Ernie Clark. Hilperton Division, Wiltshire Council.

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Wednesday October 10, 2018 Centenary Close, Devizes Road, Hilperton.

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Are you thinking of buying a Hills house on this site?

If you are, there are a few questions you might like to ask both Hills and your solicitor.

There is increasing concern that, throughout the country, people are buying houses without realising that the roads, sewers, and open spaces will NOT be adopted by the local council. This leads to them having to pay both Council Tax and a management charge.

1) Local authorities normally adopt new roads from developers through a legal agreement under Section 38 of the Highways Act 1980. Will this be done for this development?

2) If not, will the local authority enter onto the unadopted road to empty your wheelie bins?

3) The sewers beneath are covered by a similar Section 104 agreement. Will this be done for this development?

4) Who will be responsible for maintenance of the public open space? The local authority or a management company funded by the residents?

5)  If a management company will be involved in any aspect, what will the annual cost be to residents?

Also, be aware that planning condition #9 states that '...the garages hereby permitted shall not be converted to habitable accommodation.  REASON:  To secure the retention of adequate parking provision, in the interests of highway safety.' So, don't think that you will be able to use your garage as a study or extra living or bed room.

I am alerting you to these possible road/sewer/open space issues as I am being contacted by more and more people who have bought houses not realising quite what the implications are.  I am NOT stating that any of these issues will be present at Centenary Close but merely making you aware of the possibility.

'Caveat emptor' applies to buying a house as it does to any product or service.