Channels Neighbourhood Watch

Would you like to work with your neighbours to make your area a great place to live where crime and antisocial behaviour are less likely to happen? Members look out for each other and work together alongside the police sharing concerns and observations, reducing crime and fear of crime.

Neighbourhood Watch can make a difference.

In response to residents flagging that we should have an estate-wide Neighbourhood Watch, the Bellway at Channels development is now recognised as a Neighbourhood Watch ‘District’ (which includes the existing area of Jigger Gardens in Aqua Verde). We now need engagement from residents across the entire development to get involved and make our Watch a success!

There is more information about Neighbourhood Watch here but most importantly we need residents to become members:

Our Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator is John Buckberry and if you have any questions, he can be contacted via e-mail as follows: john.buckberry@channelsresidents.org.uk

Bus Service Update

Please find a summary of action taken so far in relation to the Channels Bus Service. Rachel Fennell collated this information for the Chair of Little Waltham Parish Council who has been giving evidence to the Inspector in relation to the proposed Chelmsford Local Plan.

It appears that assertions have been made by the representative from Essex County Council who deals with roads and infrastructure claiming that the buses serving the Channels Development are a great success!

The Chair of the Parish Council was, through the information provided, able to challenge and evidence the poor public transport and access issues at the recent open meeting on the Chelmsford City Plan. We understand the independent Inspector was very interested in the evidence and will use this when considering the content of his report.

Nevertheless, the document provides a concise summary of everything that has been done so far and makes clear the work that is on-going to ensure the bus service is fit for purpose.

We have also recently received confirmation that as part of S106 planning requirements, we will have: “high quality bus stops incorporating shelters, seating, timetables and real-time bus information“.

With thanks to Rachel Fennell who has been leading on the Bus Service issues on behalf of residents 🙂

Lamp Post Update

Following updates from the site team, we have been informed that all missing lamp posts have now been installed into their designated positions. The diagram below indicates the current position:

Where possible the position of some lamp posts has been amended as a response to residents concerns however there is little scope to make significant changes as Bellway are not permitted to deviate from Highways & Planning requirements.

There will be some remedial work required around the lamp posts following connection but at least all lights shown as connected should be working. The lamp posts at the bus stop have been scheduled for January as further discussions need to take place in relation to the bus route as this will be impacted by the ground-works.

Update 18/12/18
The following problems have been encountered:

31A (Outside Plot 80): The Site Team has not yet gained permission to dig up a trench in the clients front garden and therefore will not connect this lamp post until permission is granted. Even if permission is granted, as it will not be possible to reinstate this garden and the road in time for Christmas a decision has been taken to wait until the new year.

56A (Outside Plot 74): Although the lamp post is now fitted a shroud needs to be fitted due to the proximity of the lamp to the clients window. This connection will be carried out once the shroud has been fitted.

12A (Outside Plot 131): The trench has been open and ready for connection however the Site Team have been advised by the Utilities Company that the wrong cable was exposed. For now the ground-workers have been instructed to make safe the trench currently excavated and await permission from the Utility Company to reopen the trench ready for connection. This will not happen until the new year.

Residents Update

Estate Management: Remedial Works
Members of the Community Group Committee met with Bellway, DJC and a Channels Estate representative on 22nd November to undertake an inspection of the on-going remedial works, specifically in relation to soft landscaping.

Due to over-running civil engineering works, we have missed a key window for undertaking some key landscaping work (e.g. grass re-seeding), and it became apparent that a number of areas will not be ready for sign off and handover until Spring 2019. There is also a great deal of work required in relation to weed treatment that needs to take place during the winter months and this also needs to be completed prior to sign off.

Committee Members are meeting with Bellway on Friday 30th November to specifically discuss the on-going management of the remedial works and to ensure that all necessary work continues to be carried out at no additional cost to residents.

Service Charges
Residents should have received notification from DJC (Housing Association tenants may receive notification directly from their Housing Association) of the Service Charge for the period 1st January 2019 to 30th June 2019. Please note that this is merely the second half of the annual charge notified in June this year and there have been no changes to the chargeable amount.

Committee Members will begin discussions with DJC early in the new year about how future service charges are calculated so that residents can be clear where the money is being targeted and to ensure there is transparency that we are paying a fair price for the services received.

Parish Counncil Boundaries
There have been 59 responses to the survey in relation to Parish Council boundaries. Whilst the vast majority (96%) feel that we should fall within the Little Waltham Parish, we will need 250 electors willing to sign a petition before the City Council (and indeed the Little Waltham Parish Council) will consider progressing a Community Governance Review.

