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Non-resident use of communal green/pond space outside Bayer House

We have been experiencing some disturbance -- from mild to extreme -- in the communal green/pond space behind the community centre. This ranges from groups of office workers who come to eat their lunch there on a regular basis, and who will often sit in the private garden areas just outside of the flats (these spaces we maintain ourselves, and are full of plants and flowers), even when asked not to do so. These groups of people make quite a lot of noise and also frequently are smokers, who dispose of their cigarette butts on the ground. Other incidents include groups of skateboarders, cyclists, and teenagers who use the area as though it is a public recreation space and create disturbance for surrounding residents; people bring their dogs to run around (even though dogs are prohibited on the estate in general); this weekend there were people filming a music video, which involved playing their music loudly for 3 hours, yelling and drinking beer, the bottles of which they left behind on the ground. (I'm aware, additionally, that a permit is required to film on the estate). Obviously, like all other areas on the estate, the sound from this space travels quickly and is amplified by the surrounding concrete surfaces. There are signs that say 'Quiet Please' and 'This is a private estate, for residents's use only' -- but these are either not seen or are entirely disregarded by members of the public who see this as an area they are entitled to use in whatever way they please, with little regard for the immediate community.

We have only been here since August, so I'm not sure if this has been raised before as an issue that needs addressing. It seems to me that this is the only communal space on the estate (aside from the children's playground) that is readily accessible to, and as such frequently used by the public, and we wonder why this is the case -- since the presence and behaviour of individuals from outside the estate can be quite disturbing, and also seems to us a violation of both privacy and the basic expectation that one might live in a reasonably peaceful environment. 

I have mentioned this to members of the estate office, who suggested that they might put up more signs. I'm not sure that this would be sufficient, since there already are signs, which clearly have no effect; but equally, no action has been taken since this conversation, which was roughly 6 weeks ago. 

I plan to go speak to the office again to see what they might be able to propose, but I wanted to check in here first to see if anyone has similar concerns, suggestions, etc. Comments are welcome!  

Thank you! Emily and Brian. 

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Hi Merry, 

Thanks for returning to this conversation! We still think it's important. I'm wondering where the information comes from on this, since it seems to differ from what I've been told by our leaseholder and also the estate office; also the fact that there are some areas (the communal/green space) with signs that say 'for residents use only' -- which indicates that they are different from the public highways (like a bridleway in the countryside, which means people can walk through freely) that cut through the Estate, which are, and should be, open to the public.

It seems to me that communal areas, which are maintained by the Estate (and residents' fees) should be preserved as spaces for residents: this is a dense residential area, surrounded by office buildings, with little space for residents. They're obviously not public parks: they aren't cared for by the city, locked at night, or surveyed by local security, etc. But people use them as such. For instance, right now there are four men drinking beer, smoking, and yelling outside the emergency exit of the community centre, which is directly outside of our flat. What is our recourse if people from outside of the Estate come here and behave in a disruptive manner? And why are residents of GLE maintaining recreational areas for the public, which sometimes means they can't use them themselves? 

These are valid, important questions, and we would look forward to hearing from anyone who has concrete information or ideas about how this could be addressed. 

Hoping everyone is well and enjoying the lovely weather! 


Emily and Brian 

We would be very happy to if we knew about any of them! There are no dates posted for meetings in 2019... I assume that in any case GLERA look at the comments on this board and are aware of residents' concerns. 

Hi Emily

At the last Ward Mote this issue was brought up and a resolution passed:

"It was Resolved that the City of London Corporation commission a study reporting in no more than one year regarding pedestrian flows through the Golden Lane Estate ("GLE") resulting from current and anticipated property developments in the vicinity of the GLE and consult with GLE residents regarding the current "private" status of the GLE as a result of which residents pay for the maintenance of areas of the GLE that are in practice open to the public."

There's a couple of residents trying to organise a 'community conversation' around this topic - just need to confirm date but it should be in June. In the meantime there is a GLERA committee mtg on 28 May and the GLERA AGM on June 11. Both are on the events noticeboard.

You can also contact GLERA direct - their email is on the GLERA page.

