3 & 4 Summerhill Grove

Page last updated 5 December 2023

We are currently carrying out improvement works and consulting on the future of 3 & 4 Summerhill Grove. This page is designed to provide real-time updates to customers and other key stakeholders on progress of the consultation and improvement works and answer frequently asked questions.

Consultation

The consultation survey can be completed digitally or via paper.

The online link for the survey found at the following link: https://forms.office.com/e/f9Ab8QjvTg 

For any customer who want to complete by hand, please email [email protected].

A paper version will be sent out with a return address and stamped envelope.

In September we announced our intention to consult on the future of 3 & 4 Summerhill Grove.

The aim of the consultation process is to allow time and space for customers to tell us (Riverside) about their concerns with regards their homes and the whole building, including communal areas.

Consultation will include the option for customers views on possible investment of £1 million to bring the property up to standard and the remaining / ongoing challenges a listed building presents to customers and Riverside. These will be ongoing concerns regarding EPC ratings, costs for customers to heat their homes and limitations to what improvements can be made to a listed building.

Beyond the consultation on the wider building, we have two customers who reside in two basement flats. It is our initial opinion that, even with considerable investment due to their location, lack of sunlight and uneconomical heating requirements the basement flats will still be prone to damp and mould issues. This would require ongoing maintenance and likely to cost the customers more in heating.

As a result, due to the residual risk to customers, there is a proposal to decommission these two flats. However, no final decisions have been made and we are exploring all the options going forward including an alternative tanking method and the results of the consultation will be a key pillar to inform this decision.

We wrote to residents in September with an offer to appoint an Independent Tenant Advisor (ITA) of their choosing and shared best practice guidance on what support to expect from an ITA throughout a consultation process.

An Independent Tenants Advisor provide independent and impartial advice to residents during the consultation process. They ensure that residents get access to all the information they require and are able to make informed decisions.

Most residents that contacted us told us they were in favour of appointing an ITA and recommended the appointment of AWICS.

In November 2023, Riverside appointed AWICS as an Independent Tenant Advisor to support residents throughout the process of the consultation.

AWICS can be contacted: [email protected] / 0800-321-3045

The consultation is due to be completed by 19 January 2024, please see the full timeline below.

  • Consultation Opens
    4 December 2023
  • Appointment of Independent Tenant Advisor
    4 December 2023
  • Written communication issued to residents
    5 December 2023
  • Drop-in consultation session
    4:30pm – 6:30pm, 11 December 2023
    Summerhill Bowling Green,
    Winchester Terrace,
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    NE4 6EH
  • One-to-one sessions
    Available via phone or Teams meetings, December 2023 and January 2024
    Book via [email protected]
  • Door knocking exercise
    January 2024
    Any customers who have not completed consultation will be contacted.
  • Additional drop-in consultation event
    TBC January 2024
    An additional drop-in session can be arranged if it is needed and will be advertised in advance to residents.
  • Consultation closes
    19 January 2024

Current works timeline

31 July 2023
Notices issued by Newcastle City Council, 3 prohibition orders and 3 notice of improvement orders.


August 2023

Arranging of temporary alternative accommodation for a number of residents.


8 & 9 August 2023

External work:

  • Conservation Officer meeting on-site

Internal work:

  • Damp Survey UK surveys completed
  • Electrical installation Condition Reports completed
  • Fire Risk Assessment & fire door remedial works to ensure all flat doors and communal doors were compliant

August & September 2023

  • Additional surveys completed and consideration of issues: roofing works, fire doors, compartmentation, energy efficiency, secondary glazing, prevailing damp, mould and condensation, ventilation, communal areas and conservation challenges.

18 September 2023

  • Residents meeting took place attended by senior members within Riverside’s asset management and home and communities teams, Newcastle City Council’s Environmental Health Officer and Cllr Cairns.

25 September  – 6 October 2023

  • External works:
    • Erection of scaffolding to front and rear of property

w/c 2 October 2023

Roofing works Expression of Interest Returns due  Procurement Strategy Development for roofing works. Asbestos surveys ordered for 6 x flats. Statement of Works received for roofing works. Tenders sent to potential suppliers for roofing works


6 October 2023 

  • External work:
    • Scaffolding Complete
    • Leadwork Contractors visit site.
  • Internal work:
    • Fire Safety Survey and floor plan completed for Building Control

w/c 9 October 2023

  • External Work:
    • Three meetings with roofing contractors WRPS including on-site
  • Internal Work:
    • Customer appointments for Window survey’s, measured surveys, compartmentalisation survey’s & Heating and Ventilation Strategy Commences.