Please complete the survey if you haven’t done so and encourage anyone else you know to do the same!

https://surveyhero.com/c/ecbb111b

Neighbourhood Watch
Exploratory work is on-going to determine whether we can expand Neighbourhood Watch across the development (there is currently a ‘watch’ set up for Jigger Gardens), what this might involve and whether there is the desire from residents to get involved.

There is some useful information on the Chelmsford Neighbourhood Watch website which is worth a read.

Lamp Post Update

Following a meeting with the site team yesterday, it appears that there are more issues with lamp posts than previously expected. Based on the latest information, and excluding the current building site area, there are 12 lamp posts which are not connected (or are connected but not working) and 3 lamp posts that are missing and which need to be installed.

The diagram below shows the current position:

The site team are working with the various sub-contractors to expedite this however it is unlikely that all lights will be on and fully functional until the end of December. As it has been noted that the entrance to Fairway Drive is particularly dark, this area will be prioritised:

Further updates will be posted as and when new information becomes available and if you believe that any lamp post flagged as operational not to be working, do report this via the Log A Concern page on the website.

Post Box News!

We have been in contact with Royal Mail and understand that there must be a post box within 1/2 mile of all properties. As such the Royal Mail Post Box Team have raised a work order to investigate the possibility of installing a post box on our part of the development.

Currently Royal Mail have proposed at post box at the following location:

This would appear to be a sensible location as it is central to Aqua Verde and Eagle Rise and will be easy for Royal Mail to access for collections etc.

Thanks to Melanie Williamson who has been liaising with Royal Mail to progress this 🙂

New Channels Website

Dear all,

DJC Property Management, on behalf of the over-arching Channels Management Company, have created a website which is designed to provide updates and information in relation to all matters which impact on the channels site including setting out the approach and responsibilities for the on-going management and maintenance of the wider development.

It appears that the website is still partly under development however it should be a useful resource in understanding the progress of key site-wide issues such as the public open spaces and ecology.

Our own website, which is specifically for matters relating to Phase 1/2 (Bellway) will obviously continue. If there is key information posted to the site-wide website that is specific to Phase 1/2, it will also be posted on this website to ensure as much coverage as possible.

Estates Update

Dear Residents,

There have been many hours spent over the last month, working with both Bellway and DJC Property Management, in producing a Remedial Works Plan that can be robustly monitored to ensure that all of the estates & landscaping issues are resolved in line with expectations.

As many of the remedial works are nearing completion, we will hold a number of ‘handover’ meetings with both Bellway & DJC, the first of which is to take place on 22nd November.

Areas that have been flagged as complete will be inspected by senior Bellway executives and members of the Community Group. For areas that are not yet managed by DJC, and on the basis there are no outstanding issues to resolve, sign off will trigger the process of handing over the land to DJC for on-going management. For areas that are already managed by DJC, sign off will confirm that the land is fit for purpose for on-going management by DJC in line with the budget that has been set.

There have unfortunately been some unforeseen issues with connection of a number of lamp posts and we are awaiting a further update, although most of Fairway Drive should now be connected. Remedial landscaping works around Niblick Green have also been delayed as Bellway is awaiting confirmation from Highways as to whether the tarmac path (leading to the boundary with Countryside) needs to be completely pulled up and re-laid.

You may also have noticed a number of blue dots and markings on the roads across the development. This is as a result of an extensive highways snagging programme currently underway so wherever you see these, it means remedial work will be required. The snagging process is being undertaken to a far more detailed level than even we flagged and currently circa 40% of the development has been checked. Once the final highways snagging report has been completed, we will have a better idea of where and when works will be taking place however all of it is planned for completion by mid-December.

We are in constant contact with both Bellway & DJC and further updates will be posted in relation to progress. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to use the Contact Form on the website and as always if you have any specific concerns in relation to estate management, you can log them here.

Andrew Wright
Channels Residents Community Group

Notification of Works

Dear Residents,

Please see below a letter from Bellway in relation to some minor works across the development which will require access to electricity wall meter cupboards on the outside of properties.

“In accordance with our approval process with Chelmsford City Council we have been asked to undertake an audit check of our completed properties. Whilst this is taking place our electrical meter installer will be implementing an additional requirement from the Council to install a seal to the bottom of the electricity wall meter cupboard.

Works to be undertaken over the course of the next few weeks will only take a few minutes and we hope this will not cause you any inconvenience.”

The full letter can be viewed and/or downloaded as a pdf file:

If you do have any questions, we ask that you forward them using the contact form via this website with your name, plot number and e-mail address as this will ensure that everything can be collated and sent to Bellway in an managed way.

Andrew Wright
Channels Residents Community Group

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