CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Chalcots windows are a real issue

15 October, 2021

‘Chalcots do not need the additional problems of this type of inappropriate window designs’

• A NUMBER of reps from the Chalcots were last week invited to have a collaborative visit to a large estate in Arlington Road in the midst of the new HS2 development area.

We were welcomed by Steve Kelly chair of the TRA tenants’ and residents’ association, and we saw first-hand the issues that they faced.

The common ground for Chalcots is that Camden Council wishes to impose window designs that the vast majority of residents simply do not wish namely “tilt-and-turn” (T&T) opening inwards.

On many buildings making the Arlington Road estate, all eight floors tall Brierfield, Fairfield and Foxfield, for example, T&T windows were introduced 20 years ago. See picture, above.

The TRA chair told us of the issues that residents have experienced over past years, including leaks from rubber seals that require replacement every five years, windows slipping off the third hinge in the T&T mechanism, and jamming open.

Most residents have poor ventilation as they only use the tilt-in function, which provides reduced air flow but is safer against falls. The ability of windows to turn in fully 90 degrees actually presents risk of falls (a near child fatality has occurred).

Chalcots reps Nigel Rumble, Carl Perry, Steve Kelly, Mandy Ryan and Anthony Royle

This also means large protrusion into homes by the sharp-edged, heavy, window frames, presenting health and safety risks from hitting heads etc.

It was even reported to us that if a window becomes damaged or broken, there is a £200 fee levied on a tenant even if it’s not caused by them.

As is common with Chalcots, even now, window handles are cheap and nasty and tend to break easily and even fall off. Nearly all residents living on the ground floor do not open their T&T windows for fear of break-ins, thereby, suffering poorer levels of ventilation.

The estate recently had internet fibre cables brought into blocks, the work poorly secured to outside, not fire protected, and very unsightly.

The estate has a very active community TRA hall, with good facilities installed by Camden, but they would wish to have more attention to the building “tiredness” needs. They very rarely see any councillors, for example.

It was clear to all of us that the Chalcots do not need the additional problems of this type of inappropriate window designs, especially for 22 floors of high-rise.

NIGEL RUMBLE, CARL PERRY, STEVE KELLY, MANDY RYAN, ANTHONY ROYLE
Chalcots representatives, NW3

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