External Wall Insulation – Rendering nightmare and huge bills

Camden Leaseholders’ Forum homepage Discussion Board Major Works + Estimates External Wall Insulation – Rendering nightmare and huge bills

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    Camden are trying to rush through the cladding to the buildings.
    This will ruin the look of the buildings, encourage graffiti and cause various problems such as damp, reduced light, loss of windows etc.

    We are fighting back so please let me know if you want to find out more about this assault on us.

    We need to work together to stop this.



    Cheers for posting Ross. The Leaseholders’ Forum has discussed this with Ross and other parties and know it is already affected Ainsworth Estate, Dobson Close and Hillgrove estates, but – as ever – the more leaseholders act together, the better the pool of resources for getting a sensible outcome (whatever that may look like!).


    Managed to get the closing date for submissions to the planning department pushed back to September 7th.
    They have also reopened the webpage as it has been crashed for the last few days – a clear violation of the consultation process as it was supposed to be open until August 25th.
    Unfortunately they are not telling anyone that they have done this! So it is down to us to spread the word and get as many people commenting as possible.
    Follow this link to make your comments heard and seen-
    It is not too late to add objections. They do read these and this is a crucial stage in stopping this.

    Click here for Camden planning link


    Hello Ross. My father is a leaseholder on the Ainsworth Estate and has been given notice of major works including cladding along with a massive estimate for his share of the costs. I don’t know how these things are usually done but it does seem as if the Council is doing its best to prevent any meaningful or co-ordinated response to proposals.

    Tenants and leaseholders are being kept separated in all of this. I know that issues such as costs are different for each group but destroying the environment of the estate and how the Council is prioritising its much reduced funding is something that affects all residents. I understand that the Alexandra and Ainsworth Estate Tenants and Residents Association was not even aware of the proposals until the day of a leaseholders meeting set up by the Council, even though according to officials “it was probable that there had been a tenants meeting on the proposals”.

    You kindly added a link to the Camden planning page for the works on your estate but even though my father has received a letter about the planning application with a short deadline to make a response – really I don’t think 21 days is very long! – I couldn’t find anything on the Ainsworth works.

    We would be most grateful for more information on fighting these proposals and will be getting in touch separately – I just wanted to add to this Board so that people who might be looking for information are aware of what is happening. Perhaps it would be a good idea to include the TRA and I’ll send them a link to this forum if they are not already aware of it.


    Hi Ann
    I feel and share your pain on the way we have been treated. It must be particularly stressful for your father.

    In theory you should be able to voice your concerns via the consultation process and submit your comments via the consultation officer that you have been allocated. In practise, these people seem determined to push these projects through regardless of objections and costs. In our case the head of the project, the assistant and the consultation officer have all gone on holidays and won’t even be back until after the deadline! So not very convincing.

    The planning department are the best chance for submitting comments and objections. These need to be as technical and specific to the works and impacts as possible. No-one seems bothered about affordability for some reason. Even though leaseholders are going to face bills they cant pay (mine is £17,400!) and the tenants’ share of the tab is going to be picked up via the public through council tax and charges. And this is supposed to be a time of austerity and removal of “heating poverty” is supposed to be a main incentive for this EWI work.

    The letter should have a planning number on it will. If you follow the link below you should then be able to enter the code and find somewhere to enter your comments and objections for the planning department to see.

    planning link – click here

    Please also add the reference here so that other people can access it and add their comments.
    The planning process should also give the opportunity for other people that may be effected by the works to make their comments. E.g. Someone living opposite might object to the appearance and claim that it is blocking their view. This has not been done in this case and it is very difficult to find out what is going on – even if you are aware of it. A lot of people in the vicinity are going to have a real shock too late for them to do anything about it.

    I just searched for something on the project on your father’s estate and can’t find it even when I am looking for it.

    The link to the Hillgrove estates is in my post above and be accessed and commented on whether you live in that estate OR NOT.

    There are lots of comments and objections there that you should read and copy the bits that are useful for blocking the works at yours as well. For example, damp issues, appearance issues, loss of light, attraction of graffiti all apply in your case as well. If you could post your number I could have a look to see if there is anything that can be used in our case.

    We have to work together and share information.

    Please also feel free to email me at rossyb AT yahoo.com



    I have just read this by chance and am appalled at what camden are trying to do to our estate. I live on the NW8 side of Hillgrove estate so have only had a letter saying we will be having wall insulation done . I did not know anything about cladding being put on the outside of the blocks. I have just put an objection in and would like to know what I can do to help stop this from happening.


    How are these people expected to pay £17,400…or anything near that? Some time ago the internal area of the Blocks in NW8 Hilgrove Estate were re-floored. Within ten years, the areas are being done again. Why? Because the original flooring was not “fit-for-purpose”. This is highly relevant to this discussion: it is an example of the zero-democracy policy operated towards lease-holders and tennants {at the time we could only vote on the colour}. The areas should have been tiled, not pasted with floor-like glue that now looks like it was laid down when the blocks were first built. These blocks were built around 1954 and as far as I know were awarded a prize for the “Best Council Estate in the Country” back then. People admire the blocks as they are. If there are any plans to change the look of these blocks why have I not heard of it? Residents are currently under-going major refurbishment works to the interior of the blocks including the lifts. If you plan to change the look and feel of the blocks for the purposes of lagging, then don’t ask the residents to contribute. Up and down the country lagging is being fitted for free in most cases. You are creating lease-holder poverty by embarking down this route. Would you like more people to move out {like a neighbour has done recently, due to these cost}? Are you planning for making people home-less who cannot pay? Effectively we are all subject to higher energy bills and now, on top of that a proposed huge economic burden that {on a per unit / flat basis} will never be re-couped through reductions in heating bills for leaseholders. I suspect you will have an answer for all of this. So do I…it’s called “rip-off Britain”. Owning a “Lease” is un-heard of in most European Countries – we don’t even own the flats we live in. Before replying “you knew that when you moved in” doesn’t make it right. People have to live somewhere on this Monopoly board called the UK.


