New Director to the Board - Miss Victoria Hewson

The Board of Directors of NPML is pleased to announce the appointment of Miss VICTORIA HEWSON to the Board of NPML through co-option. Miss Hewson's appointment will be presented to the shareholders for ratification at the next Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled for the summer of 2024. Miss Hewson has been a resident of Nocton Park for many years and thus knows the area well. She is committed to serving the community, managing the resources and to support and carry on the work of the Board on improving the community areas.

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New Director to the Board - Mr Kenny Mabbott

The Board of Directors of NPML is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. KENNY MABBOTT to the Board of NPML through co-option. Mr. Mabbott's appointment will be presented to the shareholders for ratification at the next Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled for the summer of 2024. Mr. Mabbott, a resident of Nocton Park, has expressed his willingness to dedicate his time and efforts to the Board and to serve his local community, with the aim of contributing to the overall improvement of Nocton Park.

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Litter and damage to the amenity area trees

Dear all community, We have recently noticed an increase in litter left in the amenity area, as well as several branches that appear to have been deliberately broken. Additionally, a rope swing was tied to one of the large trees. The Board understands that the amenity area is an attractive spot for the community, especially for children wishing to play. However, we respectfully ask all users to ensure they do not leave any litter behind as this is not only an environmental concern but also a potential safety hazard for other community members and local wildlife. Regarding the rope swing; the Board requests that no swings be attached to the trees in the amenity area. Doing so can damage the trees and pose serious safety risks to both the users of the swing and others who may come into contact with it. Thank you for your understanding and support. Regards, Board of Directors

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Rules and Regulations Section 20.7 Land Agreement

Please note all members of the community of Nocton Park: Under section 20.7 of the agreement between Peter Sowerby Developments and Nocton Park Management Ltd, all successors to the transfer (thus any properties that PS built) must be in "...compliance with and observance of the rules and regulations in respect of the Amenity Land from time to time published by NPML..". Please note the notice that has been published on the 22 May 2024. Any questions please contact the Managing Agent.

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Rules and regulation of the Amenity Land - Allotment Area

Please can all members of the Nocton Park community bereminded of the following long standing rule : that no personshould enter the individual plots on the allotment area of theamenity land without the authority of the Board of Directors ofNPML who have delegated the authority permission to the NoctonPark Allotment Association. Any attempt to enter individual plotswill be a breach of the formal land agreement between PeterSowerby Developments and NPML that all owners of propertyhave formal and contractually agreed through the covenant ontheir property they signed when it was purchased.This does not affect the concessionary right of way on the pathfrom the bridge, straight through the allotments area and ontothe public footpath through either gap in Anglian Water’s fence,or the concessionary right of way turning left from the bridgearound the edge of the Anglian Water compound, and down tojoin the public footpath at the gate.

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Service charge notices to PS Properties - clarification

The Board wishes to assure all PS Properties that the revised Service Charge notifications that went to all PS properties is for information only. For any PS Property that has paid in full early this year, the Board is currently reviewing the process to manage the overpayments. For any PS Property that pays by monthly instalments, the Board would recommend you leave the current payment rate as current and then cancel the payment after the September payment. Any questions at all - please contact the Managing Agent on enquiries@noctonpark.co.uk. Many thanks.

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Revised Service Charge for PS Properties following court decision

Following a decision by the Court following a claim by two individuals, NPML have sent out revised 2024 Service Charge notifications to all Peter Sowerby Properties. The Court found that the area currently leased to the Nocton Park Allotment Association should be reflected in the Service Charge for the Peter Sowerby Properties and it deemed that a 33% reduction in the service charge for the Peter Sowerby properties is appropriate. This will have a major impact on the finances of NPML and the Board is having to review the maintenance and investment plans for the amenity areas. The court decision was only for the PS Properties but a full statement to the shareholders will be sent out shortly.

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Tennis Courts - rubbish clear and dog waste

We wanted to update the community on the tennis court work. We have now cleared the tennis courts of the rubbish and detritus. This was undertaken by one of our directors in her own time. We have also replaced the tennis nets and hope that these can be looked after. We have found numerous examples of dog mess - we would please and firmly ask that no dogs are allowed on the courts as this creates a health hazard for the community for any mess.

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First cut of the grass by the new contractor

The new grass and tree contractor has started and undertaken the first full cut across the amenity areas. The first cut was not as short as some people hoped but we had to ensure that the grass wasn't damaged by the first cut of the season. We have arranged regular dates with the contractor and will do our best to keep up with the very quick growing grass across the spring, summer and autumn.

