View from the street: Chalcots window plan is muddled

PUBLISHED: 08:00 18 March 2018 | UPDATED: 11:15 01 June 2018

Residents from Chalcots tower blocks now need windows replacing.

Residents from Chalcots tower blocks now need windows replacing.


On Monday morning the Labour-run council unveiled its (latest) plan for the Chalcots – to replace all the windows on the estate at a cost of more than £30 million, bringing the total cost of the project to £80m.

This plan, put together without consulting the people who live in the towers, is breathtaking for its arrogance and muddled thinking. To be clear about the extent of what it involves, it isn’t just replacing glass, but removing the entire window system, stripping back to the bare concrete and starting again. This would be a further huge intrusion into the lives of Chalcots residents, greater than anything since the evacuation. The current windows, put in 10 years ago, are supposed to have a 30-year lifespan.

Last year’s decision to replace the cladding was made because the towers were clad in the same flammable material as Grenfell; this was a very good reason to undertake a major project! The residents were consulted and given different options to consider, before the decision was made. Replacing the windows will be far more disruptive for residents and yet there has been zero consultation, no effort by the council to gauge the views of the people whose lives will be affected. The decision to proceed is set to be made cabinet on March 21, just nine days after the Tenants and Residents Associations (TRAs) were made aware of the plans. Instead of being given options to examine and comment on, residents will be shown what they are going to get after the decision has been made. And

the ‘option’ (as the council describes it) will be an inward-opening window system that residents resoundingly rejected

10 years ago when the cladding and current windows were first installed.

The reasons given by the council for undertaking these works – safety concerns, better insulation, tidying the warranty arrangements – have some merit, but do not warrant ignoring the wishes of the many hundreds of people living in the towers. I attended a meeting on Monday evening hosted by Taplow’s TRA for residents from all five blocks to talk about the plans. There were a lot of angry people there. Older people were worried about the disruption to their lives, families were concerned about the impact of more dusty construction work on their children’s health, and leaseholders were concerned that, despite assurances from the council, they would be left with large bills.

It would be entirely wrong to proceed with this project without a proper consultation process. A pause would also give the council the space to consider its options more carefully and fully investigate whether there are less disruptive and less expensive ways of achieving its aims. I call on the Labour council to back off and ask that they show some respect to the people who live on the Chalcots. They must find out what residents think first, before rushing ahead with these insensitive plans.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories


Transport for London is set to review safety issues at an accident blackspot in Falloden Way,


Circus-goers on Hampstead Heath got a shock today when walking down from the Heath they were confronted with a water main shooting water high into the air on the corner of Pilgrim’s Lane and Willow Road in Hampstead.


Camden’s youngsters were in the spotlight at the Shaw Theatre for an evening celebrating the borough’s talent.

Yesterday, 15:35

Wage cuts for nurses covering sick leave and other increases in demand at Hampstead’s Royal Free Hospital have been postponed after workers threatened to cancel shifts en masse.

Yesterday, 15:00

Brexit uncertainty is one reason for a slowdown in Camden house prices, said a leading estate agent after new data showed that property values in the borough fell 0.8 per cent in August and 2.1pc in the last 12 months.

Yesterday, 14:05

Tickets for a public meeting into the future of the Phoenix Cinema have sold out within days of it being announced.

Yesterday, 13:57

Mitzvah Day volunteers from Hampstead were among those taking part in Sewa Day – a Hindu day of community action – in Kingsbury, Brent this weekend.

Yesterday, 10:29

As part of National Hate Crime Awareness Week, Haringey Police have been engaging with the community to raise awareness of the importance of reporting abuse and discrimination.


Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now