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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Ffion Lewis & Graeme Murray

Stunned residents must pay £82,000 a year for park they never knew was being built

Stunned residents have been told they must pay £82,000 a year to maintain a park they never knew was being built.

Households in Canton, Cardiff received a letter this week requesting a £102 annual service fee to maintain Riverside Park.

The letter was sent to every property on The Mill estate which is home to around 800 flats and houses.

It claims that each address will not be paying more than 1/800th of the cost of the park, reports WalesOnline.

And if there there were 800 payments of £102, this would equate to £81,600.

The park, which opened in July 2021, consists of a simple wooden climbing frame, a picnic table, a bench and two bins.

The Mill estate where residents are facing a bill to maintain Riverside Park (Media Wales)

Residents at The Mill entered into a service charge agreement for maintenance of the estate when they completed on their purchase.

But many property owners said they were not consulted about the addition of the park, nor the service cost that would come with it.

A letter sent to residents at the time reads: "The service charge year shall run for a period of 12 months from 1 April in every year.

"We are notifying you of the estimated Service Charge, which is £102.00 (incl' VAT,) for the period covering 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023 in relation to your property.

"Please note that this is an estimate only of the service charge payable this service charge year."

Riverside Park on The Mill estate in Canton, Cardiff (Media Wales)

Ben Jordan owns his property in The Mill and has lived there for over two years.

He said: "We've just received another letter where we are going to get a £100-a-year fee for a park somewhere, which I have never seen, apparently, it's just a little wooden frame by the river.

"And that letter has gone to every property, which is 800 properties, so that's £82,000 a year to maintain one wooden frame."

He said it felt like the developer was trying to take advantage and hope people might not notice because of all the other rising costs.

Mr Jordan said: "This was the first I had heard about it, the only reason I know about the park at all is the letter telling me about it.

Letter send to residents of The Mill estate in Cardiff (Media Wales)
Residents received a letter informing them of the maintenance cost (Media Wales)

"I've gone and found out more about it and it's one little climbing frame, I don't know why that costs £80,000 a year to maintain.

"I'm 32, I work from home, I live alone, I have no reason to use the park. I know I will never use it.

"I have no need for a small climbing frame. Even if I did have kids, it's not a very good one anyway.

Householders claim they did not know the park was going to be built (Media Wales)

Fellow householder Josh Jenkins said: "I knew that there was a park there, but in terms of it being our responsibility to fund or look after it, this is the first I have heard of it.

"When we were going through the process of moving in, we were told there would be a service charge but we were told it would be going specifically to a company called 'Ground Solutions' and they would be doing the grounds maintenance of the entire estate."

A spokesperson for Tirion Group said: "The requirement for the Riverside Park was determined as part of the planning consent for the development of The Mill.

Residents say they were told there would be a service charge (Media Wales)

"It was considered by Cardiff City Council and all other stakeholders that the provision would benefit the community now and in the future.

It added: "The service charge is an estimate and made up of certain regular costs (maintenance of the play area, maintenance of grassed areas, emptying of litter bins, etc) and also provisions for the longer term maintenance and upkeep of the whole of the Riverside Park and amenities.

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