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Update on grass cutting

The Board wanted to update the Community on the start of the new grass cutting contract for 2024. The contractors are in today (26 March) and have started the specific works. They are also undertaking some minor tree work and so have agreed to come back this weekend to finish the grass work. We wanted the first cut to be careful not to damage grass and thus it will take a few cuts to get it to the right level without damaging the grass and weather dependant.

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Potholes on community roads in Nocton Park

The Board wanted to reassure the Community that we are currently seeking quotes from local contractors in regards to reviewing and fixing the potholes on some the community roads in Nocton Park. Once we know more we will ensure that the community is made aware.

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Grass Cutting 2024

The Board wish to give all the community an update of the grass cutting for the amenity and pathway areas for 2024. We had aimed to start the grass cutting last week but due the water logged grass and condition, it was felt that the cutting of the grass would then would damage the condition of the grass and it was pushed back. We can confirm that we are aiming to start the grass cutting next week (w/c 25 March) and then weather depending it is hoped it will be as regular was needed rising to fortnightly in the warmer months. Any queries please do not hesitate to contact the Managing Agent.

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New tennis nets

We have been able to replace the damaged tennis nets and will be arranging for the tennis courts to be fully swept and cleared in due course. Please can all the community be vigilant for any damage on the nets as the previous ones which were replaced had been vandalised unfortunately.

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New nets on the football goals

The Board wish to let the community aware that a new set of nets in the football goal posts. We are hoping that these are not damaged as he tennis nets were when replaced. If you see anyone damaging the nets, or see any damage please let our Managing Agent know so action can be taken. Please note that while the nets had to be paid for, the installation was done without any cost. Many thanks.

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Grass cutting on the estate

The Board wanted to update the community on the grass cutting for 2024. We have appointed a new contractor after a tender project and the new contractor will start the grass cuts in the next week hopefully. It was hoped that a first cut would be this week (w/c 04 March) but it was far too wet and would have damaged the grass. Please can we ask if there are comments on the grass cutting or any queries these are sent to our Managing Agent - not to the grass cutting contractor. This allows any issues to be managed properly. Many thanks.

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Warning to the person sending abusive and harassing emails

The Board wish to issue a formal warning to the person who has sent abusive and malicious emails through this website to the Board and Managing Agent. The abuse has been reported to the Police as well as the meta data of the person who accessed the website.

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Further update on the Play Park Project

Following the update provided by the Board on the 11 July 2023, the Directors would like to provide further information. Following a review by the contractor, the Board have seen extensive evidence of the turf taking root, and while the aesthetic look may take longer than hoped, they are confident that the turf in time will come to fit in with the remaining grassed area. The Board also wish to ensure the community are aware that a significant planned element of the new layout is the playground now has far better disabled access - this ensures that the playground is available for all, irrespective of mobility. The Board are also aware that there has been some damage and removal of some turf - they are aware of the persons responsible. The Directors wish to politely but firmly ask the community to not to attempt to remove or damage any area to ensure the area can be enjoyed by all.

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Play park and new flooring

Following the most recent stage of the Play Park Project, the Board appreciates that the recent work has possibly not been as effective or the standard as was hoped. We can confirm the contractor was chosen after being highly recommend to NPML. The Board and the Managing Agent are investigating the issue and will update all in due course as to what actions will be taken. The Board fully appreciates the frustration the playground flooring issuing has caused and can assure the community that the Board and Managing Agent will ensure it is rectified. In regard to the fence, this was removed after a safety inspection by a RoSPA authorised safety inspector stated that the fence was a safety hazard and that it should be removed. We can confirm that all the safety issues highlighted by the safety inspector have been rectified.

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Roads and the maintenance by NPML

As the community will be aware, as part of the Board's Works Programme, the roads in and around Nocton Park have been sprayed for weed growth and then swept by a commercial road sweeper. This was to ensure that the maintenance of these roads was brought up to date. The Board does appreciate these works have prompted some questions within the community, and the Board wishes to answer these. One issue that has been raised is: why weren't the adopted roads sprayed and swept? The Board wishes to remind you that for the adopted roads; NPML does not have the necessary permission or licence from the Highways Department at Lincolnshire County Council to undertake any work on the roads or pathways. Should NPML undertake this work, not only would the cost and liability rest with NPML but Highways may object strongly and issue proceedings. The responsibility for the adopted roads lies with the Highways Department. Thus, even if the Board wanted to undertake the works on these adopted roads, we could not as it may put the liability on NPML and cause unnecessary legal complications. The Board does appreciate that previous Boards, Agents and Contractors may have undertaken works on adopted roads - and while the Board do not wish to comment on these actions, the current Board take their legal responsibility seriously, and also they feel it would be inappropriate to use NPML funds for works for which they have no responsibility and may cause future problems. The Board does empathise with the frustration of the owners of properties around the adopted roads, and the Directors feel that these property owners should contact the Highways Department to question why the work has not been done, when the work will be done and what future plans there are to ensure the works are done. To conclude, the Board also wishes to respond to some owners of properties on unadopted roads who feel that the roads outside their homes have not been maintained. Unfortunately the design and size of some road areas meant that the large road sweeper was not able to attend, turn or move which meant that the contractor was unable to cover every part of every road. The Board will look to review this issue when future unadopted road maintenance is planned. Thank you to the community for your support.

