We often get asked questions about service provision in Fernwood so we hope this page is helpful. If you have any questions, please contact us and we will endeavour to help.
The following questions have been answered below:
- Why is there a management company looking after the open spaces in Fernwood Central?
- Why doesn’t the Parish Council want management companies in new developments in the village?
- Can’t we just pay the Council to look after the open spaces in Fernwood Central?
- I don’t know who owns what in Fernwood or who looks after it. Can you shed any light on this?
- Can we have an improved play area in Fernwood Central?
- What does the Parish Council do to stop us paying management fees?
- Why don't you provide allotments?
- I’ve heard there are going to be thousands of new houses in Fernwood. Is this right and where can I find details?
- What is happening with the water tower?
1. Why is there a management company looking after the open spaces in Fernwood Central?
Our understanding is that when the developer was negotiating to transfer the land to NSDC to look after, the developer thought the figure that NSDC wanted to take it over was too much so they chose a management company option instead.
2. Why doesn’t the Parish Council want management companies in new developments in the village?
First of all we need to say, we believe the grounds team looking after the open space in Fernwood do a good job.
The charges are the main concern. The grounds maintenance fee seems relatively reasonable however the ‘management charge’ is too high. Residents also have to pay FirstPort for changing their mortgage and selling their house on top of these fees. These are all costs that can be avoided if a management company is not in place.
There is nothing to cap these fees and freeholders do not have the same rights as leaseholders. This is something the Parish Council is campaigning for.
Having the land being maintained by a Council is not for profit and shared across residents through the precept.
Having the land owned and managed by a local council with elected representatives, that is open and transparent and regularly communicates and consults with residents seem fairer and less costly.
3. Can’t we just pay the Council to look after the open spaces in Fernwood Central?
The arrangements put in place for the maintenance of Fernwood Central using a management company ties us in to a 999 year lease. The short answer is we cannot do this easily.
There is wording on the deeds of homes which have the management charge about holding a referendum to change the management company. (The wording can be found in the HM Land Registry TP1 document, that all Fernwood home owners, that pay the management charge, have their own copy of). This does not appear straight forward or clear. It would appear this is in the remit of the Residents Association; we understand they don’t have the resources or expertise to do this.
We have sought advice on what the best approach would be and have been advised getting the freehold of the land (i.e. Getting the developer to transfer the land to the Council) is the best way forward. This way the agreement will between the Council and the management company and we can then try to make sure residents are being treated fairly.
4. I don’t know who owns what in Fernwood or who looks after it. Can you shed any light on this?
The following table summarises what we know about the open spaces/community resources in Fernwood
Dale Crescent Green
Fernwood Parish Council
Fernwood Parish Council
Woodland behind Fernwood Day Nursery
Balderton Hall (private owner)
The Parish Council is currently in the process of buying the majority of this.
Remaining open spaces
Barratt David Wilson Homes
The Parish Council is working with Newark and Sherwood District Council to get the land transferred to the Council.
Newark and Sherwood District Council
Fernwood Parish Council
Transfer of ownership to Fernwood Parish Council has been agreed and the legal work is being done.
Car Park between the Village Hall and Nursery
* One of our Parish Councillors has offered to tidy up and do some planting in their flowerbed just outside the front door of the village hall. This will be started in April 2021
Click on our Information and Contacts tab on this website to find lots of information on who looks after public services in Fernwood
5. Can we have an improved play area in Fernwood Central?
For a new/improved play area in Fernwood Central, we would first need to consult with all residents to see if there is a consensus/demand for a new play area.
The Parish Council is trying to get the freehold of the land which will make the installation of the park more straight forward (if there is a consensus/demand for a new play area).
With the current ownership/management arrangements, the Parish Council would have to put into place legal agreements with the landowner and the management company. If the land is owned by the Council this will be more straightforward.
As soon as the land transfer has been completed we will consult and get this project moving.
6. What does the Parish Council do to stop us paying management fees?
It is not ideal having some people paying and some not as the costs are not shared fairly. However the arrangements put in place by the developer for Fernwood Central using a management company ties us in to a 999 year lease. The short answer is we cannot do this.
However, the Parish Council is trying to get the freehold of the open spaces in Fernwood Central because this puts the village in a better position in terms of new facilities and making sure that fee paying residents are getting good value and treated fairly.
At the moment the land is owned by the developer still so the agreement is between them and the management company. We rely on the Residents Association to make sure we are getting value for money and to address residents’ concerns.
With the land in the ownership of the Council, we will be better placed and resourced to ensure we are getting value for money for residents. To make any changes in the open spaces, agreements would only need to be in place between the Council and the management company, rather than 3 parties.
7. Why don’t you provide allotments?
The Parish Council did a review on this in 2020 which can be read here. The good news is allotments are planned in the new developments so they are coming. In the meantime, we can put you in touch with a local farmer in Claypole who offers allotments – contact our Clerk if you are interested.
8. I’ve heard there are going to be thousands of new houses in Fernwood. Is this right and where can I find details?
There are plans in place for more than 3000 new homes in Fernwood so our village is going to change significantly. Full details of the plans can be found on Newark and Sherwood District Council’s planning portal. The Developments in Fernwood tab of this website gives you a summary of the major developments in the Parish over the next 10 years. We’ve tried to pull out key links and information.
9. What is happening with the Water Tower?
This was bought by a private investor and the Parish Council has not be informed of the plans for the tower. Previously, planning permission has been granted to convert it into apartments.