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Council to explore ways to help hundreds of homeowners threatened with legal action

Russell Hill with a copy of a letter to sent to him by the Flatland management. Photo: Neil Perry.

Russell Hill with a copy of a letter to sent to him by the Flatland management. Photo: Neil Perry.

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A council is to explore ways to help hundreds of Norfolk homeowners who are being threatened with legal action unless they pay a company more than £600,000.

Houses in the development in Little Plumstead who have been sent letters asking for £2.6K. Photo: Neil PerryHouses in the development in Little Plumstead who have been sent letters asking for £2.6K. Photo: Neil Perry

Letters were sent to 255 homes on The Glade estate in Little Plumstead demanding they each pay £2,621 to Flatland Management Ltd for maintenance work dating back to 2004.

The company’s director Russell Edwards claims his firm, which is responsible for maintaining the amenity areas on the estate, is owed more than £600,000 in unpaid fees.

The vast majority of residents have refused to pay the sum, with many claiming Mr Edwards’s other company - Alexander Grace Homes - has not carried out any work.

But others have been forced to part with their money in order to sell their homes.

Houses in the development in Little Plumstead who have been sent letters asking for £2.6K. Photo: Neil PerryHouses in the development in Little Plumstead who have been sent letters asking for £2.6K. Photo: Neil Perry

Great and Little Plumstead Parish Council has now discussed ways to resolve the situation, including the possibility of purchasing the amenity land and managing it directly.

Councillor Russell Heath said at a meeting on Monday that a Compulsory Purchase Order was an avenue that could be looked at.

Russell Hill, who lives on The Glade estate, said people living there would pay their maintenance fee if the council took on the land.

He said: “There is no doubt they would pay the £80 without any problems at all. They totally expect to pay that amount of money each year.”

Houses in the development in Little Plumstead who have been sent letters asking for £2.6K. Photo: Neil PerryHouses in the development in Little Plumstead who have been sent letters asking for £2.6K. Photo: Neil Perry

However council chairman Joe Wiley warned that the parish council did not have the money to manage the site.

Councillor Shaun Vincent, who is also the leader or Broadland District Council, said: “Broadland’s preferred option is that Alexander Grace Homes do what they say they are supposed to do and make it work.

“Therefore they would be able to collect money from the residents to fund.”

He said if that did not work the council could go down an “enforcement route”.

Speaking last month, Mr Edwards claimed his company had carried out maintenance work free of charge. However this has been disputed by multiple residents.

Parish council members agreed to pursue a meeting with Mr Edwards and to “seriously” look at what would be involved in a compulsory purchase order to acquire the land.

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