FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We find that many residents have questions and don’t know where to find the answers, but at the same time don’t want to trouble anyone. The purpose of this page is to list in one convenient place a summarized list of the most frequently asked questions that we receive. We will continue to update the specific function pages with questions and more detailed answers, so please therefore still refer to those pages.
If you have any questions that you would like answered or have any questions/answers that you feel may be useful to publish (for either new or existing residents) please contact us via Hobdens. This way we can build up a useful library of information.
Questions in this section include household waste, ground maintenance, road repairs, security, gates and parking, Internet speeds and the Willowhayne Residents’ Association (WRA).
More information can be found in the relevant sections on the website.
“How can I find out more about what’s happening on the estate?”
You can find plenty of information about the Willowhayne Residents’ Association and the Willowhayne Estate on our website http://www.willowhayne.org.
There is also a residents’ section, which can be accessed via a password provided by Hobdens.
In addition, a newsletter is produced regularly and emailed to residents. It is also available on the website in the resident’s area under “archive”. We welcome articles from residents for submission in the newsletter. Articles may be submitted via Hobdens (Willowhayne@hobdensmanage.co.uk)
“Who do I contact if I have a query relating to the estate?”
The Willowhayne Residents’ Association Ltd. employs Hobdens Property Management Ltd. to look after the day-to-day administration of the estate.
Its contact details are:
Hobdens Property Management Ltd.
41a Beach Road
Tel: 01903 724040
“Who should I contact if I encounter anti-social behaviour, for example, bonfires, and dangerous or obstructive parking on the estate roads?”
We would ask that, in the same way as you would if living on a non-private estate, you approach the offender in the first place, if possible, and ask for their co-operation. If this is not effective, Hobdens should be notified.
“What should I do if my neighbour allows its dog to bark all the time?”
Dogs are allowed to bark but if it becomes a nuisance the best course of action is to talk to the owners initially. The next step would be to report it to the Council who are obliged by law to investigate all noise / nuisance reports. The Willowhayne Residents’ Association and Hobdens are unable to get involved in these disputes.
“Does the residents’ association arrange any social activities?”
The WRA does not arrange social activities but information about local social events may be found on the village noticeboards and on the village website www.eastprestonvillage.co.uk
“Does the association have a list of recommended contractors for home maintenance jobs such as cleaning patios and driveways?”
The WRA does not recommend contractors but you could ask your neighbours about their experience of contractors and also consult the website www.checkatrade.com
“When and where are bins collected?”
Refuse is collected weekly and recycling is collected fortnightly. Collection day is a Monday and refuse and recycling should be at the collection point by 7am on that day. The normal collection point is the property boundary.
Please, if possible, refrain from putting bins out for collection before the Sunday evening or early Monday morning. Unfortunately, if put out earlier, they are not only unsightly but are often blown over or lids blown open, resulting in rubbish on our roads and verges.
“What happens on bank holidays?”
Collection days remain the same throughout the year and are not affected by bank holidays. Christmas collections may vary and will be advertised as appropriate by the District Council.
For more information about refuse and recycling collections, please go to Arun District Council’s website http://www.arun.gov.uk or telephone 01903 737754.
“Where can I buy a wheelie bin?”
You can purchase a wheelie bin from hardware stores, garden centres and the Internet. They can also be bought from Arun District Council’s contractors Biffa, telephone 01903 734520.
“How can I recycle garden waste?”
To recycle garden waste, you may wish to join the Greenwaste Club. Customers receive a wheeled bin, which is collected fortnightly from the edge of the property. For information visit www.greenwasteclub.co.uk or telephone 0800 0858 286.
“How many times a year is the grass on the greensward and walkways cut?”
The grass on the greensward and common areas is cut weekly (weather depending) between March – October. Therefore, a total of 32 weekly cuts are scheduled. The grass banks are allowed to grow naturally to encourage flora.
“How many times a year are the other estate-maintained grass areas cut?”
The current contract is for 32 cuts a year, during the growing season (March – October)
“How often are the grass banks on the greensward cut?”
Strimming of the banks on the Greensward, including the top is three times a year during the growing season (April – October)
“Do you allow the estate grass contractor to cut the grass on a Saturday or Sunday?”
No, but we do allow work on Bank holidays
“If I have a request for work on the estate, or identify an issue, who do I contact?”
Please contact Hobdens, who will arrange for someone to look at your request and to discuss it with you.
“What do I do if I have concerns over an estate-owned tree?”
Please contact Hobdens with your concerns and they will arrange for a Director to investigate.