    Hi Apollo

    We are on your side. Please click the PLANNING LINK above and leave your comments on the planning website as we need as many people as possible to object to the EXTERNAL WALL INSULATION. I am more upset about the way it will make the estate look and how it will block light through the windows and encourage graffiti. We have a lovely looking estate and for some reason Camden want to change the look to some of the cheap looking estates around London. It will also cost a lot of money and as you rightly say the flooring that they put down now looks cheap and nasty – just think how the outside of our blocks will look after a couple of years. There is no rhyme or reason for wanting to do this.


    We are all upset about this and doing our best to stop it happening.
    But time is (deliberately) very short and we all need to get as many people as possible to post their objections on the planning link above and contact anyone you can think of- MP, councillors, newspapers, TV, radio, personalities, neighbours.
    Anyone you can think of and don’t worry if any of this is duplicated effort as the more we try the better. Sometimes it takes a lot of chops to bring down a big tree.
    Keep swinging!


    Morning all! Just to say that I spotted a number of letters in this week’s Camden New Journal about building cladding, all going along the same lines. The first letter about Clarkson Row/Mornington Crescent, this one is about http://www.camdennewjournal.com/letters/2015/sep/reasons-oppose-cladding-plan-mortimer-estate and this is a small counter-argument.

    Do remember this week’s Forum meeting on Tuesday where Stephen Platt will be in…

    Cheers, Paul


    does anyone know the firm that carries out the cladding work?


    and why is camden in such a hurry?


    If you contact the Major Works team (their number will be on the paperwork that you have been sent), they will be able to tell you. It will vary from estate to estate. As to why they are in such a hurry – that one I’m genuinely not sure about and haven’t received any meaningful answers, given that the purchasing framework changes next year, hopefully bringing in more suppliers and therefore lower costs. That said, they do have a programme to get on with dealing with lots of buildings in Camden; personally I don’t think that Major Works have woken up to the fact that if they listen better they might make their own life’s easier in terms of less hassle and happier punters! Paul (Leaseholders’ Forum member).


    I have had a surveyor go through the details of the proposed works and he has a number of concerns which I will be running through and forwarding to Camden for their answers.
    He has also directed me to the license for the product that will be used for this process and you can click here to see it-
    BBA EWI certificate

    Have a look through and see what other points you can find to quiz Camden on. Please also check to see if Lakehouse are even licensed to use this product. I haven’t seen them listed.

    An example of items of concern is point 14.
    A copy of the email that I have sent to John Rutter (liason officer) is shown below.
    The fight goes on and we are getting closer to winning

    Dear Mr Rutter
    I am pleased to hear that the process is still open. This is a very complicated and expensive issue.
    After much research and the help of a surveyor I have found the certificate for the materials that will be used (the link is below) and draw your attention to points 14 in particular. (shown below)

    It is clear that a lot of preparation and surveying must be done before this process is even considered. Please confirm that all these stages and have been followed and provide me with the relevant report that this process produced.

    14 Site survey and preliminary work
    14.1 A pre-installation survey of the property must be carried out to determine whether repairs are required to the sheathing board or steel frame and repairs should be carried out before application of the Epsitec External Wall Insulation System. A specification is prepared for each elevation of the building indicating, for example: • position of starter tracks, cavity spacer tracks and render beads • additional reinforcing scrim at corners of openings • detailing around windows, doors and at eaves • damp-proof course (dpc) level • location and type of weather seals to be used and location of water-deflection channels • areas where suitable silicone sealants must be used • position of fire barriers and cavity fire stops.
    14.2 The survey should include tests conducted on the steel frame of the building by the Certificate holder or their approved applicators (see section 15) to determine the pull-out resistance of the proposed mechanical fixings. An assessment and recommendation is made on the type and number of fixings required to withstand the building’s expected wind loading based on calculations using the relevant wind speed data for the site and the pull-out resistances (see section 7).
    14.3 Surfaces should be sound, clean, and free from loose material. The flatness of surfaces must be checked; this may be achieved by using a straight-edge spanning the storey height. Excessive irregularities, ie greater than 10 mm, must be made good prior to installation to ensure that the steel frames are installed with a smooth, in-plane finished surface.
    14.4 On existing buildings, purpose-made window sills must be fitted to extend beyond the finished face of the system (see section 16.7). New buildings should incorporate suitably deep sills.
    14.5 Internal wet work, eg screeding or plastering, should be completed and allowed to dry prior to the application of a system.
    14.6 All modifications, such as provision for fire stopping (see section 8) and necessary repairs to the building must be completed before installation commences

    Click to access 4625PS1i2.pdf

    It is my contention that these guidelines have not been followed and that there are various reasons highlighted here to show that the buildings are not suitable for this process.

    I look forward to your reply.


    Lets hope it does the trick.

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