Bolnore residents are celebrating the end of a lengthy campaign to take charge of their community, in a move thought to be one of the largest of its kind in the UK, it has been confirmed.
They say that December 1, 2016 will forever be remembered in the village as ‘the day the community came together to begin a new, independent future led by its own Community Interest Company and freely appointed Pembroke Property Management’.
The first three phases of the development consist of around 850 properties (over 400 houses and 30 blocks of flats) which Pembroke will now be managing.
The previous agent, Peverel OM (since rebranded as FirstPort) was put in place by developer Crest Nicholson to manage and maintain the communal facilities of the village, and collect estate charges from property owners for a period up to five years after the sale of the last property.
Three years ago a small group of residents got together to begin the process to trigger a village-wide referendum, which went out in June this year and residents voted overwhelmingly to pass control over to a newly created Bolnore Village Community Interest Company (“BVCIC”).
Pembroke was chosen by the BVCIC through a competitive tender process involving nine potential managing agents.
Residents’ said that apart from being a local company with great connections to London, Pembroke offered a ‘refreshing customer service experience’.
Being responsive, working collaboratively and providing cost transparency are all key to Pembroke’s brand promise.
Pembroke’s in-house legal expertise was a key differentiator in the tender process.
The work of extracting management from the UK’s largest agent was led by Pembroke’s Legal & Compliance Director, Claire Hollywood, who is an ex-city real estate solicitor.
Claire said: “There is definitely a feeling out there that all property managers are basically the same and that there is nothing residents can do about it. Bolnore has proved that to be wrong.”
Chris Belton, chairman of Bolnore Village Community Interest Company, added: “It has been hard work for the four resident Community Interest Company Directors to get the village to this point but the outcome has been well worth the effort.
“I am grateful for all the help that Pembroke has been able to provide, for without this it would have been a lot harder, of that I have no doubt.
“We look forward to working with Pembroke to return the reputation of the village as being a great place to live.”
All agreements with existing contractors have now been cancelled with effect from December 1, and new third-party landscapers and maintenance companies will be appointed through tender process.
Both the BVCIC and Pembroke have agreed that wherever possible, local contractors will be appointed.
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