Queen Elizabeth Park, Guildford: compliance with Estate Covenants
During the lockdown many people have been thinking about home maintenance and decoration.
However, it has been noticed that some householders have made changes to the appearance of their home which directly contravene the covenants which all house purchasers agreed and signed up to when they bought their home in QEP. Even if you are not the original purchaser, these covenants will have been included in your transfer documents, as they apply for all time.
QEP Homeowners are not allowed to make any significant change to the external appearance of their properties without planning permission. All ‘permitted development’ rights were removed from QEP right from the outset, and this will remain so forever unless Guildford Borough Council chooses to remove this planning condition. This means that even if you want to change the appearance of your windows or have a small extension, you must get planning permission. (Not all builders know this, so please do not take the word of a builder or even an architect; the situation in QEP is unusual, and is not what usually applies.)
The Guildford Borough Council planning department has advised that enquiries about proposed changes – such as installing new windows, adding extensions large or small, erecting a new fence, or any other alteration to the exterior appearance of a QEP property – should be sent to [email protected]. They may advise that a very small change does not need planning permission, but each case would be judged on its own merits.
In addition, one of the restrictive covenants specifically stipulates that “the external decorative parts of the said dwellinghouse (and garage where applicable)” must only be “painted and stained in the colour originally painted or stained by the Transferor” [i.e. the developers Laing, Linden or Miller]. This means that QEP householders:
Unfortunately if you have already made such a change to your property you will be required to restore it to its original colour. Information on the prescribed colours may be obtained from Hazelvine.
The reason for this rather strict rule is that the developerswanted to make sure that the unique and distinctive character of the estate was preserved, for the benefit of current and future residents. It must not be allowed to become a patchwork of different colours and finishes. Most present homeowners seem to share this view.
Those with off-white rendering on their property might like to know that this does not need painting, but specialist cleaning. Some homeowners have already had this done. If you would like information about this, please ask.
Estate agents have from time to time told residents that the pleasant character of the estate is one of the reasons why QEP properties sell well and fetch good prices. If this character is compromised by homeowners who thoughtlessly change the appearance of their house, to the detriment of the surrounding area, it risks reducing the amenity and value of the estate for everyone.
Colours for QEP houses (Laing and Linden):
The green cladding is: Zinsser Allcoat exterior satin (water based) in soft apple.
The porch and balcony wood is: Sadolin classic wood protection in Mahogany.
The black railings such as on Railton Road: Hammerite metal paint (5158235) in smooth black.
These products are sold online and in DIY retailers.