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Southwark major works

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Saturday 28 March 2009 12.10pm
I am a leaseholder of an ex-council property. We are currently having major works done to the block (Medway House), which includes replacing the lateral mains electricity. Currently my electricity cables are all hidden inside the walls, but the council insist that the new lateral mains would be surface mounted in large PVC trunking inside my flat (up to the electricity meter). I have seen it in my upstair's neighbours flat and it looks absolutely dreadful! They say it is a policy of Southwark not to chase electricity cables into the walls. Surely if all cables are currently chased into the wall, they can't just come along and lay trunking along my walls? Does anyone have experience of this?
Saturday 28 March 2009 1.58pm
Much anger and tears were had when the Peabody Trust installed stated trunking within their properties. As you say, it looks awful and in small flats is highly visible at all times. I'm planning to re-chase mine when cash is available as has my friend in her flat. It really is unpopular to all I've met.
Saturday 28 March 2009 4.17pm
The whole leaseholder cost thing is a can of worms, seems like the leaseholders are either disappointed with the specification of the work, or with the size of the bill. Perhaps it's only Right To Buy if you get the freehold?
Monday 30 March 2009 7.52am
can't you give the workman a few quid extra if he could chase the cabling into the wall? perhaps he could do it in his time say evenings or week-ends so he did not get into trouble...
Monday 30 March 2009 6.09pm
We too are about to have major works done. We have lovely picture windows - in wood - and the council policy is to replace all windows with uPVC. Okay, I can just about cope with that, but now they say the windows are too big for uPVC so the picture windows will be replaced by casement windows. It will spoil the whole integrity of the buildings' design. We hope to fight this, but know we will have problems. Many of us bought our flats because of the large picture windows and the views they gave, now ....... It's all quite depressing that the council can have such a say over MY property on which I have invested so much care and money. Do you have an active tenants association?
Friday 3 April 2009 12.51pm
I've already offered to pay them to chase the cables into the wall, but they refused - 'Health & Safety' apparently. Seems to be the general get out phrase for the Council. I've had a quote from an Electrician and he wants 500 to chase 1.5m meters of cabling into the wall. With my bill for Major Works at nearly 20 000, I can't afford an extra 500 at the moment. The nightmare continues....
Sunday 5 April 2009 9.47am
@Claudia - I'm afraid you've answered your own question. It's expensive to chase cables into walls, particularly as you need to avoid anything else that's already there (water pipes, gas pipes, existing cables - that's the health and safety bit!). That's why the council don't do it.

Burying cables in walls is easy to do when a block is built, but very hard to replace.

@Karen - when major works is planned there is a legal obligation for the council to consult. They have to send you two notices ('section 20' notices). The first is the notice of intention - where they outline what work they're planning to do and the second is the notice of proposal where they are more specific about what is happening.

If you're not happy with some aspect of the work (like your windows) then these notices give you (and your neighbours) the chance to speak up.

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