the Crouch End groups on Facebook and that the ward councillors would be happy to endorse, share and promote such content.

6.11 LCH noted that when the hoarding first went up, it was promoted by the councillors on social media. PB said that a conversation about social media will take place amongst the team.

6.12 PB also asked members of the CSG to share content about Hornsey Town Hall on social media and direct interested parties back to Newington via email. TP said she felt that people rarely follow up with an email and instead contact the person who makes the original post i.e. the councillors, who may not be equipped to answer their questions. BP noted that Newington would be happy to discuss this further in the proposed follow up meeting.

7 Date of next meeting

7.1 BP confirmed that the next meeting will take place in January 2021 and details of the date and time would follow in due course.

8 Any other business

8.1 DB returned to the issue of seating around Crouch End, referring the team to AC. AC reiterated that there is very little seating in the area, in particular for elderly people who would like to take a break when walking. Indeed, further seating had been lost as a result of the Town Square being closed for restoration. She asked whether FEC could help the community to install benches elsewhere, in light of this.

8.2 AW explained that that the entire site is currently closed off and FEC does not own any of the land outside of this perimeter where it could reposition the benches to. The local ward councillors may instead be able to help find a solution. DB acknowledged this, noting that it is the Council that would be responsible for finding a suitable location for them.

8.3 CC asked if the benches that had once been located around the Town Square had been retained, and if they could potentially be reused elsewhere.

8.4 KG said that in her experience, in instances where space for sitting down outdoors is limited, local authorities have been able to change underutilised parking spaces into pocket parks. This could be suggested to the Council.

8.5 JP responded to the comments, explaining that the benches that had been removed were being stored safely and were intended for use at a later date. Therefore, there is a possibility that they could be temporarily relocated elsewhere. LCH added that seating would be welcomed near the library.

8.6 AC asked if the relocation of the benches would require Council permission. LCH responded that he and his fellow ward councillors would investigate this further.

8.7 GJ queried about completion dates, which JP said were projected as first residential completions from August 2021 and the Spring of 2022 for completion of the restoration of the Town Hall. JP also said that the new hotel was intended for completion at the same time as the Town Hall.

8.8 GJ noted that there was little involvement from Haringey Council’s senior officers in the CSG. BP replied that DH, who works for the Council, had been in the meeting earlier. However, she was aware of changes in personnel and would enquire as to potential replacements for previous Council invitees.

8.9 BP closed the meeting, thanking everyone for their time and noting that the minutes would be circulated thereafter. She would also be in touch with the ward councillors to arrange a follow up meeting.

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Address HORNSEY TOWN HALL, THE BROADWAY, CROUCH END, LONDON N8 9JJ
Hornsey Town Hall is a development by CROUCH END (FEC) LIMITED, Ground Floor, 12 Stanhope Gate, London, W1K 1AW, England (a company incorporated in England and Wales with company number 10448866).
Computer-generated images (CGIs) are indicative only and should not be relied upon as depicting the final as built development or apartment.