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The Scandal Of Timber Wharf: Part 4

The scaffolding is up and work has begun Work begins but the bill still falls on the residents

Written by . Published on June 18th 2014.

The Scandal Of Timber Wharf: Part 4

Jill Burdett on the continuing disgrace at Timber Wharf. You may want to read this story and this one and this one first, although the story here provides some background too.

THE scaffolding is up and work has begun on the £1m job to fix the roof and the leaks at Timber Wharf.

“We are very much relieved to have got to this point and are looking forward to Timber Wharf being restored to its proper condition. 

But sadly it does not mean there is a happy, fair, sensible and decent conclusion to this shameful saga.

As it stands right now the 181 owners will still have to foot the bill for major repairs that are non of their making. 

Most, but not all, have paid the Section 20 demand notices from managing agents Mainstay covering their portion of the costs and this pot is underwriting the work which is being carried out by the firm Surface Protection and will have a 20 year guarantee. 

Urban Splash, which commissioned, constructed and signed off the Glenn Howells project still owns 17 apartments and six commercial units in the building – including its own headquarters –and has paid its £186,000 share. 

On a positive note negotiations are still on-going with the NHBC which insured the building when it was completed back in 2002. While the guarantee signed back then does not cover the flat roof, it does cover the lower apartments and the atrium which have suffered serious water damage.

How much the NHBC is prepared to contribute is still, after many, many months, being negotiated. But at least they are speaking to the management committee which is more than can be said for anyone else. 

The feeling is that once a figure has been agreed the management committee will consider pursuing the authors of their misery – namely Urban Splash, Glenn Howells and Martin Stockley among others in a sort of joint action. If all paid a share it would seem a fair and equitable solution.  

Timber Wharf Scaffolding


Timber Wharf scaffolding

The external works are likely to take until mid October and involve not only replacing the 8th floor roof and removing rotting insulation but work on the 7th floor where two sets of sliding doors on all apartments on this level will be removed so new waterproof underlay can be laid and drainage holes that were blocked, cleared and others that were wrongly drilled, blocked.

It will take 24 hours to do each pair of doors but the hope is that people will not have to move out while the work is done. When the external work is completed things move inside and all the apartments that suffered water damage and damp, as well as the vast atrium entrance will be made good.

That will be a happy day for owners who view it as nothing less than the re-birth of the building after a decade of stress and worry.

Its early days but they want to celebrate and have come up with a wonderful idea to hold a community competition to design new art work for the atrium space.

At the moment 11 of an original 14, Damien Hirst prints still hang there but they belong to Urban Splash and this will be a new beginning so they want them gone. (Three were stolen in the autumn of 2013 which prompts more bad memories of the building being violated.) 

It’s a positive move and being driven by Linda Macaulay, one of the management committee directors. She said: “We are very much relieved to have got to this point and are looking forward to Timber Wharf being restored to its proper condition. 

“We have an exceptional atrium space and have decided to hold a community competition to replace the existing artwork. We are asking residents, leaseholders and friends of the building to submit images of Timber Wharf or Manchester for hanging in what is effectively a vertical art gallery.  We are hoping this will be a positive community building activity, helping us feel a sense ‘ownership’ and contributing to the celebrations we are planning once the work is completed.” 

It seems a wonderful opportunity for aspiring artists but if you are interested you have to declare your intent by 1 July and send a draft submission by 21 July 

Full details here: www.artworktimberwharf.com  

Tomorrow Urban Splash chairman Tom Bloxham MBE is one of the speakers at Property Industry Ireland’s 2014 Conference at Grand Canal Square in Dublin which has Making Cities Work as its theme.

His talk is entitled: Making an Urban Splash? Perhaps the answer is: Let the roof leak. 

You can follow Jill Burdett on Twitter here. 

Timber Wharf On The Right Of The Canal


Timber Wharf on the right of the canal on day when the leaks won't be an issue

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9 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousJune 18th 2014.

Urban Splash is a disgrace I used to rent form them in Three towers by Rochdale Road. Something was consistently broken. Once lift was left not working for 4 weeks!!! People on the 12th floor with baby and buggy were stranded at home all this time. After I moved out they tried to scam me out of the deposit...never again

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJune 19th 2014.

That must be one fat baby.

rinkydinkJune 18th 2014.

Urban Splash are crap. In Salford they screwed up the drainage on the terraces and have washed their hands of it. This is now also with NHBC. They're like anti-Midas. Everything they touch turns to shit

AnonymousJune 18th 2014.

14 Damien Hirst pieces, but a leaking roof. That probably sums US up perfectly.

DanJune 18th 2014.

I'm glad the residents at Timber Wharf are finally getting something done- it's just a shame that they've had to pay for it. I think all the attention is bitter sweet- it's exposed Urban Splash (I, for one have told everyone I know to avoid like the plague) but I imagine that it will be difficult for the owners to sell their units. I really doubt any mortgage lender will authorise a mortgage for a flat in that building.

AnonymousJune 19th 2014.

Maybe we should nick his hat and hold it to ransom?

AnonymousJune 23rd 2014.

Just for the record Dan, and to stick with facts and not guesswork or rumour flats are being sold and mortgages granted at Timber Wharf, on the basis that the work was planned and is now progressing, and the building will be made good. Heres one on rightmove sold subject to contract as I type: www.rightmove.co.uk/…/property-40294670.html…

Jon XJuly 2nd 2014.

Great to see that thanks to recent third party investments Urban Splash are profitable once again. By contrast they are now sadly viewed by many of their homeowners as being morally and reputationally bankrupt.

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