The original developers of New Ash Green, Span, realised that if their vision of a special community was to be perpetuated over the years, there would have to be some way to keep some central control over on-going development and the maintainence of common services after they had left the scene. To do this they devised a set of covenants, managing bodies and byelaws to provide the structure they felt necessary.
Covenants on new, and older, developments were not a new idea – a lot of housing estates have them. The big difference in New Ash Green is that Span realised that in most places covenants become irrelevant once the developer has left the scene, because no-one bothers with them. Management of common services and community facilities can often be difficult if there is no strong management structure. So for New Ash Green, Span set up a system that attempted to address these common failings. To their credit, virtually all of the successors to Span bought into the system and there is therefore a consistent structure covering the whole of New Ash Green.
All property owners sign an agreement when buying their homes to abide by the covenants and to pass on the obligation to anyone to whom they sell the property. This means that the Village Association and Residents’ Societies are guaranteed the income they need to maintain the facilities in New Ash Green and they have the authority to take any necessary steps to secure the continuation of the system.
This does not mean that change is impossible and there are minor variations in the covenants and byelaws between neighbourhoods. Improvements were incorporated in the more recent developments and byelaws have been updated subsequently. Leasehold properties also need different controls to cater for different circumstances.
A sample set of covenants and byelaws is reproduced below but for the definitive version in a particular neighbourhood you should contact the relevant Residents’ Society.