Anger over cost of looking after '˜green spaces' in Bedfordshire village

Residents have been left furious after a private firm decided to double the charge for maintaining green spaces on a new housing estate.

Builder Persimmon Homes appointed contractor ‘Greenbelt’ to carry out maintenance of the green spaces at the new Berryfields estate – with the cost passed on to residents.

But many homeowners are now angry and claim the annual maintenance bill has ‘shot up’ from £60 to £130 with some saying it is a figure ‘just plucked out of the air.’

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They also claim that they never see workers from Greenbelt on the land, and that nothing is being done to warrant the increase.

Russell Davies who lives on the estate, said: “I have lived here for three-and-a-half years and my biggest concern is that although the charge has been put up, Greenbelt haven’t begun maintaining any more land except for a 
tiny strip.

“There’s still a huge amount of green space left that is not part of their annual charge – so what happens if they do take this up too?

“The cost will surely triple.

“Generally most people would prefer it if the land could be managed by the council or a company where we can actively see things 
being improved and looked after.”

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Duncan Shaw, director for Persimmon Homes Midlands, said: “The costs associated with maintenance on a development can vary from year to year depending on the level of work deemed necessary by the managing agents who break down costs.”

A spokesperson from Greenbelt, said: “Berry Fields is a very large development, which is being taken on in stages so that customers get not only a quality service but the best value for money.

“The most recent phase saw the incorporation of many additional areas, including a play park, as well as grass, shrub beds and trees.

“In addition we have also introduced dog fouling bins, which are regularly monitored and emptied.

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“The development is being maintained exceptionally well and we take great pride in the fact our homeowner customers are very happy with this.

“We would urge anyone at Berry Fields to contact us with any questions they may have.

“We are always very happy to discuss all of work operations and costs in detail with our customers.”