Today, if you live on the Northern side of the estate, you are paying a maintenance charge to a company called Greenbelt. The charge per year does change but for 2018-19 was just over £100. If you live on the southern side of the estate, you do not pay any service charge.
The charge of approximately £100 per year is for the following (other charges may be added):
- Litter Picking
- Grass Cutting
- Shrub Bed Maintenance
- Amenity Trees
- Young Woodland
- Wooden Fence
- Work of Art
- Brick Wall
Other estates in the UK are showing a higher maintenance charge than ours. That said, the Home Owners Rights Network are pushing a national campaign to abolish what has been called “fleecehold”. It’s free hold with a maintenance charge. Please join their Facebook group and follow them on Twitter (@HorNet_Group).
Helen Goodman, MP for Bishop Auckland, is campaigning in Parliament and the first reading of the Ten Minute Bill was in early November 2018.
The second reading of the Private Members Bill was due to be heard on the 8th Feb, but due to Brexit matters in Parliament, it has been delayed until 22nd March 2019.
Local councillors like ours are fighting back and this was in the Coventry Telegraph recently talking about “cash cow” maintenance contracts.
Recent articles on “fleecehold”:
- County Durham Estate
- Fleecehold in the Guardian Newspaper – the new cash cow
- Downsizing pensioners caught in “fleecehold”
And finally, the fight is not over. It will continue and we will bring you updates as soon as we get them. It is finally getting the much needed press attention!