Policy of Woodhill Properties Ltd (formerly Southampton and District Land Company Ltd)

Registered office: WOODHILL PROPERTIES LTD., The Limes, 18 Finches End, Walkern, Herts, SG2 7RG.
Address for correspondence: WOODHILL PROPERTIES LTD, c/o Highfield Estates, 91a Brookvale Road, Southampton SO17 1QY

ALTERATIONS TO HOUSES ON THE BASSETT GREEN ESTATE

Where the property is leasehold, and you pay ground rent to Woodhill Properties, the terms of the Lease requires any proposed alteration or addition to be notified to and approved by Woodhill Properties before any work is commenced. This is not limited to structural alterations but applies equally to changes of external paint colour, replacement of windows, installation of aerials etc.

Where the freehold has been purchased there are also restrictive covenants in place (in largely similar terms to those in the leases) requiring approval to proposed alterations, imposed by the conveyance or transfer deed of the property and these are binding upon the current owner of the property in the same way as the covenants contained in the leases. These are imposed in order to maintain the architectural character and value of the Estate; this practice is not unique to this company.

The Company approval is in addition to the statutory requirements of the Government and Local Authority, Southampton City Council, both under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and also The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as the Estate is situated within a Conservation Area.

Policy of Woodhill Properties regarding Applications for Alterations

(Subject to each case being assessed on its merits at the time of application)

  • The Company will normally approve alterations that match the original building in scale, design and materials.
  • The Company will take into consideration the effect on neighbouring properties and the overall architectural character of the Estate.
  • The Company’s primary concern is with the elevations of any property that are visible from the road.
  • The Company does not consider that any form of plastic or UPVC window, door or conservatory, eaves fascia or soffit to be in keeping with the architectural character of the Estate.
  • The Company has received several requests recently for consent for solar panels under the terms of the Leases. After careful consideration, taking into account, the views of residents, and the visual impact of solar panels, the Directors have decided that the Company policy will be to refuse to give consent to the installation of solar panels.

Guidance

In order to avoid disappointment and wasted expense it would be wise to obtain guidance before detailed plans are drawn. The sources below may be of use:

  • Southampton City Council has published a booklet called “Design Guidance for the Ethelburt Avenue (Bassett Green Estate) Conservation Area”.
  • Southampton City Council Conservation Officer -Tel 023 8083 3192
  • Your Residents Association representative: E-mail hcera@herbertcollins.co.uk
  • Highfield Estates (agent for Woodhill Properties) 91A Brookvale Road, Southampton, SO17 1QY -Tel 023 8058 5911

Submitting Plans

Detailed plans should be submitted to Woodhill Properties Ltd c/o Highfield Estates at the address above, with our standard fee of £50. This would normally be sufficient to cover the costs, and if approved a letter of consent will be provided (but which will not operate as any approval as to the adequacy of the plans from a construction point of view). The Company does however reserve the right to make a higher charge should expert advice be required, in order to cover its own costs. Requests for retrospective consent for approval of completed work that had not been authorised will attract a minimum fee of £100. For an informal, verbal indication as to the likelihood of consent being granted a fee would not normally be required. Additionally, alterations of a very minor nature not requiring a visit to the property will normally attract just a nominal fee of £10 to cover the preparation of the necessary letter. The Company will endeavour to deal with requests for consent within 4 weeks in straightforward cases.

We trust these notes deal with any questions you may have, but if you require further information or clarification then please contact the Company. Compliance with the covenants is important. When the time comes to sell your property, whether freehold or leasehold, delays will occur if the necessary consents are not in place. The Solicitor for your Buyer will undoubtedly raise enquiries in respect of the covenants in the Lease or Freehold and ask for a copy of the Company consent in addition to any Planning consents and Building Control consent.

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