Letters: Can the Mayor explain why I have to pay an ‘open spaces’ tax?

Areas in dark green are covered by the homeowners' fee

An open letter to Mayor Hodgson,

I know this has come up numerous times but I would like you, or someone in a similar position, to explain to me why I, and people in a similar situation to me, have to pay the annual open spaces tax. Ok, it’s a fee, not a tax apparently.

The information can be found here.

The open spaces we pay for are marked in dark green on this map.

I must say, these areas are a) quite small compared to the number of people paying for their upkeep, and b) nowhere near where many of us live.

This agreement was put in place, I believe, when Great Denham was expanded beyond the initial first phase or Great Portway and the golf course area.

I live in Northwick Close, to the far West of this development.

I don’t see or benefit from these areas. The main country park, yes, but not beyond. The agreement was set up with David Wilson Homes. I didn’t buy my home from them, so why does their agreement apply to me in my Linden home?

We were also mis-sold this fee. We were told that it covered maintenance of ALL open spaces in the development, including weed control of the visitor parking and communal parking areas.

It does not.

Not once was it explained that it covered a small area approx a mile or so from my home, only.

As a result, I’m out of pocket £120 a year and there are long weeds growing in the open areas in my road and surrounding roads.

We all know this is a nice little earner for the local council so that they can pass the work to their preferred contractor, who incidentally quoted something like £50k plus a year just to mow the area that we are paying for.

Due to this, I cannot ever see this fee being abolished completely, but how about you remove Linden home buyers from the list of fee payers?

Those of us that had nothing to do with DWH when they created this agreement initially?

If I could afford a top lawyer, they’d probably be able to point out that due to the agreement being made with DWH initially, the council have no claim over other developers and their customers….

And perhaps more to the point, why is it not covered by council tax or other means just like any other open area not covered by an agreement with DWH?

Thank you and regards,

Mr Stephen Griffiths
Disgruntled homeowner in GD

Letters published reflect the views of the author, not Bedford Independent. If you would like to write a letter to respond to any issues raised, please email letters@bedfordindependent.co.uk

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