AUCKLAND RISE: QUINN LONDON’S RESPONSE “We are using our best endeavours to complete the works as soon as we safely can”

In the wake of our stories COUNCILLORS SLAM TREATMENT OF ESTATE RESIDENTS – Auckland Rise works are 40 weeks late (published January 21st) and AUCKLAND RISE: BRICK BY BRICK RESPONSE – Meeting with residents tomorrow afternoon (also published January 21st) Quinn London, who were sent a request for a comment on January 19th, have this morning (Friday) issued the following, detailed response. (Questions in bold are those posed by News From Crystal Palace – Ed.)

Following the recent press release (see the links below) we provide details of our response to the same:

https://newsfromcrystalpalace.wordpress.com/2020/01/21/councillors-slam-treatment-of-estate-residents-auckland-rise-works-are-40-weeks-late/

https://newsfromcrystalpalace.wordpress.com/2020/01/21/auckland-rise-brick-by-brick-response-meeting-with-residents-tomorrow-afternoon/

QUINN LONDON RESPONSE:

We were very disappointed to read the press release relating to the developments and feel strongly that the comments and assertions made in no way reflect the level of commitment and desire Quinn London have demonstrated in completing the works. The projects have been spectacularly challenging, more so than anyone involved could have anticipated.

Local councillors have often been in attendance at the residents meetings and have faced criticism of their own in terms of waste management, car parking, fly tipping etc so to suggest that Quinn London are continually treating residents with contempt is completely unfair and unjustified.

Notwithstanding this, we thank Brick by Brick for their response on this matter to date, and provide further comments below in the same format.

Why is work a staggering 40 weeks behind schedule?

  • Quinn London initially programmed the works without the benefit of knowing the full extent and nature of the existing services (Gas, electricity, Thames Water, etc). In several cases these had to be diverted so that the construction can continue, however the engagement with third party statutory authorities caused an instant delay to the regular progress of the works.
  • Additionally, the same third parties have not met the dates they provided to us, to switch on the power to the new blocks. As these delays have occurred we have endeavoured to mitigate where possible and continue to progress with any element of the works available to us.
  • As previously noted by Brick by Brick, we have also suffered in terms of a number of sub-contractors entering liquidation. Although the financial implications of this do not impact Brick by Brick (and by extension Croydon council), Quinn London still have to manage and absorb the delay that these circumstances can cause to the progress of the works.
  • The scope of our works has also dramatically increased in terms of the external elements of the developments. In order to deliver the works we have had to re-visit the design on numerous occasions to ensure that the supporting structures, retaining walls, pathways, steps and handrails etc have all been properly co-ordinated – Quinn London have achieved this at considerable expense to ourselves (circa £1m+) which Brick by Brick (and Croydon council) are protected from. The steps we have taken will ensure that all properties are well protected and accessible to all.

We constantly strive to achieve the earliest possible completion dates, however these are always dependant on third party entities and the supply chain achieving dates that they promise to us. Whilst we can try and hold them accountable for any failings in this regard, it simply prevents us from completing when we plan to.

Was a blatant lie told about Christmas working? If not, how did the situation arise that there was Christmas working?

No, absolutely not, though we accept that given the busy nature of construction projects in the run up to any holiday period, the level of communication fell below where we would normally expect it to be. However, we did in fact advise the local councillors and residents of our plan to carry out non-noisy and/or non-intrusive works (painting and decorating, etc) on the non-bank holiday days over the Christmas break. Additionally, several residents were told verbally of the likelihood of Quinn London having to carry out works over the Christmas break in a bid to complete as soon as possible.

If Mr Quinn will attend the February stakeholders meeting – and if not, why not?

Mr Quinn has not regularly attended the meetings in the past, due to his wider responsibilities and charitable works – indeed for the past 20 months during the residents meetings not all focus has been on our progress. It is more effective for the project team(s) to attend the meetings given their detailed knowledge of the scheme(s).

Will / Have Brick by Brick asked him to attend the stakeholders meeting next month?

Brick by Brick have requested that a Senior member of staff is always in attendance, this is usually the case and will continue to be.

If he is attending will he apologise for the firm’s behaviour? If not, why not?

Any noise / disruption caused during the works is unfortunately part of the process – however we take great exception to the idea of poor or bad behaviour. Ultimately, our focus has been on minimising the impact and disruption the developments cause. We have in fact experienced very little in the way of complaints or negative interaction with residents during our time on site, so the notion of the works impacting the mental health of residents, we believe, is false and unfounded.

What compensation Brick by Brick / Quinn will be offering estate residents if any?

As we have noted, an element of disruption is always to be expected as part of any construction project. We have, however, endeavoured to minimise the impact the works have on the surrounding residents. We have done our utmost to keep the existing roads / pathways clean and accessible and have kept noise to a minimum. Any feedback or requests received from residents have been quickly factored into the management of the works.

Needless to say, we are the keenest of all involved to complete and decant from site, however we will not sacrifice the safety and quality of the final development in order to do so. This would only leave residents, new and existing, at risk.

As Brick by Brick have noted previously, “We believe our development includes a variety of improvements which will be to the significant benefit of the estate and the residents that live there”. This is absolutely correct. The finished properties will provide estates that are more modern, safer and accessible for all.

We assure you we are using our best endeavours complete the works as soon as we safely can.

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