9 October 2023

  • Application for a Variation of Improvement Notice: Section 16 Act 2004 Housing

10 October 2023

  • Internal work:
    • Letters/Emails sent to customers regarding dates and times of appointments for asbestos surveys required prior to internal works

16 October 2023

  • Revised Application for a Variation of Improvement Notice: Section 16 Act 2004 Housing

17 October 2023

  • Meeting with Newcastle City Council officers, Cllr Cairns and senior members of Riverside.
  • Tender submissions due for roofing works. No tender submissions received. Deadline extended until 31 October 2023
  • External work:
    • Letters/emails sent to customers regarding external drainage works to commence on 19 October 2023

18 October 2023

  • Response to Revised Application for a Variation of Improvement Notice: Section 16 Act 2004 Housing. Deadline extended until 31st Jan 2024 for 3 properties.
  • Internal work:
    • Letters/emails sent to customers regarding door entry systems surveys being carried out on 27 October and 3 November

19 October 2023

  • External work:
    • External drainage works. Letters/emails sent to customers regarding roofing commencement date of 1 November

20 October 2023

  • Survey reports and drawings estimated due back date from Academy Geomatics and Geo-Ps
  • Internal work:
    • Asbestos inspections carried out in flat 3C

31 October 2023

  • Extended tender submission deadline closes – X number of submissions received.

27 October 2023

  • Internal work:
    • Asbestos inspections carried out in customers flats 3A,3H,4A,4B &3E. Door entry system works completed for 4 Summerhill Grove.

3 November 2023

  • Internal work:
    • 2023 Door entry system works completed for 3 Summerhill Grove

6 November 2023

  • Welfare site office set up at 1a Winchester Terrace.
  • External work:
    • Date of commencement of works to roof and rainwater goods. (expected to take 4 weeks weather dependant)

27 November 2023

  • Earliest date for Full Building Control / conservation Approval

4 December 2023

Earliest start date for works on internal improvement works. Start date is dependent on roofing/rainwater goods works completing on time as works are weather dependent.


15 December 2023

Expected completion of roof and rainwater goods works, including additional items required on further inspection, subject to weather.


22 December 2023

  • Contractor shut down for Christmas break

2 January 2024

  • Contractor return from Christmas shut down break.

31 January 2024 

  • Proposed Extension Date for improvement works

Your questions answered

Initial expenditure of approximately £200k has already been committed and progressing on site. These works are to prevent water ingress consist of internal camera drainage survey and associated works to assist with the removal of standing water to the front and rear elevations. The works include:

    • Roof works, lead lining Finlock gutters, creating wider, higher and new gutters, rainwater pipes, and works to chimneys.
    • New detail to dormer windows.
    • Increased ventilation and new extractor fans.
    • Damp remediation including lime plastering.
    • New kitchen/tiling (where required).
    • New/refurbished windows (where required),
    • Boiler/heating installation (where required).
    • Making good and decoration (where required).

Longer term there is a budget expenditure requirement of approximately £1m (subject to market tendering and conservation permissions) to bring the condition of the properties to meet Riverside’s standard.

The works include:

    • Replacement of the existing pointing with lime-based mortar joints.
    • Remove existing painted render and replace with suitable breathable alternative.
    • Repoint entrance steps to limit water ingress below.
    • Install damp proof course (DPC) to the solid partition internal walls as required.
    • Removal of damp plaster and installation of appropriate damp proof membranes and/or newton lining systems.
    • Demolish and re-build damaged sections of partition between the storage rooms and meter cupboards.
    • Removal of defective plaster in the communal space leading to the rear garden and re-plaster with a breathable lime-based plaster.
    • Open both chimneys at lower levels and remove all debris then block up openings and supply and fit ventilation grilles.
    • Fire safety works including new fire doors/fire compartmentation/smoke and heat detection and consideration of a new fire alarm system.
    • Thermal improvements to increase efficiency e.g. wall insulation/ roof insulation/new and/or reconditioned windows/new heating installations.
    • New kitchens.
    • New bathrooms.
    • Potential rewiring works.
    • Ventilation strategy with new kitchen and bathroom extractor fans.
    • Internal door replacements.

Considering the above we would like to understand your views on the different aspects of the work we believe is necessary versus the competing demands and restrictions of what is permitted due to the conservation status of the building. These include ongoing concerns regarding EPC ratings and costs for customers to heat their homes.

The timeline can be found above, this is a live timeline and any major updates will be made to this version and communicated to residents.

We will be carrying out a full consultation with residents regarding the future of 3 & 4 Summerhill Grove and the options available going forward. The results of the consultation will be a key pillar to help inform all future decisions for 3 & 4 Summerhill Grove.

We want to ensure our residents feel fully supported throughout the consultation process and have made an offer to them to appoint an Independent Tenant Advisor of their choosing to aid the consultation.

The two basement properties are significantly prone to damp and mould, due to surface water and damp. We have identified that these basement properties will need tanking (although the local authority have an alternative design solution due to the Heritage nature of the building.)

It is our initial opinion that, even with considerable investment due to their location, lack of sunlight and uneconomical heating requirements the basement flats will still be prone to damp and mould issues. This would require ongoing maintenance and likely to cost the customers more in heating.

