The Mornington Centre – Case Study
London Borough of Lewisham calls on VPS to provide Guardian services to secure decommissioned site
- Project: The Mornington Centre
- Sector: Local Authority
- Client: London Borough of Lewisham
- Location: Newcross, London, United Kingdom
- Secure decommissioned site
- Deter squatters
The Mornington Centre in Newcross had been operating as a primary school and an overflow school until January 2015 when the new, larger school in the area opened its doors and the Mornington Centre became redundant. It was then that the decision was made to decommission the old site.
Squatting in the borough was a real issue and as soon as the building closed its doors it became a visible target. The local authority, in partnership with its security provider (CIS Security) assessed the options available and decided to progress with VPS Property Guardians as the most suitable and cost effective method for securing the property.
Using a professional and reputable provider of property guardians ensures the buildings are occupied and in regular use, thereby negating the threat from squatters. Guardians act as a visible deterrent to any squatters who are looking for an easy target.
VPS, the experts in vacant property security and maintenance solutions, worked with Lewisham local authority to maximise the presence of guardians, ensuring the building was occupied and secure. VPS undertook all the necessary health and safety and FRA works to make sure the building was compliant with health and safety and fire legislation; new electrical and gas safety certificates were issued, water testing procedure instigated and conducted quarterly, along with fire alarm, emergency lighting testing and certification, all helping to ensure that the guardians had a safe and comfortable place of residence.
In line with HMO legislation, VPS also installed all the welfare facilities that the guardians would need, including new kitchens and washing facilities. Whilst the council still own the property and are therefore responsible for providing the above, VPS as a full service provider conducted the works on the council’s behalf, taking any unnecessary stress out of the project.
The Guardian service was provided on a free of charge basis. The only cost to the authority was the cost of the utility bills for the building during guardian occupation. It is estimated the authority has saved over £5,000 per week on security costs and the building has also been maintained to a greater standard than if it was left void, which makes it easier to bring the property back into use when the authority are ready to use the site again.