Lace Hill residents have been left furious after being charged management costs for the upkeep of the estate, despite areas of it being left unfinished and no apparent work being done.
The Acting Chairs of the Lace Hill Residents Association, Joelle Jones and Petuna Boddy said: “The Lace Hill Residents Association are very concerned, on residents behalf, that we will not be involved in the handover and decisions as to whether areas are in an acceptable state to adopt.
“As we are responsible for paying the bills, we need to know that things are top quality to start off with.
“As many of us have had very negative experience of quality from the consortium, we have little faith in the quality of communal areas.”
Large parts of the Lace Hill communal areas are managed by a management company, London Road Management Company and residents agree to an annual service charge of around £180 per year to ensure communal areas and playgrounds are maintained and serviced in good order.
Bills arrived earlier this month asking for payment for the end of 2016 and all of 2017.
The bills ask for payments in full although the management company agree that only a small percentage of the estate is actually completed and receiving any kind of service.
Charlie Claire, newly elected councillor for Buckingham West said: “Lace Hill residents have started getting bills for their service charge, although the estate is unfinished, which is pretty wrong if you ask me.
“The management company, Chamoinx, say that any money not spent will be returned to them at the end of the year, but this feels like a very lazy solution for a complex issue in my opinion.
“I don’t subscribe to the Double Taxation argument, but I do think that if they are paying, they should get a good service and currently there is no evidence of any service at all.
“There are three playgrounds in Lace Hill, and the charge per resident to maintain each playground over the year is £9.
“Currently only one playground is open to the public, yet each household is being charge £27!
“What is more, one of the three playgrounds is part of the Lace Hill Community Centre which is being maintained by the Buckingham Town Council.
“London Road Management Company say that unspent funds will be refunded, but it is another example of the estate treating the residents with the lowest level of respect.
“Why should they over charge tens of thousands of pounds, just because they are too lazy to work out a fair rate to charge whilst the estate is finished.
“There have already been issues with the management company repairing railings immediately after they have adopted responsibility from the developer.
“But the management team must represent the residents and not take ownership of substandard or damaged products.
“The key to making Lace Hill as good as it can be is to have a strong, vibrant and active Residents Association.
“In time, there is scope for the residents to become directors of the London Road Management Company and this is where we should be heading.
“But until then I will work with the residents to get a fair deal with those who build and maintain the estate.”
If you live in Lace Hill, you can join the Lace Hill Residents Association via their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/groups/lacehillresidentsassociation/