Metro Central

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Tuesday 27 September 2005 12.46pm
Hi All,
I've been reading that there is a Metro Central bulletin board somewhere but I can't find it. Anyway, I am looking to move in.. however, my financial advisor has wrote to me with the following:

"Some concrete buildings built in the 60s and 70s uses a concrete material which is known to powder after a period of time. So you get a lot of dust and walls can crumble over time.

I am not a building expert, but as far as I am aware, the walls will still crack even if you have painted over it. So excessive amount of dust can cause asthma issues etc. (but not as bad as asbestos!)

The problem is that many government type buildings were built in this manner in those eras, (yes you've guessed it, it was cheaper) and subsequently you get a lot of Council blocks and old local authority buildings still showing remnants of these structure."

Can anyone shed any light on this?
Tuesday 27 September 2005 3.52pm
Do a search on this site and you'll find loads of stuff about MCH.
There is a website for Residents but no topics about this.
I bought in MCH in March this year (first time buyer).
My flat was very grotty as it had been rented out for 7 years continuously. Because of this before buying it I had a proper survey as opposed to just a valuation.
I also did a LOT of research and had a marvellous solicitor.
The mortgage lender had absolutely no problems with lending on MCH and there are no structural problems with the building.
There is a 'concrete cancer' that I've heard of, and I read on this forum a while ago about someone who was buying an ex local authority flat in Southwark who discovered the block had this problem and noone would give her a mortgage.
The upside of concrete as far as I can tell is that in MCH the floors are all concrete and consequently I have no noise from neighbours above or below.
The only other advice I can give you is that building work is commencing shortly in part of the carpark. I imagine that living on the back of MCH is going to be unpleasant for the best part of 2 years whilst they build Metro Central the next phase.
The best person to speak to is Jackie Rokotnitz who lives in one of the MCH penthouses and is very passionate about the building.
I for one can say that it has isome downsides like anything but people are friendly, and the location is absolutely fantastic.
I would also point you to an article in the Evening Standard Homes and Gardens last Wednesday 21st September entitled 'Elephant's big step'.
Tuesday 27 September 2005 9.17pm
Hi Sarah
Thanks for the reply. I think E&C, particularly the Metro Central Heights building offers tremendous value.. I was a bit shocked about the service charges and council charges though.. 3k a year or so I hear but then again, I know other people in zone 1 who pay similar amounts and don't have the facilities.
The other thing which I was interested in was that I noticed that some flats had had the walls into the kitchen knocked out so that they became open plan.. it looks very nice and I would like to do that with my flat.. does anyone know whether all the flats are the same in that it would be ok to knock out the wall? Also, where do builders leave the rubbish? Would it be ok to just leave it outside the flat or would they have to bring everything outside and rent a skip or something?
Wednesday 28 September 2005 6.04am
As the aforementioned Jackie R. I can tell you a)the flats are all a little bit different in lay out b)you canmake changes quite easily because hardly any of the walls are concrete...they are mostly very flimsy plasterboard and can be removed with one blow of a hammer. c)Concrete cancer does not apply in MCH d)the service charges are outrageous, we are fighting all the time to get the managment to provide what they PROMISE for the service charges - this is not commensurate on the whole with what they actually PROVIDE. Dont forget that although these flats were sold with parking, this parking is now being built over. This will necessarily reduce the prices so make sure you get a price which reflects this. And dont buy a flat overlooking the parking lot if you can find a different one. Higher is better in MCH.
The area of the E&C is terrific and will be even terrific-er after the big development which will take ten years. The transportation is magic and the area is full of jolly places - recommended.
Wednesday 28 September 2005 8.39am
Thanks Jackie
I have made an offer on a flat overlooking the parking lot but I got a good deal and the area is more important than anything else. I just hope it won't cut out too much of the light. When I was looking, I noticed that all the flats were quite bright even the ones pretty low down..
How big is the new block going to be in the parking lot? Is there going to be no parking spaces left at all? Someone told me that there is underground parking.. is that true?
Wednesday 28 September 2005 8.54am
Hi Alan.
Just be prepared for a lot of noise and disruption at the back of MCH.....
The new block will be taller than the current South Block and wedged between it and the railway line- pure greed on the part of St George. So it is going to be substantial.....
MCH is great value but yes you need to factor in the service charge- it's apparently done on square footage, mine is 2400 a year which is a lot. Like Jackie said we are trying to get it reduced through Right to Manage although the Residents Association havent mentioned that for a while.
I had my flat completely redone, new kitchen, new floors etc. I chose not to lose the partition between my living room and kitchen but I know some people have done so and it is relatively easy to do.
My builders left stuff in the corridor then walked it down to the big skip in the carpark. MCH is pretty good for that- you leave stuff by one of the arches and it gets collected- no need to hire a skip yourself.
Look forward to meeting you!
Wednesday 28 September 2005 8.44pm
Yes, Sarah is right. You will have two years of pile driving and builders from sun up to sun down. We have the penthouse on the top of the South Block and are affected only inasmuch as the view from one side will be spoiled and the overall effect on the whole complex will be totally detremental. I dont know which b lock you have been looking at...but the new building will be sixteen storeys high and will block the view of Crystal Palace and will definitely take away a considerable amount of sunlight and even daylight frojm those overlooking the parking lot. The new building will have some parkingbut there will be a whole lot of people moving in with their cars so dont reckon on having where to park your car in the future. In the meantime till the building in standing NO ONE will have any parking unless they get one of the few places in the underground car park of MCH as it stands now...the whole thing is a disgrace. But commercialism is King alas. When do ;you expect to move in?
Thursday 29 September 2005 7.22am
Hi All,
I had a look at the St Georges website
It says 75 flats or so.. I hope it isn't going to be a huge behemoth and block too much light. I remember the view looks south towards the railway line and carpark.. but I think it more towards the back than the front (front being the Old Kent Road side)...
How many parking spaces are there in the underground parking?
My offer was accepted last week so I guess I'll be there in a couple of months.. looking forward to meeting you all!!
Thursday 29 September 2005 6.54pm
Yes it will be HUGE and yes it will block your view...just be prepared. The underground car park has about forty spaces (we are 420 flats, and another seventy flats to be built with parking for about forty of them).
Monday 3 October 2005 12.07am
Hi Alan,

With regards to concrete cancer, I think you are referring to the use of high alumina concrete which was popular in the 60's. I specifically posed this question in 1999 to the developers solictor, and they told me it was not used.

The block is a nice place to live, and generally has good neighbours. Things are on the up, as a number of residents are exercising their rights and putting pressure on the management and their buddies on the management committee.

Hope you decide to live here!
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