Loram Estate (contributed by Ray Spiller)
The Loram Estate, [Loram Way and its related byways] is unusual in that all its public spaces, such as the grassed areas and woodland are owned by an entity called the “Open Spaces Charity Trust” and administered by Estates and Management, a London management company, who still have it listed as “Heathervale Estate” as some older residents may remember it. Following the recent financial crisis they have been unable to fund regular maintenance of these areas, so in 2011 the residents set up the Loram Maintenance Group to take up these duties and have since, thanks to contributions from the residents together with both Exeter and Devon County Councils and the Big Lottery Fund they have put together an impressive array of equipment to help them achieve these objectives and created flower beds and a wildlife area, which recently received an “Outstanding” award from the Royal Horticulture Society in the “It’s Your Neighbourhood” assessment.
Recently the Open Spaces Charity Trust applied for permission from the Charity Commission to sell off parcels of land to residents in order to relieve the financial burdens upon them and as all this land will come with covenants restricting its use to being Public Open Spaces it was proposed that, apart from land adjoining residents’ back gardens, the rest of the land may be passed on to a Trust, or similar organisation, representing the residents. As the Loram Maintenance Group had neither the time or the resources to take on these responsibilities a separate group called the Loram Open Spaces Group has been set up to handle these negotiations and these are proceeding at the time of writing. A successful outcome, from the residents’ point of view can obviously not be guaranteed but we all believe that, with good will on both sides, this should eventually be possible, although this has all taken far longer than first envisaged.