Spalding residents are grassed off by poor service

GRASSED OFF:  Irvin Parkin (left with strimmer) and Blair King (right with mower) are joined by families from Harveys Close, Spalding, on the main green which some of them claim has not been maintained properly by Greenbelt Energy Ltd since it took on responsibility for it in November 2013.  Photo by Tim Wilson.  SG270617-227TW.
GRASSED OFF: Irvin Parkin (left with strimmer) and Blair King (right with mower) are joined by families from Harveys Close, Spalding, on the main green which some of them claim has not been maintained properly by Greenbelt Energy Ltd since it took on responsibility for it in November 2013. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG270617-227TW.
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Fed up families on a Spalding estate are putting “localism” into action as a protest about the poor maintenance of their green.

Residents from Harveys Close have claimed that environmental firm Greenbelt Energy Ltd (GEL) has failed to look after a green outside their homes since it was transferred over to them in November 2013.

About two years ago, it started to be done a lot more irregularly and I noticed that a gentleman would come out with a petrol strimmer and cut it

Blair King, of Harveys Close, Spalding

However, GEL has categorically denied the claim and revealed instead that the agreement reached when it took on the land stated no obligation to maintain the green to a specific standard or frequency of cuts.

Nevertheless, some of the residents have now taken matters into their own hands by cutting the grass themselves to stop it turning into “a forest of dandelions, thistles and couch grass”

Blair King, of Harveys Close, said: “I’ve lived here for about ten years and the grass used to be cut quite regularly.

“But about two years ago, it started to be done a lot more irregularly and I noticed that a gentleman would come out with a petrol strimmer and cut it.

“I then found out that the green had been adopted by GEL and so I contacted them by email but without much joy.

“So I stepped up the ante by emailing GEL and they finally came out in March this year.

“But they just felled the grass like a meadow so myself and a neighbour decided to do it ourselves.”

Another Harveys Close resident, Julie Slator, emailed GEL last June and said: “I myself have two young children who would like to play here.

“But due to the fact that nobody has been to cut this area to date, I do not allow them to go on it as, in some areas and without exaggeration, the grass is one metre tall.

“A retired gentleman who lives on the estate has taken it upon himself to trim this area using a hand-held strimmer which can take him several days when doing the job for a couple of hours.

“It is not his responsibility but, as he wants the estate to look tidy, he does his best.”

The estate was originally built in the early 2000s by Allison Homes, now part of Bourne-based Larkfleet Homes, which was bought by Kier Homes (part of the Kier Living group) in 2001.

A Kier Living spokesman said: “We can confirm that the public open space at the former Allison Homes development in Harveys Close was transferred over to GEL in November 2013.

“There is no land on this development that remains in Kier Living’s ownership.”

Meanwhile, GEL Managing Director Dominic Ryan said: “We have owned the land for nearly four years but are not contracted to look after the green area for residents who do not contribute any money to support maintenance.

“Despite this, we do manage and maintain the open space for the free use of everyone, entirely at our own cost.

“In this rare instance, the contractor has let us down and so we are making arrangements to have our green area attended to immediately, again entirely at our own cost.

“We urge any resident or councillor who wishes to discuss the green area to contact GEL direct as we are always happy to listen and to help.”