I live on a 12 year old housing development. A communal grassed area was supposed to be adopted by the council after10 years, but are refusing to do so unless the develpoer pay them an estimated £20,000. The developer initaially undertook to continue to cut the grass, but has only done so spasmodically, and ha now advised us that we can employ a contractor (suitably insured) at our own expense. Over the past two years I have being trying to resolve this problem, as we all believe that we should not have to do this (two residents did cut the grass using domestic mowers for some time, but can no longer do so, and we have started employing a contractor, but not all residents are (understandably) reluctant to contribute, saying that we should try the legal profession to fight the case (at whose expense....). Do we stand a chance? I hav a massive file of correspondence with the developer, council, county council and our MP, but the matter remains unresolved. I should note that the developer has up to ten developments with similar areas unadopted - and, I am told, has just received a large contract from the council. When I last spoke to the council, they said that they were 'considering their policy regarding adoption costs by, maybe, asking for the payment when planning permission was granted, to cover for instances where, for instance, the developer went out of business. The developer was Ashwood Developments, the cuoncil is South Holland District Council. I look forward to your response. David x xxxxxx
System of Law: England-and-Wales
Developer, council, county council, MP
Do you have a specific question?
I can't find your answers.......
You cannot find my see my answers because I haven't answered yourquestion yet. You have given me a lot of facts you got asked to specificquestion. What are you trying to do? What is the £20,000 for? Is it to bring itup to an adoptable standard? Who actually owns the grassed area?
Please bear with me today as I will be on and offline. We are all reallawyers on here and have clients and court etc to deal with.
The £20,000 is to cover the council's predicted ongoing maintenance costs for an unspecified period (our council rates are supposed to finance their work......), and in most people's opinion should have been taken before the developer sold the business (Ashwood Homes). He continued in business under a series of different names, but now he has now restarted trading under the same name as the company who bought the original business has gone out of business, and sufficient time has elapsed to allow this , but throughout the time, and currently, the original owner (developer) still owns the ground (the rest of the development has been adopted). The area meets the council's standards (mainly due to our efforts to keep it tidy) It is the council's policy to demand payment to cover future costs before adopting. It is true to say that he undertook to continue to maintain the area, but his contractor has had health problems, and so he has not kept up maintenance (he cut the grass once this year).
So the contractor is still in business?
The 'contractor' used by the builder is a one man private individual (cash in hand????), who is currently in hospital (or just out of hospital) having had new knee joints, and therefore cannot carry out the work. When he had a heart operation last year, no cutting took place for several months - all the cutting was done by us with domestic mowers (which were damaged in the process). Based on this, it is unlikely thet he will do any more work this year - hence the builder suggesting that we do the work ourselve - we have asked him to contribute to the cost of our contractor, but he has ignored our request. Basically, the problem arises from the refusal of the builder to pay the council to adopt the area - they tell me that they have 'many other developments' where the developer is refusing to pay.
This is why we are exploring what options we have open to us to move this problem on (if any).
The developer is still in business (he keeps changing his companies' names......
Do you mean that the company changes its name what you mean that he puts a company into liquidation and opens up a new one? I still need to know who actually owns that land. After 12 years the chances are you're out of time to enforce anything against the builder.How many of you are involved in this?
The contractor employed by the builder is a one man band i.e. not a company.
I still need to know who actually owns the land and how many of you are involved in this? Do you have the original contract documentation which presumably referred to this land?Law Denning41082.8180864236
The land is owned by Howard King and his brother, two of the three directors of the original developers Ashwood Homes (the third is deceased). There are 44 properties on the development, and at present 38 of us are sharing the cost of employing our own contractor to mow the grass. The area includes a small children's play area (although most of us are pensioners - senior citizens) We have our deeds, and plans of the development (in the original sales brochures). Howard King is the person who is actively involved with the problem (he employs the person who has occasionally cut the grass (he is an ex-employee of Ashwood homes)
Three of us have been involved directly - two who originally cut the grass when the owner was not cutting it, and myself who has been doing all the correspondence with the council, the MP, the County Council and the owner.
No, the companies become 'dormant'. Searches of companies house records show all companies as being solvent. In the case of the original Ashwood Homes, it was sold to a third party, who subsequently went into liquidation, some of the Ashwood Home development projects had been transferred to Sovereign Homes priorto the sale. The original directors continued to trade under a series of different names (including Sovereign Homes, Seagate Homes), and have now started trading again as Ashwood Homes. The family use to be involved in cattle sales, and also currently own several farms......
It is my intention to see if our local Citizens Advice Bureau can help next week.
My suspicion is that we shall come up aganst a 'brick wall' in this matter.
Do try citizens advice but don't hold your breath. They generally don't deal with a very specialised matters such as this.It appears that Mr King may be personally liable but I do not know what the contract says about this. There is so much information that he is impossible for me to be accurate with an answer. I would need to see the purchase contract and decide which parties were contracting. Do you have that contract? If 38 of you are sharing the cost of mowing the grass, is that not cheaper than paying the council where £20,000? I appreciate that you want the contract to do it what communications of you had with him personally, if any? I really don't think I continue much further without knowing what the wording of the contract was.L
PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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