Council tax hike for Cranbrook

PUBLISHED: 06:55 10 March 2018

East Devon council tax. Picture: Thinkstock

East Devon council tax. Picture: Thinkstock

Archant

Cranbrook residents will soon be paying the highest council tax in East Devon.

Council tax bills – due in March – will see a price D band property in Cranbrook paying £1,996.29 for the year, the highest figure in East Devon.

It’s because the parish precept (the bill’s Cranbrook element) has lifted from £112,935 (2017-18) to £388,388 (2018-19).

The increase, says Cranbrook Town Council (CTC), is due to East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) decision not to adopt Cranbrook Country Park.

Following the abolition of Cranbrook’s Estate Rent Charge (ERC), from April 1, CTC will take on the ownership and responsibility of the park.

News of the increase came at CTC’s meeting on February 19.

“It will come as no surprise that Cranbrook’s residents will have the highest level of council tax in East Devon because our precept is having to be put up as high as it is,” said Kevin Blakey, CTC’s chair.

CTC agreed that Cranbrook residents should be made aware of the costs of the Country Park, the reason for the costs and the impact on council tax.

It was resolved that CTC would write to EDDC, regarding the impact of its decision not to adopt the Country Park.

“CTC has decided it’s better for the town if they no longer have an annual estate charge,” said an EDDC spokesperson. “This means that the cost of maintaining the areas of open space are paid for directly through the council tax.

“Previously, the council would negotiate with a developer a ‘commuted sum’ to cover the cost of the council adopting areas of green space and subsequently maintaining them. Increasingly, developers are unwilling to do this. Instead, they impose an annual estate charge on residents purchasing properties and the green space is then maintained by a management company.

“EDDC is supportive of CTC’s decision as it means the local community will own and control the assets of the town and can maintain them as they consider most appropriately into the future.”

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