In recent years the Council has acknowledged that there are a number of problems with the Estate Management Scheme.
The Scheme is difficult to enforce because the method of enforcement differs depending on the type of ownership (referred to as tenures).
If a change is made to a freehold property without consent, the Council must address the breach through negotiation, followed by arbitration (a form of dispute resolution overseen by an independent chartered surveyor) and finally through court proceedings.
If a change is made to a leasehold property without consent, the Council must seek to address the breach according to the Law of Property Act 1925. This identifies negotiation as the first course of action, followed by a financial penalty and, as a last resort, forfeiture of the lease (i.e. eviction).
Another problem with the Scheme is that the Estate Management area no longer follows obvious boundaries. Homes on one side of a road may be included, while homes on the other side of the road are not. This can result in complaints of unfairness.
Applications for proposed developments under the Estate Management Scheme are currently free. Dealing with the Estate Management Scheme costs the Council between £80,000 - £90,000 per year.
Page updated: 7/01/2019