Here we lay out some of the problems and threats we experience in our community and in our life together on the Tarling West Estate:
We currently have problems with:
1/ Anti-Social Behaviour.
As a consequence of a private security operation at Watney Market and stronger policing in Whitechapel and due to the attractive opportunities for begging at Shadwell Station we have seen a surge in the number of homeless, beggars and drug users frequenting the estate this February-March 2018 – sleeping rough, using drugs, sleeping or taking drugs in abandoned cars on the estate and trespassing in Newton House, Maddox House and Richard Neale House. The TRA and residents have been making police, THH and THC aware of these problems on a daily basis, we have yet to see any results from these efforts.
2/ Bulk Waste and Flytipping
Few of our residents on Tarling West Estate seem to realise that if they dump bulk waste, large household items, furniture or packaging either outside their flat or on the street in front of the estate, even by the rubbish collection points, leaseholders are collectively charged for the removal of these items. Each item costs over £60 per removal, at the moment we have more than two collections a week and the annual cost is substantial. Moreover, if one person dumps then usually others follow, both residents and opportunistic local businesses regularly flytip items on our estate, both in front of the rubbish collection points and elsewhere.
This is senseless since each household has two free collections carried out by the council IF YOU CONTACT THEM BY CALLING THE STREETLINE TEAM ON 020 7364 5004 and many items such as functioning furniture or electronics are eligible to taken away for free: ‘Each household is now entitled to two free collections per year – with up to five items taken away per collection by the council’s Clean Team.’
3/ Enclosure and Privatisation of Estate Lands
We currently have two ongoing incursions on the Tarling West Estate, both effectively amount to inappropriate trading on what is a private estate road and amounts to trespass and breaking the clause in the users lease agreement. The length of Cornwall Street is a private estate road owned by Tower Hamlets Council and managed on its behalf by Tower Hamlets Homes, the land under and surrounding our estate is owned by Tower Hamlets Council.
3A/ Wholesalers using Network Rail railway arches
For several years wholesale businesses leasing railway arch units running between Chapman Street and Cornwall Street owned by Network Rail have been developing their businesses significantly and this has resulted in various incursions onto Tarling West Estate, noise pollution, illegal parking, poor waste management, various traffic accidents, parking infringements, threats to local residents and inappropriate use of estate land. Though Tower Hamlets Homes leased a part of our estate to Network Rail for use as a parking area by these businesses, this agreement was not made with the consultation of residents and the businesses in question have used the agreement to transgress, cause mayhem and irreversible physical damage to our Estate.
Ramadan Shopping, June 2014
3B/ Tarling West green space privatised and misused
Between Shadwell Overground Station and Maddocks House there was a small green space which was historically part of our estate lands until 2011 when the land was leased by LBTH to Rail for London (subsequently TFL) for essential maintenance works and refurbishment of the station. Associated with this lease was a covenant making clear that the land could strictly be used ‘solely in connection with the use and operation of Shadwell station’ (as residents discovered by making a Freedom of Information request, January, 2017).
At some point after the completion of the works to Shadwell Station the land was leased onwards to an unknown party who has since attempted to build on the land for commercial purposes, initially seeking to open a number of market stalls, this failed and the site laid dormant until January 2017 when in the middle of the night work begun installing containers on the site (thus blocking the natural light to ground floor flats in Maddocks House) and smashing and rebuilding the already very narrow pavement which skirts the land leading from Tarling West Estate to Shadwell Overground Station.
As can be seen above the works obstructed pedestrians travelling to and from Shadwell Station, the pavement is already badly damaged by customers using the wholesalers operating from the railway arches. Furthermore the mess generated by the works has encouraged anti-social behaviour and littering as well as being a hazard and eyesore for residents and users of the space.
Residents of Tarling West are seeking clarification from TFL, THH and LBTH about how this land was transferred and how we can challenge it’s improper use. Thus far we are not impressed by either Tower Hamlet’s Homes’ response or that of LBTH or TFL, we feel this is a dubious alienation of land held by a public body and an improper use of a part of our estate.
transfer of land from LBTH to Rail for London happened in 2011. It was agreed by THH in 2009, which was covered in point 5 on the response you have already receive from Cllr Islam. Existing THH personnel were not in post in 2009 and we have found no file records that can assist with this enquiry any further.
The solution we propose is cancelling of the lease, restitution of the land to LBTH under the management of THH, restoration of the land as a green open space for the use and enjoyment of residents of Tarling West Estate and repair of the pavement used by pedestrians and the general public. Fight the enclosures. Down with the fences!
Abandoned car parked by children’s play area March 2016
4/ Abandoned Cars on Tarling West Estate
We have an ongoing problem of a number of abandoned cars on Tarling West Estate. Given the large number of cars on the estate, including those parked by customers and employees of businesses operating from the Network Rail railway arches and lack of monitoring of parking by Tower Hamlets Homes these often go unnoticed for sometime and often become noticable to residents when they begin to be used for criminal activity such as drug-dealing and drug taking. It is Tower Hamlets Council’s responsibility to tow away cars abandoned in the borough, but because our estate is located on a private estate road there is a vacuum of responsibility between LBTH and THH which leaves the cars languishing on our estate for an average period of 2 months.
5/ Guerilla Gardening