Council could protect homeowners by capping future charges

Charges: Barnsley Council could cap management fees householders will face
Charges: Barnsley Council could cap management fees householders will face
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Residents living on new housing estates in Barnsley could be given legal protection from the threat of “millstone” bills for the maintenance of play areas and ‘green space’ built into modern developments, it has emerged.

Many new developments have outdoor space designed in and some are managed through private agreements, rather than the council taking responsibility, with residents paying the bills.

But the council has acknowledged that controls to prevent bills soaring in future could be an advantage and are now consulting their legal experts on how such restrictions could be introduced.

Coun Dave Griffin said: “Residents have to get involved in the management of the sites. My concern is for those who pay them (bills) in seven or eight years’ time.

“Will they have a millstone around their neck, with the amount of money they will pay for looking after these facilities?”

Head of planning, Joe Jenkinson, said the authority was examining the legal situation to establish whether costs could be linked to an official inflation index, to help ensure charges remained reasonable.