“Who do I speak to if I have concerns about my neighbour’s tree or hedges?”
In the first instance you need to speak directly to your neighbour. There is also some very useful information on ‘problem hedges’ available on the Arun District Council website http://www.arun.gov.uk/high-hedges
“Do I need permission to plant a hedge or shrubs at the front of my property?”
As the covenant situation varies around the estate, we would encourage residents to always check with us, via Hobdens, before anything is planted.
“What are the numbered metal tags for on some of the trees on the estate?”
These identify trees owned by the estate and are maintained as and when required by tree surgeons appointed by the WRA.
“What happens to the estate’s garden waste?”
All green waste is taken to the Green Waste facility located at Stubbs Copse Woodyard, Crossbush Lane, Crossbush, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 9PL
“Does the WRA get charged for taking waste to a green waste facility?”
Yes – the charge for trade green waste in 2016 is £12/m3.
“Who do I report a problem to about a dead fox?”
Problems involving any form of dead animal are dealt with by Arun District Council. It has a very good form on its website. Completion of the form is very easy and the council usually deals with the matter extremely promptly. If any resident notices any problems concerning dead animals, we would ask they complete the online form which is available on Arun District Council’s website, link below.
Please let Hobdens know if you have sent in this form to ensure that we don’t duplicate your efforts.
Drives and Boundaries
“Can I plant anything on my verge?”
In general the answer is no. Apart from grass, planting on the verges is generally not permitted, primarily for reasons of pedestrian safety. As there are no pavements on the estate, the verges allow pedestrians to step off the road and walk along the verge to avoid traffic.
Anyone who is considering the possibility of planting on the verge outside their property must check with Hobdens first, to ensure what they are planning is permissible.
“What can I plant on my verge?”
Generally only grass is permitted on verges. If your covenants permit, we will usually allow a small low level flower border with a maximum width of 2ft (60cm) from your boundary and a height not exceeding 2ft (60cm).
“What if I want to plant hedging on my verge?”
Even if you own the verge, hedges are only permitted when they are planted within the boundary of your property and are not allowed to encroach on to the verge.
“If I have a boundary wall can I plant a hedge in front of it?”
No, hedges can only be planted within the boundary of your property.
“Can I plant a new or replacement tree on my verge?”
New or replacement trees are not permitted on verges, unless the tree is an existing WRA owned tree, in which case the WRA will consider if it is appropriate to replace the tree.
“If I own my verge, why can I not just plant what I want?”
Estate covenants give anyone who owns property on the estate, the pedestrian right to ‘pass and repass, with or without dogs’ along estate roads and verges. Your property is subject to various restrictive covenants and it is these restrictive covenants which states what is permitted (not the WRA). Any planting must not impede this right in any way or contravene the restrictive covenants of your property. If for example your properties deeds & covenants state you should maintain a Grass Verge of X distance from either the road or your building line, then you must comply with this restriction.
“If the WRA own the verge outside my property, what can I plant?”
No new planting is permitted on any WRA owned verge, these verges must be maintained as grass.
“Is the restriction on planting on verges a new rule?”
No, the restrictive covenants have always been in place.
“Why is this subject now only becoming a concern?”
Planting on verges has always been a concern, but, as we are seeing an increase in the number of new planting and constructions (where residents are not checking their deeds and covenants prior to undertaking work) we are merely highlighting and reminding residents of long established restrictions. The WRA have an obligation to uphold the covenants on behalf of the residents.
“What does the WRA plan to do about historic planting which contravene these restrictions?”
Historic issues will be reviewed on an individual basis.
How do I know what road repairs are being done?
Details of road repairs are published in the newsletter and on the website, along with the cost.
What do I do if I think an area of road needs attention?
Please contact Hobdens and they will forward your concerns to the appropriate Director.
What is the WRA’s responsibility regarding Pigeonhouse Lane
The Willowhayne estate includes the properties on the eastern side of Pigeonhouse Lane but not those on the western side, which causes major problems with the maintenance of the road. In an attempt to overcome these problems, the board has proposed a scheme to bring the western side properties into the estate. This is being discussed with residents on the western side.
Does the WRA maintain the road of Fosters Close?
No, Fosters Management Ltd., is responsible for the management of Fosters flats and the road and gate of Fosters Close. The members of Fosters are the flat owners only but the houses have a responsibility to contribute equally to the maintenance of the road, gate and associated verges i.e. 1/21st i.e. 10 flats and 11 houses.
I have a shared access road. Will the WRA cover the cost of any repairs?
