Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Mitton Park/Millfields Newsletter

The first newsletter for the newly formed Mitton Park Residents' Association has been sent out.

Reproduced below in plain(ish) text


Formation of Residents' Association
The Mitton Park Residents' Association was formed on Friday 12th October 2007 at a meeting of residents held at Wilden Village Hall. During the meeting a Committee was elected by the residents present at the meeting. The committee is made up of:

Chairman: Fred Roberts
8 Evergreen Way

Secretary: Julie Price-Pass
50 Evergreen Way

Treasurer: Steve Parkes
53 Evergreen Way

Others: Ron Gibson
3 Leapgate Avenue

Dermot O'Connor
4 The Dell

Aims of the Association
The aims and objectives of the Residents' Association are:
  • To represent the views and best interests of residents by lobbying the Developers (Persimmon, Morris and Wimpey Homes) to complete the highways and other communal areas within the defined area to an adoptable standard and to lobby the Council to enforce the conditions of the Planning Approval and other Legal Agreements.
  • To work with Authorities and Organisations for the benefit of all residents.
  • If lobbying alone is unsuccessful consider taking legal action to force the issue with the Developers to ensure compliance with their legal obligations.
  • To ensure that all residents are consulted and informed regularly and that all residents entitled to membership are encouraged to join.
  • To encourage a sense of community.
Actions to Date
Letters have now been sent to all three of the Developers (Persimmon, Morris and Wimpey) addressed to the Group Company Secretary at their Registered Offices with a copy to the Managing Director of the local Division.

The letter highlights the Developers failure to comply with their legal obligations as set out in the property deeds and also their failure to comply with the conditions of the Planning Approval for the development. This includes the satisfactory completion and adoption of roads, footpaths, sewers, drains, play area, conservation area and public open space.

Each Developer has been asked to provide their firm proposals to demonstrate how they will comply with their contractual obligations together with a time bound plan to achieve this within 28 days of the date of the letter.

A letter has also been sent to the Head of Development Control at Wyre Forest District Council (WFDC) regarding the Council's failure to enforce the conditions attached to the Planning Approval for the development and asking them to look at taking such action in accordance with their published policies.

Details of WFDC policies with regard to planning enforcement can be accessed at www.wyreforestdc.gov.uk. Go to the A-Z of services on the home page, select 'p' and then select `planning enforcement'.

Following up on an email from the Cultural Services Manger at Wyre Forest District Council to Councillor David Millis the Association has sought clarification from the Council regarding the proposals for a play area, the provision of which is a condition of the Planning Approval for the development.

A design has been agreed between Wimpey, Wyre Forest District Council and Wickspeed, the contractor who will construct the play area. The project is currently on hold pending the resolution of a mean of access for maintenance and drainage of the site.

A copy of the layout drawing has been promised and a request has been made that residents are consulted on the proposal.

A membership subscription of £10 per household for the first year was approved by the residents present at the inaugural meeting of the Association held on 12th October. This will be used to meet the cost of stationery, postage printing room hire and independent auditing of accounts etc.

A bank account has now been set up with Lloyds TSB in the name of the Association and all subscriptions received to date have been paid into this account.

Eligibility to Join the Association
All residents (owners and tenants) of properties within the Mitton Park development including the original properties on Mill Road, from the bridge over the River Stour to the mini roundabout on Millfields Drive, are eligible to join the Association. All eligible residents are encouraged to join as collectively we are much more likely to be heard and to achieve our aims. If you live in a rented property please pass a copy of this newsletter to your landlord as they also have an interest and are eligible to join.

The subscription of £10 for the first year is per household so if more than one person in the same household registers for membership the subscription will only apply once. However, all residents living in a property aged 16 years or over are encouraged to register their names on the application form as the more members we have the stronger we can claim that our representation is.

How to Join the Association
The Residents' Association has been set up to represent your interests and take action on behalf of all residents so please support the Association by becoming a member. The Association will be unable to pursue its aims and objectives without funding through membership subscriptions.

If you would like to join the Association please complete the accompanying application form and return it along with your subscription of £10 to the Treasurer, Steve Parkes, at 53 Evergreen Way, Stourport . A receipt will be issued by the Treasurer for all subscriptions received.

Highway Adoption Process
There are contractual obligations set out in the property deeds for each individual property and conditions in the Planning Approval which require the Developers to construct the highways (roads, footpaths, drains, sewers, lighting etc) to an adoptable standard to the satisfaction of the Highway Authority and to ensure that formal adoption takes place. There is also a requirement for the Developers to maintain the highways in a satisfactory condition until such time as formal adoption by the Highway Authority takes place.

The current situation is that the Highway Authority, Worcestershire County Council, is waiting for construction drawings from each Developer for the highways and has been for some considerable time. No construction activity can take place to complete the outstanding work until such time as these drawings have been received and approved by the Council.
Once the highways have been completed to the satisfaction of the Highway Authority there will be a 12 month defects period where the Developers will be responsible for maintenance and the rectification of any defects that occur. Only on the satisfactory completion of this 12 month defects period will the Highway Authority formally adopt the highways and assume responsibility for the ongoing maintenance at public expense.

Patch Repairs
All three Developers have carried out patch repairs in recent weeks and months. Whilst this is welcome it does not go far enough and the Association is pressing for nothing less that full compliance with the contractual requirements set out in the property deeds and the conditions of the Planning Approval.

Further Actions
Further actions will be considered at future meetings of the Association which will depend on the responses received from Developers and the response from WFDC in relation to enforcement of the Planning Approval conditions.

The Association will be contacting local MP, Dr Richard Taylor, Health Concern, with a request that he takes up the issues with the Developers and Wyre Forest District Council.

If lobbying alone does not bring about the desired result the Association may need to resort to legal action to force the Developers to comply with their contractual obligations.

The possibility of funding such action through the legal protection section of residents' home insurance policies was discussed at the inaugural meeting of the Association. The Chairman confirmed that he had checked his policy and contacted his insurance company, who had advised that it appeared this type of action was covered by his insurance policy.

All residents are urged to check their own insurance policies now and speak to their insurance companies to determine whether or not their policy would provide this type of cover. If we need to resort to legal action at some time in the future it is hoped that several insurers would combine to take joint action on behalf of as many residents as possible.