Lace Hill residents receive a refund on their management fees

The refund has been called a victory for the residents association
The refund has been called a victory for the residents association

Families on Lace Hill have been offered £129 each, as a refund for the year’s fees used in the upkeep of the estate.

Management company Chamonix sent a letter to residents on January 29, explaining that, although they feel their work has been ‘technically’ correct, charging the full management fee as estimated at the start of last year would not have been ‘sensible.’

Lace Hill has been the subject of debate between residents, developers and councils over the standard of paths, roads and public spaces, and whose responsibility it is look after them.

Joëlle Jones, of the Lace Hill residents association (LHRA), said: “The LHRA has been communicating with our Chamonix Account Manager for many months as residents were not happy about being asked to pay full management fees, when they had only taken over one park, and that had to be closed shortly after because it wasn't fit for purpose.

"They have since taken over looking after green areas on two streets but the builders have admitted that it will be over a year until the rest is taken over.

"As a result, our account manager has spoken with her bosses who have agreed to give us all a partial refund for 2016 and 2017. Once the 2017 accounts are finalised, we hope to get a further rebate. This is a big step forward but the LHRA still needs to keep a close eye on Chamonix and is trying to get more open accounting so we know exactly what we are paying for instead of very broad groupings.

"We need to ensure that the price hikes in management fees that have been experienced on other estates around Britain, don't happen here in Buckingham. There is definitely power in working together but we need to keep on putting pressure on the management company and the builders."

Buckingham County Councillor Charlie Clare said: “Although the original charges were technically correct in terms of the contract residents have with Chamonix, the fact that the directors have taken a common sense approach and refunded this money demonstrates that they understand the confusion and upset that those original charges were causing.

"Thanks must go to the LHRA and the sub committee that tackled this issue and worked so effectively to get this win for all Lace Hill residents.

"I was delighted to take part in the subcommittee’s initial meeting on this issue and I’m very happy to support the great work that is being done by the residents association. With good work like this Lace Hill stands to have a great future as a strong and proactive community.”