No, responsibility for repairs to access roads will be clearly detailed in the covenants of the property, which owns the land. Maintenance is usually shared equally between all the properties, which have the benefit of access over this land, but you will need to check the covenants of your property for exact details.
What do I do if my neighbour won’t contribute towards the maintenance of a shared access road or driveway?
In the first instance you need to check both yours and your neighbour’s deeds and covenants to clarify where responsibility lies. Once you have ascertained responsibility for the cost of maintenance you need to speak directly to the responsible person. If talking fails, you will need to employ the services of a solicitor to act on your behalf. The WRA cannot intervene on your behalf.
Will the WRA cover any costs towards the maintenance of my driveway?
No. Responsibility for this lies with the property owner.
What materials can be used for my driveway?
There are no restrictions on the choice of materials residents may use. However, residents must ensure that the drive does not extend onto the road in any shape as surface water flow will be blocked or restricted to the detriment of the general road surface.
Small pea shingle gravel from driveways cans cause real damage to the top road surface, as they fall into the road way and then get driven over by vehicles. Gravel encroaching onto the roads can also lead to surface water flow being restricted or blocked. Owners of this type of drive are asked to make sure you regularly sweep the stones back onto your drive so that you do not cause what is avoidable damage.
Any new drives where gravel is used should include a suitable retention method of at least 12” to minimize gravel encroaching on the road surface.
Residents may wish to consider installing ducting for future BT connections when carrying out any driveway works to avoid further disruption. BT can supply conduit for this purpose and a request should be made to Hobdens.
What do we do if we are having building works carried out?
It is unacceptable to leave building supplies in the road, especially unlit and without any warnings. If you are having building works it is your responsibility to ensure that your builder and their supplies are kept within the curtilage of your property. If there is an absolute need for the road to be used you must ensure prior permission is obtained from the WRA and the materials are lit at night and with adequate warnings. Any damage caused by materials left on the road or estate owned verges will be charged to the property owner.
“How much does the Association spend a year on security?”
The annually audited accounts, which are sent to every household (prior to the AGM), gives a breakdown of expenditure. Copies of the accounts can be found under the Residents’ tab.
“Why do we spend this amount of money on security?”
The threat of crime is no worse on the Willowhayne Estate than anywhere else, but we take additional steps for safety by employing a private security firm. The current contracted security firm is Avantguard Security Limited. Further information about the company can be found on its website – http://www.avantguardsecurity.co.uk.
In a questionnaire sent to all residents in July 2013 seeking opinions on the level of security cover and expenditure, 70% of the 189 respondents wanted the existing level of security to continue.
“When do the security patrols take place?”
For obvious reasons, we do not publish dates and timings of security patrols. The guards report to designated Willowhayne residents on arrival and a detailed activity report is sent electronically to the nominated WRA director the following morning.
“In an emergency, should I phone the Police or the guards?”
Avantguard does provide a 24hr callout/alarm response service – the number to call is 01903 890261 or 01384 218909 – but please bear in mind that the police should always be the first point of contact if any incident should occur. If you feel the nature of the incident does not warrant a 999 call, then either contact the Police on 101 or the guards.
Please note that security guards do not have the same powers as the police. Callouts from individual residents do incur additional charges so this service should only be used in cases of emergency and where you feel under imminent threat.
“I never see the guards”
Please bear in mind that this is a large estate and the guard cannot be at all places all of the time and in the evenings, when the guards are patrolling, most of us will have our curtains drawn. We do have a system in place whereby the guards have to touch various security logging points around the estate throughout their shift and this logs exactly what time they are at a particular point.
“How will the security guard know who to contact if my security alarm goes off when I am out?”
The security guards do not keep a list of contact numbers for this purpose. If the guards hear a security alarm going off, they will patrol the exterior of your house to check if it looks secure. If the guards see that your house has been broken into, they will contact the Police on your behalf.
GATES AND PARKING
“What do I have to do if I need to park on the estate roads?”
Because the Willowhayne Estate has no footpaths, pedestrians who may have prams, dogs, mobility scooters, etc, normally walk on the roads. The WRA doesn’t have the resources to police parking to ensure the safety of residents, so we ask all residents to:
* Ensure that all visitors to a property park on the drive and not on the road.
* Ensure contractors’ vehicles park on the drives when carrying out work.
* Agree with a neighbour to allow parking on their drive when several vehicles are visiting your property.
* Seek agreement from the WRA via Hobdens when exceptional parking on the roads is necessary.
* Speak politely to neighbours about the problem if they don’t comply, and advise Hobdens of the outcome if needed.
