You will recall that directors have been investigating site-wide costs for the last 2 years and neither DJC nor POD acting as managing agents were able to provide sufficient assurance as to what we were actually paying for given that only circa 20% of site-wide land was available for use.
We have advised all parties involved on many occasions during the last 2 years that we would only pay for site-wide land we had access to and only where we were confident that expenditure was valid and appropriate. Without such information being made available, we took the decision to withhold monies and credit residents last autumn based on a proposal put forward to the site-wide management company via POD last year.
PG Property Management (who took over from POD Management and now support the site-wide management company) proposed a way forward in February 2021 which directors agreed to in principle on the understanding full sets of reinstated accounts for the last 4 years were made available for us to inspect. The site-wide contributions that form the 2021/22 Service Charge presented at the EGM in May support this proposal.
Unfortunately we have not been furnished with re-stated accounts and as we are obliged to look after the interests of CCMC members, we are standing firm in that we will not pay any further monies owing until the accounts (together with supporting information and invoices where appropriate) are received. PG Property Management have suggested that they will be writing to all residents imminently (as part of a wider update) flagging the CCMC arrears position.
CCMC directors (supported by Remus) are working with PG Property Management on this issue and indeed no direct legal relationship exists between the site-wide management company and individual residents.
As such individual residents do not have to take any action and there is no requirement or need to liaise directly with the site-wide management company on this issue.
Given the lack of assurance we received from both DJC and POD in relation to site-wide expenditure, we believe that members would rather us undertake sufficient and robust due diligence prior to paying any further monies to PG Property Management, especially as this accounts for 30% of the overall service charge.
For the avoidance of doubt, PG Property Management is a company created by directors of Ptarmigan Land to act as site-wide managing agent. Ptarmigan Land is the consultancy firm that acts for and represents the land owner in relation to the Channels development.
Please note this notice is on behalf of Channels Management Company Ltd, the organisation that looks after communal open spaces across the wider development and will therefore be of interest to all residents.
A Channels-wide residents meeting will take place on Thursday 28th January at 6.00pm and due to the current lockdown will be hosted online via Zoom. Residents are asked to submit questions in advance via e-mail no later than 10am on Monday 25th January 2021 to:
To join the meeting residents can click here or join on Zoom directly and input the meeting ID of 829 0881 8921 and passcode of 378799.
Full details of the agenda and further joining instructions can be found here.
The opening of Channels Park, which is part of site-wide communal land that is gradually being opened up for use, has raised a number of questions in recent weeks and has prompted correspondence both to CCMC Ltd directors and the site wide management company.
Channels Park formed part of the original Planning Consent back in December 2012 (which can be found on the Chelmsford City Council Planning Portal). The image below is the Red Line outline for the planning consent that clearly shows the park area. The Skate Park and the Play Area were also part of the original Planning Consent.
The Deeds of sale for every home at Channels include a requirement to contribute towards the maintenance of site wide open space and provision for this is included in the planning consent.
The provision of open space maintenance through a service charge has become the norm for large developments in the last 10 years for several reasons, not least that historically Councils have been poor at maintaining such space, leading to very poor quality public domain space and indeed most Councils don’t want the responsibility.
All of the developers should have made it clear to their buyers that there was a service charge which included site wide elements and additionally solicitors should also have made this clear to buyers.
We have collated some further information on the Service Charges page for your reference that explains the obligations on owners and where the requirement to contribute to site wide open space is documented.
Directors are working closely with Remus and the site-wide management company to better understand future costs and how ongoing decisions in relation to site-wide communal land are made.
The site-wide elements will continue to be collected via the Service Charge however as previously notified, no further monies will be released to the site-wide management company until there is clarity on these matters.
There have been some key updates that will impact on the way site-wide matters will be managed and Channels Management Company Ltd (the entity that owns and is responsible for maintenance of the wider Channels estate) has provided a briefing for all residents of Channels.
CMC Ltd Briefing: November 2020
The briefing covers how site management will be coordinated moving forward and outlines key updates in relation to the areas of communal land that will be made available to residents both in the short and longer term.
The briefing makes reference to the “Channels Residents Association” in relation to organising events on the Village Green. For clarity this is the Channels Residents Community Group and the best way to contact the committee is via their website at www.channels.community/contact/.