Covenants relating to landscaped area

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    Covenants relating to landscaped area

    We live in a small development of 8 houses. When the building work was finished our local council place covenents on the site such as: no house to used for a business but more particularly that the landscaped area with trees and fencing had to be maintained in good order. The counci refused to adopt the area without a substantial payout. .Eventually, we were advised to set up a limited company at Companies House after buying up the landscaped area. Now after 20 years of filing returns i.e a balance sheet and shareholder list ,we wonder what would happen if we dissolved the company. Could the council force us to pay for maintenance of the landscaping involving some mowing and tree care?

    #2
    Generally you don't want a situation where part of an estate has reverted to the Crown, and you do want a situation where someone can be made to pay for maintaining the surrounding land.

    Also, if there were someone to enforce against, the council might well enforce using anti-social behaviour legislation, rather than the covenant.

    In any case you need to clarify why the council was able to apply a covenant. Where they the previous owner, or did they actually apply a planning condition, and the developer then added the covenant to ensure compliance.

    Also, in covenant cases, it is normally important to see the exact wording, to get an idea of who could enforce.

    Note that, if the land had development potential, letting it go bona vacantia might lead to an unwelcome development, on your doorstep.

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      #3
      on a neighbouring development the council adopted the amenity land but did not in our case because the builders did not want to pay the council to adopt it.So it was sold on to a management company from whom we ,miraculously, were able to buy it for £5k.At that time, 2000 our council tax was £150pa and fees to the management company were £100 pa and rising at 30% a year. Hence we have saved, probably, thousands.
      The covenents in force are, simply, that we maintain the landscaped area and fencing in good order.I shall probably contact the council ,again, to ask what they would do if we dissolved the company. I take your point about potential development of the land .Originally there was an application to build 12 houses here but only 8 were permitted..In these relaxed times possibly the council could sell the land on to new developers. But who owns the land we currently own if the company is dissolved. A three pipe problem as a Holmes would ask

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        #4
        If the company is dissolved, the liquidators will try to sell the land. Failing that, it will eventually revert to the Crown, or the Duchy of Lancaster, etc., who will not maintain it, although an attempt will be made to sell it to some of the residents.

        I'm totally confused by your description of the costs, how they increase with time, and why you were making a saving over adoption.

        Councils are reluctant to adopt even roads these days as they represent ongoing costs.

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          #5
          I would have thought that it is best to retain some say in who owns the land and what happens to that land. Alternatively, it must have some value so you could consider selling it. The Council could object to the Company being dissolved whilst there are covenants remaining.

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