1. What is the Nocton Park Management Ltd (NPML) and what do they do?
2. What areas of Nocton Park do NPML manage and have responsibility for?
- Nocton Park Management Limited is a company limited by shareholders capital which was set up to manage the former RAF estate when it was de-commissioned. The company is owned by its shareholders – each property that was in existence as part of the old RAF base owns one share of NPML and the owners of the property have a right to vote at an AGM or EGM.
- The company owns the blocks of flats as well as the amenity lands around the Park and is run by a Board of Directors who are voted in by the shareholders of NPML at an AGM or EGM, or are co-opted onto the Board by the Directors.
- The Board of Directors, who are registered at Companies House, have a legal and fiduciary duty to run NPML for the interests of the shareholders and the community as a whole. They have to ensure that the health & safety, financial interests and the operational requirements of Nocton Park are met to at least the legal minimum standard.
- The Board of Directors also appoint the Managing Agent to run NPML on a day to day basis.
3. Who is on the Board of Directors on NPML?
- NPML primarily have a legal responsibility for protecting and maintaining the amenity areas and the block of flats. This includes ensuring that the areas such as the tennis courts, netball court, the wooded areas, the grassed areas and the playpark are inspected regularly and that any maintenance required is managed. This also includes the large-scale grass cutting of the grassed areas as well as the management of the trees in the Park, both with or without Tree Protection Orders.
- The final areas that NPML manage and provide is the streetlighting on the original roads of the former RAF base.The areas of responsibilities also ensure that the external areas of the flats are maintained and the communal areas of the blocks of flats are cleaned and decorated when needed. The requisite insurance for the flats buildings is managed by NPML as well as any regular capital maintenance on the physical buildings.
- They also have a duty to maintain the roads around the properties that existed on the community when the old RAF base was de-commissioned. The remaining roads, particularly around the properties on the Peter Sowerby Developments, are not under the obligation of NPML. These are the responsibility of Peter Sowerby Developments and they should be maintained by this company.
There are currently (as at August 2023) two directors on the Board of NPML. They are:
4. What do the Board of Directors do?
- Mrs Alison Cooke – Chair of the Board of Directors
- Mrs Julie Wallhead
The Board of Directors have a legal responsibility under various pieces of legislation, including the Companies Act 1985, the Companies Act 2006 and various other smaller legislation.
The main responsibilities are:
5. If I want join the Board of Directors, what qualifications or experience do I need and how do I join?
- That the company operated within it’s Articles of Association (it’s own internal reason for being and its internal rules)
- To exercise independent judgement, reasonable care and skill for the better of the company
- They have to ensure that the Company operates within the law and does not do anything that would damage the company, the shareholder’s interests or the community to which it serves.
- They have to ensure that the company operates within its financial means and does not allow the company to become insolvent.
- That it holds a regular Annual General Meeting and manages the regular re-appointment or appointment of Directors of the Board
- That as a Board, they ensure that each Director is not-disqualified from acting in the role of a Director or has a non-declared conflict of interest
- That the company submits the required documents to Companies House for examination by the general public
- Overall, the duties of the Directors are to ensure the company is run to the best of its ability and that it is (as much as possible) a success in the management of Nocton Park for the benefit of its shareholders and the wider community of Nocton Park.
- To be a director of NPML, you don’t need to have any formal qualifications or specific experience – just a strong commitment to be part of a team to help the Nocton Park Community. Any previous experience of either property management, building or horticultural is obviously a great benefit but overall all you need to have is some spare time to attend Board meetings (either held online or face face) and help with some day to day minor issues that the Board need to attend to.
There are two main routes to joining the Board of Directors:
- Apply to become a director through a nomination at the Annual General Meeting. This will require you to be nominated by at least two shareholders. The nomination is then put forward at the AGM and is voted upon by the shareholders by a simple majority
- Apply to become a director through the co-option route. This requires a formal application to be made to the current Board of Directors who will decide on your suitability. A formal vote will then be had by the current Board of Directors and if they agree you will be formally invited to join the Board.
6. What are the differences of in the Nocton Park between different properties?
- In regard to both routes, before you become a director you will need to confirm that there is no legal stipulation that prohibits you becoming a director of a company.
There are three different types of properties in Nocton Park in regard to the operational management. The three different types are:
- Shareholder properties – these are properties that were on Nocton Park when the area was a previous RAF base. These properties have a share in the Nocton Park Management Company and are entitled to vote at AGM and EGMs. They are required to pay an annual Estate Management Charge which is set the Board of Directors. These properties are at Akrotiri Square, Khormaksar Drive, Fayid Lane, Steamer Point Road, Wegberg Road, Habbaniya Rise and Rostrop Road.
