Water Feature Eastbourne

Columbus Point Water Feature, Sovereign Harbour South, Eastbourne


Archived News from 2014.

Warning - some of this old information may not reflect the current position.

23 Dec 2014 - An Update on the water feature issues, and a copy of the presentation given to the CPRA AGM on the 28 November, were emailed to those residents on our email database.

21 Nov 2014 - The main fountain remains switched off while a leak is being traced and repaired.

25 Oct 2014 - The CPS engineers tell us that they expect to have the feature up and running again early next week following some repair and investigation works.

21 Oct 2014 - Fell Reynolds have posted out to property owners the budget and their invoice for the anticipated costs of the water feature service charge for 2014/15. The total amount is £150,089.49, which amounts to £406.75 per property. The budget figures were considered, reduced and agreed to by the Owners Committee (OC), and an explanatory OC letter accompanied the invoice. Click here to read it... If you are a covenanted property owner who has not received an invoice please contact Fell Renolds.

17 Oct 2014 - The Owners’ Committee (OC) again met with Persimmon/Aria and EBC Officials under the chairmanship of Stephen Lloyd MP. Further progress was made  and some of our previous concerns were put to rest. Persimmon indicated that they would like a handover to happen sooner rather than later.

15 Oct 2014 - We have now been informed that the initial drop in the water level was due to the failure of a pump and that further reduced water levels are needed to allow the contractor (CPS Ltd) to replace the pump and to check the integrity and condition of the pipe work associated with the main central fountain.

14 Oct 2014 - A sudden and noticeable drop in the water level was reported to Fell Reynolds on Friday 10 Oct. They were informed again today (Tuesday 14th).

24 Sept 2014 - We noticed the fountains had stopped working last Friday afternoon. Phone calls to report this to Fell Reynolds reached only a recorded message. We subsequently learned from CPS (the contractor employed by Fell Reynolds), that the fountains were switched off to the pumps. CPS also told us that they used the opportunity to remove debris from the feature. We will raise the matter of lack of communication with FR and Aria.

27 July 2014 - The Owners Committee write to CPMCL members setting out details of the recent agreement, the transitional phrase, the appointment of interim directors and the next steps. Click here to read it...

22 July 2014 - The Water Feature Action Group (WFAG) will now take a back seat while a newly formed group called the "Owners' Committee" will directly engage with Persimmon and Aria as we move towards the handover of CPMCL to property owners control. WFAG, and the local resident associations CPRA and DCRA, are all represented on the new Owners Committee (OC).

Five members of the OC have put their names forward to act as interim directors of CPMCL when needed. It is envisaged that following handover they would manage the company until a full AGM is held to properly elect CPMCL members to act as directors on a new board.

04 July 2014 - Of the 369 covenanted properties, owners of more than 350 have now signed the new deed of covenant. Talks with EBC, Persimmon/Aria and Fell Reynolds about the handover of the management company (CPMCL) to owners' control continue.

19 June 2014 - Eastbourne Borough Council and Ward Councilor Gordon Jenkins wrote to owners who have not signed the new deed with background information to encourage them to do so. Click here to read the letter...

 17 June 2014 - Stephen Lloyd MP wrote to property owners who have not signed the new deed setting out the current situation and encouraging them to do so. Click here to read the letter...

07 June 2014 - To remove Persimmon's threat of court action, over 80% of property owners signed the new deed of covenant. Those owners have had the legal action against them withdrawn and will not pay the claimed back-charges. Because the 80% conditional target was reached, Persimmon have said they will fund CPMCL to the tune of £175K as agreed, and that this amount could increase.

09 May 2014 - Following much debate, consultation and advice seeking, the WFAG have suggested that the best thing for property owners to do in the current trying and worrying circumstances, is to accept the Part 36 offer contained in the claim documents. The offer consists of the cancellation of the claimed back service charges in exchange for signing the new deed of covenant. In addition, if a target of 80% owners sign up, Aria will pump-prime CPMCL with £175,000 at handover.

