by | Feb 13, 2021 | Chairman's Letters, News

The Element Newhaven Owners’ Association (TENOA)




We live in challenging times.  As 2020 gives way to 2021 we hope a vaccine against Covid 19 might provide a long term solution to what this time last year was outside our experience;  yet over the past ten months has affected everyone, from irritating inconvenience to real hardship and intense suffering.

Organisations like TENOA come a long way down the list of priorities.  It will be remarkable if members pay much attention to what I have decided to turn into a joint message reporting on 2020 and offering hope in 2021.    I appreciate the forbearance of those who over the coming days may note these comments.

Then and Now

This is my fourth Annual Report, taking office just after the AGM in September 2016. The first, as TENOA was re-constituted to be more effective as a voluntary organisation of owners of properties in The Element – whether resident or landlord – was recorded on YouTube.   Accessed from the website (under videos) it’s the best way to recall where we were in November 2017, beginning to appreciate an effective working relationship with The Element Factors (TEF), the in-house company we engaged in July 2015.

I refer back to that first animated report because it dealt comprehensively with all the issues that continue to nag at us, troubling members and others:  the condition of the building, payment of fees, NHBC, theft and damage to property, disturbance of the peace.  Of their nature such things do not change, even though we are in a much stronger position to deal with them now than in 2017.  That it was amusingly illustrated makes listening less tedious than might have been the case.  You may even watch the video before reading on……

The Future

Whether you have done that or not, I look ahead before dipping back into what has happened in 2020 with challenges unplanned for.  I am prompted to do so by a member who wrote encouraging potential newcomers, following my last general letter which grappled with our problems,.  Try this:

So you are thinking of buying or renting at Western Harbour?   Come and join us in not just a nice place to live but as a great place.  Designed by award winning architects and pushed to the boundaries of urban design, many apartments benefit from magnificent views of the Edinburgh skyline.   

The Past

Unfortunately completion of the development coincided with the credit crunch and the bankruptcy of the original developer.  Compromises were made (the original water-feature was not completed); but in redesigning, a popular courtyard garden is now enjoyed by families who have moved into affordable housing at the heart of Newhaven’s burgeoning development.

Original factoring problems that went from bad to catastrophic were halted mid 2015 when we were on the brink of disaster.  The risk in engaging an untried new in-house company (TEF) was the wisest decision TENOA has made.  We are delighted to report that as they expand their business with a new contract with our next door development Western Harbour Owners’ Association (WHOA) we will both benefit from even greater efficiency.

The Present

We are now in the middle of a number of things being worked through.   We accepted settlement from NHBC which, although falling a long way short of ideal is the best we were advised we could get without risking legal costs that might outweigh any award.   This is being put to good use as TENOA’s Committee revisit with TEF the Critical Risk Analysis commissioned 5 years ago from F3 Surveyors (again referred to in my YouTube address).  Many things are being tackled, including unforeseen challenges.   But we are now in a strong position to face the New Year with a strong sense of Community that is our hallmark.

That spirit is evident in Neighbourhood Watch, in numerous inventive seasonal events within Covid restrictions and in thoughtful acts of kindness and artistic and creative touches – as much applauded as the communal support reflected from our surroundings reaching out to others.    Many are already feeling part of the Heart of Newhaven Community that in the course of 2021 will shape the development to confirm the optimism of our member who wanted to make sure we turn the year with a positive message.

I echo that and wish you all well whatever your circumstances as we work in partnership together to make The Element a great place to live.

Rodney Matthews

TENOA Chairman