You should also report any anti-social behaviour to the estate office. Contact details on Useful Info page. It's really important to turn these incidents into collatable data in order to 'show' there is a problem. This is a clearly an issue that is concerning many of us and there now seems to be a critical mass to get some kind of resolution.

Hi GLE Web Comms, 

Thank you so much for this really helpful update. It's great to hear that useful conversations are happening around this, and that we are not the only concerned residents. We'd be happy to join any 'community conversation' that arises. Thank you also for these GLERA dates: I didn't see them on the main page, so it's good to know that I should check under 'Events' instead. I have a work commitment on the 28th, but we hope to attend and hear more on 11 June. 

I have often reported issues to the Estate Office, but they are not very responsive, and it's never clear to me if they are taken seriously or made note of. And of course most anti-social behaviour occurs outside of their working hours, in the evening or at night. It would be interesting to hear how the CLC plants to gather information and observations for their study. 

Thanks again! Best, Emily and Brian 

Hi Emily & Brian,

It is a situation that has been annoying people for a long time, especially those living next to the pond and also the lawn at the rear of Hatfield House. The Estate is private in that the open areas are not maintained by the Highways Department and are therefore not public rights of way (except for the ramp down to the sports centre). The walkways in the Barbican are public rights of way and therefore the Barbican residents do not pay for their upkeep..

There are a number of issues that I think need discussing. The first is whether, with increase pedestrian flow from Crossrail, we want the paved areas to be public rights of way or make them more private by creating what would essentially be a gated community. The second is whether we want to control access to the garden areas. The third is how, if we are to reduce access, this will be policed.

I will put it on the agenda at the AGM on the 11th June and it would be great if you could contribute.

Hi Tim, 

Thanks so much for this information. I'm glad to hear that others have the same concerns, and hopefully the strength in numbers can contribute to a positive outcome. 

We will come to the AGM tonight (though may not be able to stay the whole time), and look forward to discussing further! 

All best, 

Emily + Brian 

Hi Emily

There is a community Conversation before the GLERA meeting which is about our open spaces. When you became a member of the site did you sign up to the community newsletter? It was promoted in that along with GLERA AGM.

5-7 pm

Tim/ Chair

Is my proposal for greening the estate and my proposal for GLERA applying to the City Bridge Trust for funding on tonight's agenda?

Hi Iain

The forums are not the best way to contact TIm - his contact details are on the GLERA page. 

I was invited to watch a Tai Chi demonstration at Barbican estate last Saturday I arrived late and couldn't gain access to their private garden as it is kept under lock and key and only residents have keys, it is clearly displayed at the gate that the garden is only for the use of residents and guests. The Barbican Estate has much higher standards and management. The garden looks wonderful and very well kept, very peaceful and pleasant very few people using it, I had never noticed it before. Brought it into sharp contrast the differences between Barbican Estate who have much higher service charges and living on a run-down council estate.

The Barbican does have higher charges but I understood that this was largely down to the number of lifts, Garchey maintenance and other services like window cleaning. The pay for maintenance of the gardens but not the walkways which are looked after by the highways department. It would be interesting in seeing a breakdown of a Barbican service charge bill to see how much is spent in these areas.

Hi Tracy, 

So sorry to hear about these really distressing incidents you have been dealing with! We know exactly how you feel -- we've had a number of difficult situations in the pond area, including as you describe: people filming music videos (drinking, blasting rap music, climbing onto the raised garden areas just outside the ground floor flats, etc.). I really sympathise and the Estate Office and Parkguard should take seriously the impact these kinds of things have on the daily wellbeing, privacy, safety, peace of mind, and etc. of residents. It's particularly upsetting and can cause lasting stress if requests for people to leave the area or to be less noisy and so on end in confrontation, which is sometimes threatening. I think that's a really serious point to be made. 

There was a very interesting and useful 'community conversation' on 24 October about open spaces on the estate. It was clear that many residents have similar experiences and concerns; and that we all hope there's a way to move forward to deal with this in a productive manner. I believe there will be further in the future and I would encourage you to attend and to bring your experiences -- the more voice the better!

All best, 

Emily and Brian


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