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Meet Up 14 August 2021

On a sunny Saturday afternoon, a group of 14 tenants from Stone House, Cotton Mill and Overbury Road met up for a picnic. Thanks to London Vegan Platter Co. for the vegan picnic.

Unlike previous Meet Ups, this session was solely run by James, without members of the planning team. This meant a lot of the discussion focused on questions people wanted to ask; from fears of big rent hikes to rumours of evictions. The group suggested a clearer statement be shared that addresses these questions specifically (view the Update). 

The wider discussion then explored tensions with neighbouring properties (non-warehouse properties) and ideas for connecting with the immediate community living and working on the fringes of the warehouse district. 

The session also included updates on previous meetings. For example, at the July Meet Up, people attending reacted strongly with opposition to the idea of having Security Guards in the area. This information was fed back to Provewell and the security guards that had been contracted were stopped.

Co-Designing Workshop

Following the interest in creating a soft definition between the Tewkesbury Road Open Space (the Green) and the rear of Overbury Road units, the planning team will be holding a co-design workshop to explore ideas. Open to anyone living in the units or with an interest in design.

To register your interest visit the event page (link below)

Security Guards
James updated that the security guards have been stopped based on feedback at the previous Meet Up.

  1. All agreed that a different sort of ‘Caretaker’ role would more appropriate for the area.
  2. Focused more on getting to know people and engaging with the problems rather than the heavy handed approach of Security Guards
  3. A ‘Terry’ character (for those who remember him)

Omega Works development 
In light of the Omega Works development people wanted to know what it meant for Provewell tenants

  1. Discussed the significant differences and Provewell’s motivations behind the ideas proposed
  2. Agreed to publish an update via Provewell clarifying all points raised

Tewkesbury Road Open Space (The Green)

  1. Discussed how to improve the outdoor areas of Overbury units co-exist better with general park users
  2. All agreed some sort of soft definition would benefit them – planters, benches or similar. Some  shared that people sometimes walk right up to the warehouses as they do not see a definition of space.
  3. People suggested the doors could be changed to make it more obvious that the properties are homes (some felt the existing doors looked a bit misleading).
  4. Agreed to look at a way of designing / improving the rear of the units.

Warehouse Neighbours
How to improve relations with people living nearby.

  1. The group suggested there are often more problems when a warehouse unit doesn’t have an appointed ‘House Manager’ or similar. This can lead to a high turnover of tenants and less understanding of what it means to live in the area – leading to behaviour that causes complaints.
  2. Most agreed that getting to know neighbours personally should be a priority – letting them know if something is planned or inviting them along.
  3. A lot of suggestions were made to try and change an ‘Us & Them’ perception – inc. more publicity about events in the warehouses to local neighbours, doing activities with neighbours like five-a-side or yoga which happens on the green. Someone referenced a Zine project run elsewhere that shared illustrations and interviews of people living nearby. 
  4. Agreed to encourage people to consider neighbours when creating events. As well as explore additional ways to increase publicity and engagement with neighbours.