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Annual General Meeting - NPML 10 August 2023

The Board wish to give notice to all shareholders of NPML that they are calling an AGM (as required by statute) on the 10 August 2023 at 6pm at the Nocton Hub. The formal notice letter and email to shareholders will be sent today with the details of the proposed agenda and invitation for shareholders to nominate any persons for the role of director. The agenda and proxy forms will be sent towards the end of July 2023. The Board do wish to confirm that following a decision by the shareholders in 2021 non-shareholders can attend the AGM but will not be entitled to vote, and with the permission and discretion of the Chair can ask limited questions.

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Road weed spraying and road sweeping on unadopted roads

The Board would like to confirm that they have agreed that following a review of the unadopted roads on NP, they have arranged for the unadopted roads to be sprayed with weedkiller on the 14 June 2023 and then the unadopted roads to be fully swept by a commercial roadsweeper on the 28 June. To ensure that as much of the roadway can be maintained, can we ask that cars are not left on the roads in NP from 9am to 5pm on those days. This is is also to ensure that no cars are at risk of any damage from these activities.

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Playground work on the amenity area

Following a full safety and operational use review by a RoSPA authorised safety inspector and a full report, the Board have fully reviewed the report and work has been agreed to commence. The fencing of the playground will be removed (as it was deemed not necessary) and the bark will be removed. The flooring area will then be levelled and new turf placed around all the area currently covered by bark. We have been advised that turfing is perfectly safe for the playground area but for additional safety there will be rubber matting at the ends of some of the play ground equipment. Whilst the Board appreciates this is a big change to the way the playground area will look, they feel that it is the best for not only safety but also for long term maintenance. It will be added to the area that our normal grass cutting contractor will maintain. If any of the community of NP wishes to have the wooden fencing or the bark please let the Managing Agent know.

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Successful defence by NPML of contractor claim in court

The Board wishes to make the shareholders and community aware that they have successfully defended a claim by a former contractor in Lincoln County Court. The District Judge agreed that the claim had no basis as the actual grounds and substantial elements had not be proven. The Judge therefore threw the case out. The Board had tried on numerous occasions to offer a fair settlement 'as a goodwill gesture' to stop any costs or resources being used but this was rejected by the claimant. The Board then had no alternative but to defend the claim - a defence which was supposed by evidence and ultimately successful.

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Clarification of wording for the former Peter Sowerby Service Charge demands

Following on from the various issues raised by some PS properties in regard to the wording of the Service Charge demands recently received, and the wording for the 2022 and the initial 2023 Notices, the Board wished to offer some clarity.  The Directors fully appreciate that some of the PS Property Owners have wished for clarification. Following very helpful clarification and suggestion from HM Court, the Board reviewed the specific wording of the Notices and have issued amended documents to all PS Property owners - either by email (if the email address has been provided) or by post.  The wording on the Notices for 2022 and initially in 2023 is what the Board felt represented what they did for the community - in that they are managing the Nocton Park amenity area estate and the needs of the remaining Park which they are responsible for. There was no suggestion or stipulation that it was for anything else. The Board have decided that the specific section of the original covenant signed by the Board of NPML and the initial developer (the covenant also applies to the successors - i.e., the subsequent purchasers of the houses that the developer built) will be quoted on the demands - this was specifically and very clearly suggested by the Court in a recent case.  As some have asked if there will be any further changes to the service charge demands in 2024, the Board can confirm that unless any legal advice is received to the contrary, the 2024 demands which will be sent out in early January 2024 will state as follows: NOTICE OF SERVICE CHARGE FOR 2024 As specified in the Deed of Covenant on your property (s1.1 and s1.2) which states the contractual commitments and permissions of each party and was agreed by the current property owner as successors of the original covenant agreement. The Board, appreciate the concern some property owners in the PS area of Nocton Park may have felt, and hope that this issue can now be put behind everyone and the Board can continue to focus on the betterment of the whole community. For note - the scanned document has been uploaded to the NPML Articles section of this website.

