by | Aug 21, 2020 | Chairman's Letters

15th May 2020

Dear Fellow Owner,

This time last year I invited you to our Summer Garden Fest, then sadly cancelled through bad weather. This year it cannot be held for a different but obvious reason. But to encourage you to use the garden belonging to us all, part of our outdoor space, your Committee have authorised the purchase of two garden seats. Some may prefer the lawns where children are able to play in supervised ways.

Some have also found ingenuous socially distanced ways of sharing space inside which belongs to us all. The Element is not a public building, so we have had to indicate that the only visitors we are able to welcome at present are those on legitimate business. But garage, lifts, stairs, and landing areas belong to us all equally as part of our title deeds so we still associate in our daily life as a community.

A recent example was a novel way in Block 9 to raise money for Marie Curie. Instead of an annual coffee morning we all sat outside our respective doors for afternoon tea, whilst sponsoring our Secretary climbing all the stairs in our tower block on a x 2.6 challenge!

We continue to build up a sense of community as resident owners, tenants, families even though not holiday makers at present. Our website offers comment on “Living in the Element” within The Element Code. This help us address things threatening our peaceful way of life.

I can report some progress on some nagging issues of concern, whilst continuing to stress individual responsibility of owners. We have agreed a partial settlement with NHBC, whilst claims relating to individual flats are ongoing to be pursued by owners as advised. Whilst it is also owners themselves who must obtain any certification that may help if they wish to sell their property, we are now able to provide contact information to those who ask us.

Many owners are now acting with regard to unsatisfactory short term letting that has caused many problems. The behaviour of the occupants of any flat is the responsibility of owners and not their agents or TEF. Many have discovered an underlying problem they must address themselves. This is the way things will improve. I can also report that through our factors the amount of bad debt from non-payment of monthly fees is reducing remarkedly. This is important because of major challenges ahead.

Normally I would ask you to nominate new members of the Committee in preparation for our AGM, last year held on 3rd September. Just as TEF’s Open Evening had to be cancelled so we are as yet uncertain what arrangements can be made for our AGM, although it could be postponed to 3rd December. Meanwhile we have been able to co-opt two new Committee members and would encourage others interested to contact us, as we now meet by Zoom as well as conduct business by email.

the wider area, suspended building work will also delay the opening of the new school, but I’m happy to say that the bid to acquire the existing site of Victoria Primary School as the Heart of Newhaven Community has taken a significant step forward. Many in The Element and our neighbouring developments have already signed up in support and I encourage everyone to look at the website to do the same to ensure this happens.

Please contact me with any comments or questions: or Ken Webb, our Secretary,

Yours sincerely

Rodney Matthews (Chairman)