As a result, Riverside feel that these flats would offer a residual risk to customers. However, no final decisions have been made and we are exploring all the options going forward including an alternative tanking method and the results of the consultation will be a key pillar to inform this decision.

Following a request at the residents meeting on 18 September 2023 we provided a copy of this guidance “Government summary on Guidance on understanding and addressing the health risks of damp and mould in the home” in our letter dated 22/09/2023,

Further to this, please find a link below to the guidance.

In August, at the time when Damp Survey UK undertook the condensation, damp and mould surveys, Evolve also undertook repair works which incorporated the fire doors. All fire doors were measured whilst repairs were carried out to identify if these needed to be replaced. We have determined that at this time the doors are compliant, and these will not need to be replaced in the immediate future.

We have spoken to Newcastle City Council’s Conservation Department who have informed us we cannot fit standard double glazed units. The existing timber windows must be refurbished and if this is not possible due to their condition, we are currently seeking permission to fit a slim framed double glazed replacement.

We have raised your concerns with senior leaders at Evolve who have made steps to improve our services. We apologise the service standard was not at the level we expect for our customers and their homes and have put additional quality checks in place. Trades staff have also been spoken to for improvements in service.

All service charges being applied to the properties are being looked into, we are obtaining information from contractors with regards to frequency of visits and what works are completed when they are on site. If you would like further information about your service charges please visit our dedicated section of our website www.riverside.org.uk/you-your-home/rent/service-charges/

The radiator was removed to facilitate surveys and a temporary panel heater is heating the space. The radiator will be replaced after the wall is made good as part of improvement works. We have provided the resident with payments to account for the use of the temporary panel heater.

We have spoken directly to the two neighbouring properties regarding the progress and ‘Party Wall’ letters also sent to them. They have also been given the contact details of our Project Manager should any further issues arise.

Residents will be visited individually to advise in advance of works commencing.

An alternative ‘tanking’ method to the basements is being considered as part of the works, see earlier question and response.

The door entry system at number 3 has the ability to allow customers to release the front door from their flat, however this is not working. At number 4 the door entry system does not have the ability to release the front door from customers flats. Service of both units was arranged and the works required commenced 27/10/23. We wrote to all residents to confirm the dates for these works. Both door entry systems are now in working order but please do contact us if you experience any other issues.

In the interest of transparency and to aid the consultation process we will be able to share a redacted version of the report which will have any identifiable personal information removed.

For those residents who do wish to see a copy please email: [email protected]

We would like to stress the report is being shared with you as part of the consultation process and must not be shared with any third parties. The reports have been made available from 29 September.

We take these concerns extremely seriously and expect all of our contractors to conduct themselves professionally. We fully investigated these concerns and spoke to the resident at length to agree a resolution to their satisfaction. We always take appropriate action where necessary, including removing contractors from our suppliers list.

We have appointed a Riverside Project Manager for Summerhill Grove, Claire Deakin who will oversee the design, procurement, programme and delivery of works and liaise with yourselves and the local authority.

Claire is based in Newcastle 10 mins from Summerhill and will be on site weekly, her contact details were shared in the update sent 22 September and can be accessed in the document store above.

Claire will be present to monitor and manage the quality and services of all our external contractors.

Riverside has a regulatory responsibility to grant home loss payments (HLP) where customers are required to move to allow their home to be redeveloped or improved (not repaired), using the same criteria as Local Authorities. If a customer is moving on a permanent basis, they may be eligible for Home Loss Payment, currently £7800.

HLP will only be made when:

    • The tenant has been living in the property, or a substantial part of it, for one year before they have to be decanted.
    • The tenant has been living in the property as their main or only residence during this time.
    • The tenant is being required to move permanently as a consequence of demolition, decommissioning or an emergency where a tenant cannot return to the property (not temporary Decants).

Riverside will cover the costs incurred with moving

Previous updates to residents

To be able to view PDF files you need Acrobat reader, which is available as a free download from the Acrobat site.

  • Summerhill Grove consultation letter: 5 December 2023 Download
  • Summerhill Grove update: 6 November 2023 Download
  • Summerhill Grove update: 19 October 2023 Download
  • Summerhill Grove update:18 October 2023 Download
  • Summerhill Grove update: 17 October 2023 Download
  • Summerhill Grove update: 10 October 2023 Download
  • Summerhill Grove update: 2 October 2023 Download
  • Summerhill Grove update: 29 September 2023 Download
  • Summerhill Grove update: 25 September 2023 Download
  • Summerhill Grove update: 22 September 2023 Download
  • Summerhill Grove update: 13 September 2023 Download
  • Summerhill Grove update: 5 September 2023 Download
  • Summerhill Grove update: 15 August 2023 Download
  • Summerhill Grove update: 4 August 2023 Download
  • Summerhill Grove update: 1 August 2023 Download