Poundbury is an exemplar residential development scheme delivered by the Duchy of Cornwall that demands a certain level of attention to ensure its architectural merit and public realm is maintained to the standard originally delivered as part of Prince Charles’ Vision for a modern development.
As Poundbury has expanded, three separate Management Companies have been formed to manage, maintain and eventually own significant parts of common areas of the estate on behalf of residents in the long term.
Each household/owner is issued with one share in the respective management company (MANCO). The MANCOs are three separate limited companies, each managed by a team of volunteer directors – usually residents in the respective areas of Poundbury – and supported by a representative from the Duchy of Cornwall. The Companies are:
- Poundbury (MANCO 1) Limited – Company No. 02946917
- Poundbury (MANCO 2) Limited – Company No. 03568444
- Poundbury (MANCO 3) Limited – Company No. 04969598
The Duchy retains a ‘Golden Share’ in each area of Poundbury which provides a veto if required – for example to prevent divergence too far from the founding principles of the Prince’s Vision.
Almost without exception, streets within Poundbury will not fall within MANCO ownership or responsibility (a notable exception being Holmead Walk in MANCO 1).
Ownership and the Adoption process in Poundbury
As areas (by plot numbers) of Poundbury become completed and sold, they are handed over to the Duchy of Cornwall (DoC) from the developers. Plans and specifications are checked by the DoC with correction where needed to a satisfactory condition. MANCO’s have no role.
Over time the DoC prepare some parts of the Estate for formal transfer and ownership by Dorset Council (DC), typically:
- roads, footways and associated infrastructure (e.g Street lighting)
This process is known as adoption. As financial responsibility passes permanently to the DC at adoption this is a complex process in terms of legal and engineering agreements.
All other parts of the Estate remain private, sometimes called common or community areas. During the period from handover from the developers MANCOs provide some management, maintenance and covenanted services to these areas for the property owners, including rules defined by binding stipulations. Eventually all private common or community areas will be assessed and prepared for adoption from the DoC to the appropriate MANCO. Typically, this means:
- courtyards, mews, parking areas and other open spaces.
At this point the MANCO becomes responsible not only for management of stipulations and routine maintenance but also capital projects and asset replacement in order to preserve the quality of the estate. In other words full ownership and responsibility. This process will require independent joint inspection to ensure the assets handover is correct, legal and reasonable as the shareholders will from that point forward pay for the full upkeep of the common areas of the estate. In summary the Poundbury estate will end up managed and owned either by Dorset Council OR a Poundbury MANCO. The Duchy of Cornwall will maintain a watching brief on standards by board membership on each of the MANCO boards.
- MANCO1 fully adopted all private areas from the DoC some years ago. This means as above they have ownership of all processes, management and assets of the common areas that are NOT adopted by the DC.
- MANCO 2 & 3 have not formally adopted any of the private areas from the DoC but provide covenanted management and routine maintenance services listed in this website on behalf of MANCO shareholders.
The Role Of Our Managing Agents
With effect from 3 February, Symonds & Sampson Estate Agents have been contracted by the three Poundbury Management Companies (MANCOs) as managing agents to deliver the day-to-day estate management, including repairs and maintenance, in all the courtyards and common areas of Poundbury. Opportunities for introduction and discussion with the Symonds & Sampson team were planned for the 2020 round of AGMs. All sadly postponed until later in the year.
Prior to their appointment, the administration of all reported maintenance issues fell to individual volunteer Directors, who received reports, carried out any site confirmation visits, identified the contractors required and oversaw work completion. With the continued expansion of Poundbury, this routine and detailed work has increasingly diverted Directors from the more strategic issues and forward planning which are core elements of their roles.
Reports of issues such as blocked drains, faulty lights or surface problems in any of the courtyards are now made direct onto the joint MANCO website as previously or via a new dedicated telephone number. These go directly to Symonds & Sampson staff who make any site visits and commission appropriate tradespeople to deal with the issues.
Benefits of this new arrangement include efficient centralised recording, standardisation of approach, consistency of contractor deployment and opportunities for savings – arising from economies of scale. In addition, Directors can now concentrate efforts on more strategic issues, while providing oversight of the managed service.
Appointing and selection processes were flagged and discussed at 2019 AGM’s. Costs for this service have already been factored into the annual fees for 2020.
Anyone wishing to report an issue should do so online as normal via the shared MANCO website at www.poundburymanco.co.uk or call the dedicated telephone line at 01305-756968.