WaGCG : Wantage and Grove Campaign Group
Wantage and Grove Campaign Group (WaGCG)

Column 30th November 2022

Maintenance responsibilities

Last week I attended a workshop to comment on the outline plans for the Central Park area on the Kingsgrove development on Crab Hill to the East of Wantage.

It reminded me of the issues associated with the ongoing maintenance of land and equipment on developments in this area.

As we have mentioned many times before, in the past councils usually took responsibility for the open spaces and play areas on new developments but now it’s more likely that these areas remain the responsibility of the residents’ management companies.

In Grove, most of the green areas are (or will be) owned and/or maintained by the Parish Council, although David Wilson Homes are placing the open space (including the children’s play area) on their development in the hands of the management company.

In Wantage, the open spaces on the Bovis (now Vistry Homes) development at Stockham Park Farm, the Regency Village Development on Chain Hill and the green on Chapel Close off Garston Lane are all still owned by developers and Kingsgrove will be the same.

The District Council owns the Recreation Ground, all of the green spaces on the Harwell development off Harcourt Road as well as Stockham Park, all the areas off the Denchworth Road, Hamfield and Springfield Road.

Most of the developments will include some smaller roads which aren’t adopted by the Council and childrens play areas as well as open spaces.

Generally the planning agreements include the provision of a sum for maintenance which has to be paid by the developer to the management company which will help to pay for maintenance for a period of time.

The management companies are, however, responsible for making best use of those funds to reduce the bills which will have to be paid by the residents of the development.

On the larger developments (such as Kingsgrove) there will be quite a large amount of open space, play equipment, outdoor gym equipment and hard surface multi-use games areas which will have to be maintained.

The developers have signed agreements with the District Council to provide this equipment but the residents will be the ones who have to maintain it in the longer term and I doubt that many people (when buying a new house) look at the detailed legal agreements between developers and councils to see what responsibilities they will inherit when the developments are completed.

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