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Clarity on the recent Court case

Following on from a recent court case involving one of the members of the community, the Board wishes to clarify some inaccuracies and ensure the community is fully aware of the actual facts of the matter, and to give some context. The Board first wish to ensure the Community is aware of a recent social media update from a 'Chris Alexander' , and the fact that this name is an alias for a member of the community who has a history of making unfounded allegations, rumours and causing the community much angst whilst not being willing to be honest about who they are. The Board encourages conversation, but it should be able to expect to deal with actual people - not people who hide behind an anonymous shield. The conversation should be non-confrontational and courteous, without unfounded assertions or allegations. The Board work very hard for the community - all the community including the PS properties - and should not have to deal with abuse, threats or unfounded allegations. The Board has a legal and fiduciary obligation to ensure that all members of the community who have a legal contractual convent on their property pay their legal commitment.  If any properties do not pay, the Board will do their upmost to encourage payment, offering payment plans and as much discretion as possible.  But there is a line when the Board have no option but to take the debt collection to a Court for them to make an order.  This is only done after at least four or even five opportunities are given for payment.  If the Board does not ensure that properties pay their obligation, then eventually NPML will be in the same financially perilous position it was when the new Board and Managing Agent took over in September 2021.  At that point there was in excess of £10k owed in service charges - this had a devastating effect on the ability of the Board to pay for the much needed maintenance and capital investment.  At that point NPML was heading for insolvency. On joining the Board the current Directors had to take this perilous position seriously and had to ensure all that properties paid their contractual obligation, and by doing so this debt level was reduced from in excess of £10k to around £1,300 by the end of 2022.  This has allowed the Board to authorise the much-needed work on the playground, ensure the much loved walnut tree in the Akrotiri Square was cared for, and to start the major work on the Park boundaries, including tree management and the forthcoming clean-up of the ditch which runs across the amenity land. If the Board permit one property to neglect their financial obligation to NPML, then it would take a very short period of time for all properties to think they can ignore their obligation and before long the whole company of NPML, and thus the managed areas would fall into disrepair and left completely unmanaged. I am sure the community would agree this is not the option that the vast majority of the community would want. The Directors do wish to clarify and make the following point very clear - the decision to take someone to court is made very reluctantly and it is the absolute last port of call. Regarding the recent court case against a PS Property Owner, the suggestions that the Judge made various threats (about sending the Managing Agent to prison), that it was a fraudulent claim, that the defence was successful, that the Judge agreed with the defendant in totality - are not correct, they are preposterous and an attempt to besmirch the Board and Managing Agent.  The Judge did thank the Managing Agent for the honest evidence on multiple occasions. The District Judge did make various comments to the Defendant that he did have an option to pay on numerous occasions the amount due (which the defendant has always agreed but chose never to pay - yet enjoyed the use of the amenity area for the last year) and that it was very unfortunate that this dispute has ended up in court. Whilst the Judge did clarify what the formal demand should say and what it shouldn't, which the Managing Agent agreed was the best way forward, it was made clear to the defendant that he should pay the service charge at the earliest opportunity and could have done so over the last year. If this had been paid, then all of this unfortunate episode would not have had to happen. The Managing Agent or Board were not directed or instructed by the Judge, nor was any threat made - he did make some suggestions as to the best way forward and clarified the following: 1. The formal demand should say 'Service Charge'  2. The formal demand should say as follows:  'as per the Deed of Covenant section 1.1 and section 1.2' - this the contractual commitment of each party of the deed of covenant signed upon purchase of the property.  This contract section states that the charge is for the use of the community amenity area and the requirement to pay the service charge which is due annually.  He did clarify that the formal demand does not have to state 'for the use of the amenity land' as this was implied in the contractual terms. The decision to withdraw the claim was the professional decision of the Managing Agent in order to ensure that the Board could follow the suggestions of the Judge.  This allowed all parties, both the Board and the defendant to reflect upon the Judge's suggestions and proceed as was recommended. The Board will never shy away from undertaking its obligations to ensure that NPML remains financial secure.  The Directors are very pleased and proud that in 2022 and early 2023, more properties paid their service charge than ever before, there are fewer than ever properties in debt for the service charge account, more residents have expressed their satisfaction than ever before and there has been a big reduction in complaints.  While the Board does recognise that there are some members of the community who have expressed their dissatisfaction with some decisions of the Board, the vast majority of the community are supportive on the endeavours who recognise the significant work being done for the betterment of the whole of Nocton Park. The Directors wish to thank everyone for their support and look forward to a harmonious community relationship with all.

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