Islington Wharf isn’t on fire…

Islington Wharf, Manchester

The Manchester evening news broke the story today that people in Islington Wharf Mews are being told that they will have to leave their homes for a good part of a year.

People are being forced to move out of a brand new city centre apartment block – because it breaks fire safety rules. Many of the residents in Islington Wharf Mews, on the edge of the city centre, had only bought their waterside properties last year.

But it soon emerged that their newly-built homes were not properly fireproofed. The M.E.N. understands they now have to move out for up to 10 months while the defect is fixed.

Yes ISIS waterside development hadn’t fireproofed the new apartments to the safety standards required by law!

This is frankly not only shocking but a total disgrace; putting many peoples lives in danger. I’m glad this was discovered or revealed before something happened and people died!

Of course as a home owner of ISIS waterside’s Islington Wharf (phase 1) I’m happy to finally see some press attention about the on going shocking state of the heat gain problem in the apartments. This was not taken lightly, with the worry about the affect on property value of course.

Meanwhile the same developer – ISIS Waterside – is also embroiled in a row with people living in the first phase of the development next door. People living in Islington Wharf, which was built in 2008, say they are considering legal action because temperatures soared to more than 35C in their flats every summer. The developer is planning to replace the windows and temporary air conditioning units have been handed out.

This is also pretty much true, its the number one reason why people leave the apartments. We have seen reports of things melting into sofas and temperature reports with photographic evidence of closer to 40c a few years back (we have them backed up). Yes its nice not having to put the heating on in winter but at least my flat is liveable in summer. Some residents have rooms with no chance to open windows!

There have been many tests, and I even had some equipment in my flat testing the heat in the past. Every-time, they (ISIS and others) all pretty much agree something needs to be done. However the proposals to the committee (which I am a part of) have been poor, short-sighted and full of holes.

The air conditioning units were/are temporary till a sustainable long term solution is found. The committee will not be pushed into a solution which ultimately is bad for everybody involved (we have meeting minutes also backed up), but we have been working very hard to make this a reality.

Its worth saying a few things…

The heat problem affects roughly half of Islington Wharf, I’m not affected as my flat faces the sun in the morning and evening only (by pure chance not by design or choice). Islington wharf has had many problems in the past including the terrible communal boiler system, but things have gotten better with a new management company, Revolution.ISIS have been granted approvalĀ  to build the 3rd phase of Islington Wharf, very much against the Islington Wharf committees support and many of the residents.Its my view that, their track record across Islington Wharf Mews, Granary Wharf (I remember their was a serious problem a few years back, but cant find anything about it now, maybe results have been removed?) and of course Islington Wharf. Should be a clear sign to put the 3rd phase on hold till the other issues are actually sorted out and the residents are happy. No matter what Nigel Franklin, Director of ISIS Waterside Regeneration thinks or says…

BarCampManchesterX, are you in?

barcampmanchesterx

(This non-descriptive entrance might just be the entrance to a very special barcamp)

So following my last blog post about BarCamp, I’ve been thinking about BarCampManchester (I also mentioned it at Social Media Cafe Manchester) and how I did say I wasn’t going to get involved in BarCamp for a while. But I’ve found a venue which is excellent and perfect for a barcampmanchester.

The venue is a ex-estate agents and show home on the outskirts of my new flat. It may not look like much but in that small single level venue, theres 5 distinct rooms which can be used as barcamp rooms. 3 bathrooms, 2 kitchens and a large open room which use to be used as the estate agent office. There’s also a private garden which would be perfect for a bbq or after party.

Theres a car park right out front and plenty of room for about 150-200 people. The venue is also only 10mins from Piccadilly Station, just a leisurely walk up Piccadilly Basin (besides the Ashton canal). And its clearly noticeable from any train coming into Piccadilly. The venue use to be a showroom for one of the flats, so there’s a high standard of build across the whole venue. Of course the office isn’t still in use, they moved the estate office to the front of the building and now do tours of the actual building instead of the showroom.

BarCampManchesterX

Ideally the developer ISIS would like someone to find a good use for the venue but so far its just sitting mainly empty. Of course they have other locations they have for commercial use. But this great venue is pretty much set up for a barcamp. There’s just a few things which need sorting before everything is a go…

  • Security for the venue – Its meters from the Ashton canal and you sometimes get drunks and kiddies hanging out around there. So if we had a party, some security would be good.
  • Connectivity for the venue – There use to be a office there, so I expect there is a couple of phone lines or we could look into WiMax again, like BarCampManchester2
  • Overnight insurance – This is tricky at the best of times, but if worst comes to worst we could open till really late (say 4am, then open again at 8am)

So far I have convinced ISIS to give me permission to do the barcamp at the venue from Saturday daytime till Sunday afternoon and if we can sort out the overnight insurance, we have a overnight venue.

If you are interested in being part of the organising committee for this challenging but potentially fantastic barcamp.

Please drop me a message or email. Theres a lot left to do including what date we actually hold the barcamp on. I’m expecting to get everyone together for a meeting soon…