South Quay: New faces take over management of troubled estate

Part of the South Quay estate in Cloysters Green. Picture: Polly Hancock

Part of the South Quay estate in Cloysters Green. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

A fresh start is on the cards for a Wapping housing estate after a new board of directors was appointed last week.

At a packed meeting at the Dickens Inn on Monday, June 24, seven residents were voted onto the board of South Quay Plaza Estates Limited.

The company runs the affairs of the 300-home South Quay estate in St Katherine Docks, where in May shareholders threw out the entire previous board amid a litany of complaints about how it was being run.

Reported issues at South Quay had included repairs running thousands of pounds over budget, a lack of transparency around further planned major works and SQPE having taken costly and unnecessary legal action against its own shareholders.

None of the new appointees have sat on the board of SQPE before but the new chair, Viv Lawrence, previously sat on the capital expenditure committee.

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Robert Wood, the vice-chair, was also a member of the original tenant management organisation before the freehold was bought from Tower Hamlets Council in 2007.

Mr Wood, a leasehold lawyer, told the Advertiser: "I'm pleased I have been given the opportunity to contribute to a fairer, more transparently-run estate.

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"I want to carry out a thorough review of all activities, for example all of the major works proposals, from scratch and see if we can make any savings so that we can start improving the estate at a reasonable price that people can afford."

Secretarial firm Carter Backer Winter Trustees will continue to support the board in the coming months and the managing agent, Rendall & Rittner, remains in charge of the day-to-day running of the estate.

South Quay is split across seven sites in St Katherine Docks and 45 of the flats are still occupied by council tenants.

Marian Lewinski, a shareholder, said she hoped that in future board meetings would be open to all residents, regardless of their position on the estate.

She said: "People should be able to come and see what happens and feel like they're part of it.

"I'm extremely happy. I think the vibe of the new board will be friendly and open rather than adversarial, and will make people feel happy that they're living here."

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