22 April 2014 - High Court legal claim documents (summonses) are delivered to property owners on behalf of Aria and CPMCL (the claimants). The claimants are seeking to obtain orders from the court to require all relevant owners to pay the present arrears of service charges, and to obtain declarations from the court that all relevant owners are required to pay the water feature service charge.

23 March 2014 -WFAG and CPRA are continuing to press the developer, Persimmon Homes, to reach a negotiated settlement and there are proposals on the table that are under consideration. Our MP, Stephen Lloyd, and Ward Councilor, Gordon Jenkins are assisting and doing their best to keep the dialogue going. Also, the legal advice route, funded by the Legal Fighting Fund, continues to be actively pursued.

06 March 2014 - Aria/CPMCL respond to our letter of 28 February in a rather negative and disappointing manner. Click here to read it...

04 March 2014 - We are very grateful to the many owners who responded to our request for views on the latest proposal. The responses reflected a broad range of opinions, ranging from those who would be prepared to accept the present proposal, to those who would be reluctant to ever sign a new covenant. The majority of responses indicated that although seeing merit in the proposal and agreeing to it in principle, they felt that there would be great difficulty in securing the required number of signed new covenants. All the views expressed are being taken into account in our negotiations.

02 March 2014 - In view of the 'Letter Before Claim' documents sent to property owners by solicitors in January, and following the interesting meeting on the 13 February (see below), the main remit of the Legal Fighting Fund was switched. It was decided that instead of focusing on a LEASE tribunal application, it was better to instruct a specialist solicitor to advise owners on various aspects of the whole water feature issue. This change prompted more owners to join the Fund.

28 February 2014 - WFAG, CPRA and DCRA jointly write to CPMCL agreeing in principle to the latest proposal but seeking clarification on a number of important matters. Click here to view the letter...

17 February 2014 - CPMCL reply to the Associations' letter of 13 Feb. CPMCL response letter...

13 February 2014 - The CPRA arranged a meeting for property owners at the Yacht Club at which solicitor, Mr Paul Barnes, of ODT Solicitors of Brighton, who specialise in the Landlord and Tenant Act, advised both leaseholders and freeholders on their possible defence options in light of the CW Letter of Claim. He explained how, if engaged, he could challenge the developers, CPMCL and Clarke Willmott. Over 120 owners attended.

13 February 2014 - WFAG, CPRA and DCRA jointly wrote to Persimmon to seek more information and clarification on the latest proposal. Letter to Persimmon...

11 February 2014 - We received the long-awaited new proposal from Persimmon. Although it contains one or two improvements, it is mostly the same as their original proposal. It is very disappointing that much of what was discussed with them at the last joint meeting has not appeared in the new proposal.  The main points are:

• Aria/Persimmon to fund CPMCL with £150,000.
• CPMCL to be handed over to the owners.
• The water feature freehold to be signed over to CPMCL.
• Aria/CPMCL to waive service charges demanded to date.
• Aria Homes to bear further maintenance costs up to 30 April 2014.

The condition is that 80% of the 369 relevant owners will need to be signed up to the new covenants by an agreed date. Please click here for the full proposal.

The major sticking point remains Persimmon’s insistence that owners must sign the new deed of covenant that contains the additional Section 6 with its all-encompassing no further liability clause in Aria/Persimmon’s favour.

22 January 2014 - A call to all owners to commit £100 to establish a Legal Fighting Fund to back a proposed,  professionally supported application to the LEASE First-tier Tribunal is made. Well over 100 owners signed up by 1st February 2014.

14 January 2014 - Despite the on-going negotiations, CPMCL solicitors Clarke Willmott post 'Letter Before Claim' documents to property owners seeking payment of overdue back charges of over £1000 by 21 February 2014.

10 January 2014 - A relatively positive meeting chaired by Stephen Lloyd MP took place between us, EBC officials and Persimmon. Persimmon had not been able to accept the property owners' counter proposal, but a new proposal was proposed and debated. Further details will be made available when Persimmon report back to us - they said they hoped to do within a week.

Timeline of earlier history (1993-2013), please click here.... (PDF file)

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