- Shareholder Flats – these are leasehold flats that were also on Nocton Park when the area was a previous RAF base. These properties have a share in the Nocton Park Management Company and are entitled to vote at AGM and EGMs. The freehold of the property is owned by NPML but each have a private lease owner. The flats are the Hallside and Woodside Flats – both on Khormaksar Drive. They are required to pay an annual Service Charge which is set by the Board of Directors.
7. Who is the Managing Agent of the Board and what do they do?
- Former Peter Sowerby Development Properties - these are properties that were built since the former RAF base was decommissioned and sold off. These properties were built by the developer but while they are on Nocton Park, they do not have any shareholding of NPML nor do they have any right to vote at any formal NPML meeting. They are required to pay an annual Service Charge which any rise from the previous year is contractually limited by the Retail Price Index percentage of the previous year. The properties are on Bridleway Close, Chestnut Close, Nocton Park Road, Woodland Drive and Holly Close.
8. What is the yearly Service Charge for and how is it calculated?
- The Managing Agent is SR Baxter Business Consulting who manage the day to day issues of the operational side of the Nocton Park on behalf of the Board of Directors. They have a wealth of experience in managing properties and are fully insured, qualified in accountancy and have significant knowledge of contract management.
- They are the main contact for the community and contractors but operate under the direction of the Board. They are responsible for ensuring that the Health and Safety issues are managed and also ensuring that the properties on the Nocton Park meet their legal and financial commitments, and provide legal, financial and strategic advice to the Board.
- All major decisions on operational issues in Nocton Park are made by the Board but then are organised, reviewed and managed by the Managing Agent.
- They are the first point of contact for any queries by the community – the contact email is: email@example.com
- The yearly service charge is the contractually agreed payment that all properties in Nocton Park have formally agreed to as part of the covenant on their property to pay towards the protection and management of the estate and amenity areas of Nocton Park.
- The yearly service charge for the properties is calculated by the Board of Directors towards the end of the previous year using the Office of National Statistics’ data on the Retail Price Index (RPI). The usual process is that the Board will use the RPI of November of the previous year which is published in December but the Board do reserve the right, as in 2022, that they may use the annual average if they feel the RPI for November is disproportionally and unusually high.
- The total annual charges that each type of properties pay in Nocton Park for 2023 is as follows:
- Shareholder properties: £ 321.75
- Shareholder Leased Flats: £1,087.83*
- Former Peter Sowerby development properties: £ 167.89
*The Flat pay an additional Charge on top of the shareholder service charge for the maintenance, insurance and provision of works on the flats which is included in their liability.9. In regard to Peter Sowerby Development properties, what is the position in regard to invoices?
10. What does the Board of Directors do with the annual Service Charges that the properties in Nocton Park have to pay?
- The annual Service Charge is a contractual charge made by NPML because of the liability as agreed when the property owner signed the Deed of Covenant which relates to the original covenant signed by the developer and the original owner (under section 1.1 and section 1.2)
- NPML’s previous managing Agents have all been limited companies. They gathered in the fees and paid them into their client bank accounts. As limited companies they had to raise invoices for tax purposes. NPML however collect the charges directly into its own account and so this is not necessary.
- The TP1 says VAT, if applicable, should be duly invoiced. As the notice NPML issues is a notice of a yearly service charge and not chargeable goods or services then VAT is not applicable, so no invoice is necessary. It was clarified in Court that the 'invoice' is implied by the Notice of Demand
- NPML’s notices of the annual service charge clearly refer back to your covenant/TP1 which defines what you are paying for and to whom, so no further elaboration on the Notice is necessary.
- In summary, the Service Charge is a contractual charge made by NPML and paid but the property owner because of the Deed of Covenant/TP1, in consideration for the use of the amenity land and protection of the estate.
11. Why do I have to pay the yearly Service Charge?
- The funds that are collected from all properties in Nocton Park are used for the protection of the Estate and for the benefit and protection of the Amenity Land. The funds collected solely for the benefit of the whole estate to allow the Board of Directors to be able to ensure that proper maintenance and capital investment can be undertaken and to ensure the company can be run properly, professionally and for the needs of the community.
