Cirencester residents' anger at being charged maintenance fees for public open spaces by property developer Redrow

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Paul Maidens, chairman of Centuria and Corinium Via Residents Association, at an open space on Moss Way Paul Maidens, chairman of Centuria and Corinium Via Residents Association, at an open space on Moss Way

RESIDENTS on a Cirencester housing estate are up-in-arms after being charged a three figure sum for the privilege of having the area’s public spaces tendered to.

People living on the Corinium Via estate in Kingshill area of the town are furious at having been charged between £120 and £180 for an independent contractor to be brought in and cut the grass in the public open spaces.

It is claimed that property developer Redrow is leaving residents to foot the maintenance bill after it told homeowners that an external company was needed to do the grass cutting after it said that Cirencester Town Council “wasn’t interested”.

Andrew Tubb, chief executive of CTC, has disputed Redrow’s claims. He said: “I can confirm that the town council was in correspondence with the developers in 2008 and had expressed an interest in the open spaces at Corinium Via being transferred to the town council for future management and maintenance.”

Residents have been left angry and confused over why they are being left to pay for their service when the town council was prepared to take control of the duties.

Paul Maidens, chairman of Centuria and Corinium Via Residents Association, said: “We have been lied to. There really is no other word for it.”

Further confusion arose when the Standard approached Redrow for a comment and was told that the land at Corinium Via is not under the ownership of Redrow, but of rival property developer Charles Church.

Further investigation by the Standard resulted in a game of property tennis breaking out, with each party claiming the other was the rightful owner of the land.

However, Cirencester Town Council and Cotswold District Council confirmed that the public open spaces at Corinium Via are owned by Redrow.

Redrow declined the opportunity to comment on the situation.

Mr Maidens said: “I’m disappointed really. To be fair, Redrow did a fantastic job on most things but when you discover such anomalies, you can’t help but wonder what else there is.

“I think that Redrow have avoided this situation really, not only in our correspondence but in other things.”

Embarrassment was heaped on Redrow earlier in the year when the Standard revealed the developer had closed a Corinium Via playground because the play equipment was too brightly coloured.

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