Hidden charges will be no longer as district chiefs pledge to take charge of open spaces - The Stratford Observer

Hidden charges will be no longer as district chiefs pledge to take charge of open spaces

HIDDEN charges from private companies maintaining open spaces should no longer be an issue for Stratford residents from next year.

So say district chiefs following a proposal for the authority to take charge of open spaces not owned by town or parish councils.

The recommendation was approved by the cabinet, and will be put to full council on December 14.

Over the last few years, the number of housing developments approved in Stratford district has soared along with public open spaces sited within them.

Concerns have been raised by residents in the new developments over ‘hidden’ charges levied by the private management companies maintaining green spaces.

District council community spokesman Christopher Kettle said: “The district council has listened to the concerns raised by residents about the ‘hidden charges’ and quality of the maintenance work carried out in these public open spaces. Cabinet has taken a decision, subject to council approval, that from 1 January 2021 in the event that a town or parish council decides not to take ownership of the public open space, the district council will take ownership and responsibility for the land.

“This new policy will eliminate the risk of future ‘fleecehold’ charges being levied on householders and it will also improve the quality of public open space within new developments.”

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