12. What happens if I do not pay or can’t afford to pay the yearly Service Charges?
- Every property on Nocton Park, as part of the initial house purchase, agrees to a covenant to pay an annual Service Charge (for flats there is an additional Service Charge).
- The covenant is legally agreed contract between the property owner (or the lease owner in regard to flats) and the Board of Directors of NPML. The covenant requires the property owner to pay the requested amount of charges by a certain date as detailed by section 20.1 of the TPI
- If the financial covenants aren’t adhered to, it would have big effect on the ability of the Board to look after the whole Park including the amenity areas.
13. How does the Board decide what works projects it undertakes and how does Board decide on each contractor for the necessary work?
- The Board have duty on behalf of the shareholders and the community of Nocton Park to ensure that all properties in Nocton Park pay their obligated amount to ensure they have sufficient funds to undertake the necessary maintenance and capital investment.
- The Board would ask any member of the community who may be struggling to pay their covenant obligations to contact the Managing Agent at the earliest opportunity so that the Board can consider what help it can offer.
- Whilst the Board will always be as accommodating as possible for persons who are struggling to pay the yearly Service Charge, they do have legal duty to ensure all contractual charges are paid and thus they may consider as a last resort in extreme cases to seek court action to ensure funds are paid.
14. What areas of Nocton Park am I entitled to use as a resident of Nocton Park?
- The Board continually reviews the priorities of Nocton Park to ensure that the urgent needs are met as a priority. As the current Board have only been in the role for four months, they are still assessing the current and urgent needs to ensure that health & safety is prioritised. They have now started to review what the medium and long term needs of Nocton Park – both for general maintenance as well as formal capital investment.
- In regard to choosing contractors for works, the Board will then pass to the Managing Agent the work specification needed to be undertaken.
- As the Managing Agent is responsible for contacting prospective contractors for any work, he will then seek appropriate contractors and invite them to place a quote or estimate, or in the case of a very large contract a formal tender. Once at least 2-3 quotes or tenders have been received (if possible), the Managing Agent will then submit these to the Board for a decision. The decision is not just based on cost – although this is a very important element. The additional aspects such as quality of work, references and the impact of the work on Nocton Park. They may also consider the timeframe of the work undertaken. Overall the most important element is the value for money as it is the community’s funds that is being used.
- Once the contractor have been chosen, the Managing Agent will then liaise with the contractor in regard to the actual works and report back to the Board when everything is completed. The Board will also seek to ensure the community is aware.
15. In regard to the allotments on Nocton Park, how do I get an allotment if I wanted one?
- All residents of Nocton Park can use all the facilities on Nocton Park including the tennis courts, net ball court, grasslands, wooded area and the playpark. The upkeep and maintenance of these are paid for through the Estate Management Charges funds that all properties contribute and thus the Board would invite all the community to enjoy the facilities.
16. If I have a question about a particular issue that needs attention in the Park, who do I contact and by what means?
- There is a set of allotments on Nocton Park for the community to use. Whilst the allotments are on Nocton Park, they are run by the Nocton Park Allotment Association, not NPML.
- If you wish to apply for one, please contact the Nocton Park Allotments Association. Further details of who to contact can be supplied for upon request.
17. If I have a question or query about the running of Nocton Park for the Board, how do I pose the question to the Board?
- For any queries on the day to day issues, the Managing Agent has responsibility, as delegated from the Board of Directors, and thus he is the first point of contact. If the issue is not urgent, please email details of the issue to firstname.lastname@example.org or if there is a degree of urgency please contact the Managing Agent on 07814443058.
18. Do the Board intend to have community meetings in the village where members of the community can speak to the directors in person? If so, when?
- The Board of Directors welcome any communication from residents of the community of Nocton Park and will happily answer any questions.
- If you wish to ask the Board any questions, please will you forward the question to the Managing Agent on the following address: email@example.com. Please be assured that all requests or questions placed for the attention to the Board are passed to them for their note and reply. The Board will respond as quick as possible but please be patient as all the Directors do work full time as there may be a slight delay.
- The Boards may decide to hold future community meetings at the Nocton Hub to give all the community of Nocton Park to ask questions of the Board and Management Agent.
- The Board held the AGM in October 2022 and all members of the community were invited.
- The Board will welcome any queries placed to them through the normal email address and all queries received the Board will review and provide an answer as much as they can but just ask for patience as all the Directors work full time.
- The Board have agreed that the Frequently Asked Questions page will be regularly updated and will ensure that any regular questions from the community will be added to ensure that all the community can receive answers to questions they may have in addition.