Parking control notices can be placed on vehicles contravening this request. The security guards report details of any vehicles they find on estate roads in the early hours of the morning, and these cases will be followed up with the residents concerned. Please note that the WRA stickers which were issued in the past aren’t intended to be used as a license for parking.
The onus is on all residents to help prevent parking on our roads, and we’d appreciate your help in achieving this.
INTERNET SPEEDS ACROSS THE ESTATE
“Are there any plans to replace the main telephone cables on the estate with optical fibre cable to improve the speed and reliability of our telephone and Internet service?”
No – the WRA has no powers to campaign on residents’ behalf for what would be a very welcome improvement. We suggest that if you are having problems with your broadband, you contact your service provider, especially if you are not receiving the service you are paying for. Before you contact your service provider, we suggest checking your broadband speed and have this information to hand when you contact them.
“How do I check my broadband speed?”
The following Speedtest website is a commonly-used site, but there can be a few pitfalls to all of these ‘free’ tests. There are always adverts and Speedtest is no exception. If you read the text, it invites you to do a ‘scan’ before running the test. It is not part of the test, so do NOT click ‘START SCAN’. You should click ‘BEGIN TEST’.
The correct link to the site is http://www.speedtest.net/
If you want to repeat the test, click on ‘TEST AGAIN’ – none of the other buttons.
“What affects the broadband speeds on the estate?”
Fast broadband speeds in excess of 30Mbps are currently achievable on the estate. These are dependent on the provider/package you have and possibly the wiring in your house.
“If I am having building works, what are the rules on contractors’ signage?”
Signage is allowed for the duration of the works but must be placed on or close to the premises. They must not obstruct verges. Contractors’ work signs should be removed within a short time (usually less than three days) after the work is completed. If signs are not removed within this timescale, the WRA may remove and dispose of them (with no recourse).
“How do I know what planning applications have been received by the WRA?”
If you are considered a ‘consulted neighbour’, Hobdens will write to you advising you of the application and ask for your comments/feedback (if any) to be advised within a set period of time. Not all works require neighbour consultation. If you are not considered a ‘consulted neighbour’, you will not be advised of any such applications.
“How do I know what planning applications have been submitted to Arun District Council?”
Arun District Council updates its website on a weekly basis with details of submitted planning applications. To view these applications, you need to simply check Arun’s website using the following link:
“Can I put temporary posts on my verge to protect it during nearby building work”
The WRA will allow residents opposite a house with building works to put temporary posts, flags or cones on the edge of the verge outside their house to dissuade construction and other vehicles from driving on the verge.
“Can I put a shipping container on my property during building works for storage”
No shipping containers or other storage units are allowed in gardens or on driveways or verges during building works without prior approval from the WRA
“Can I build a shed in my front garden?”
In accordance with property covenants, no sheds or other outbuildings can be installed in front of the existing building line of the property.
“Do I need permission for a skip on my property?”
Owners must advise Hobdens in advance if a skip is to be delivered to their property and the purpose for it unless it is in accordance with WRA building or landscape approval already issued (so the WRA can check no approvals or fees under the buildings and landscaping approvals policies are required). For pedestrian safety and convenience, skips must only be placed on the property’s own driveway or garden. If this is not feasible or would result in additional on road parking, the owner must contact WRA for prior approval.
“Are swimming pools and hot tubs allowed on the estate?”
Residents must minimise noise nuisance from pool machinery (pumps, filters etc.) by selection of equipment, location and sound-proofing and from bathers during use. In the event of noise nuisance, you will need to report it to the Council who are obliged by law to investigate all noise / nuisance reports. The Willowhayne Residents’ Association and Hobdens are unable to get involved in these disputes.
“Does the WRA register objections to building plans on the Council planning site?”
The WRA will not comment to Arun District Council (ADC) in respect of plans under consideration by them (unless there are exceptional circumstances) as they wish to keep WRA decisions independent of ADC and criteria for approval/consent are different between the two organisations.
“When are the estate rates sent out?”
The estate rates are sent out at the beginning of each year, as near to the 1st January as possible.
“When is payment of the estate rates due?”
Payment is due upon receipt of the invoice.
An administrative charge will be levied for any reminders that are sent.
“Will I receive a reminder if I have not made my payment?”
Yes, you will be sent a reminder from Hobdens. However this increases both our workload and administration costs and reduces the money we have available for spending on areas which would directly benefit the estate.
“What methods of payment do you accept?”
Internet banking transfer or cheque are both acceptable methods. We do ask that, however you pay, you clearly mark the payment with the reference number shown on the invoice for ease of identification.