The Green Room

Welcome to The Green Room, where you can read all the latest news from Greenbelt. Simply click on the links below to find out about our new developments, community projects and charity events. There is also up-to-date advice from our gardening guru and top tips for becoming more involved in the Greenbelt community. If there is a particular topic you’re interested in, use the search function to take you straight to the relevant articles.

greenbelt success makes legal history

Greenbelt recently won significant victory in a landmark case in Perth Sheriff Court when, after more than two and a half years of legal wrangling by a disgruntled resident, the court eventually found in Greenbelt's favour, including an award of expenses.

This must rate as one of the longest running small claims cases in Scottish legal history.

Edmund Andrew Forbes from our Balgarvie development in Scone, launched a small claims case against us in May 2009 for around £150. This was for the price of two years annual management charge, claiming the company had not done any work in that time. As the specification provides for routine maintenance to be carried out approximately every two weeks from April to October and monthly visits from November to March, to claim no work had been carried out at all for two years was obviously incorrect. The development would have resembled a jungle in that time had this been true.

While Mr Forbes produced witnesses to back up his claim and had support from a few disaffected Greenbelt customers, the case was eventually thrown out on 30 September.

"Common sense has prevailed", said John Beveridge, Head of Customer Services with Greenbelt. "We told Mr Forbes, in writing, in March 2009 that his claim was nonsense. Now, after taking up over 2½ years of court time he has failed to convince the Sheriff of his case as well and we are happy this has now been found in our favour", he added. "This is a great outcome for Greenbelt."

The court found that: -

  • Management and maintenance of the development did take place to specification and therefore there was no breach of contract by Greenbelt;
  • The development was maintained sufficiently well to satisfy the planning authority and no complaint or enforcement action was ever taken by them;
  • The developer was satisfied with the standard and level of maintenance.

"In my opinion Mr Forbes was sadly misguided and badly advised", said Mr Beveridge. "He was egged on by irresponsible individuals with no knowledge of the law and intent on pursuing a personal vendetta against the company. This will be a huge blow to their so-called anti Greenbelt campaign", he stated. "The development is looking good, customers are paying on time, there are no current Customer Care issues, and our contractor is performing well."

Mr Beveridge added, "Importantly, the Judgement supports our right to charge - and be paid - for a fair and legal business undertaking. It also justifies Greenbelt's actions to pursue all outstanding debt, and strengthens its legal rights to do so".

The Sheriff-Principal's written judgement was received on 14 October 2011.

As of 23 November, Mr Forbes has now also paid all outstanding expenses due by him.

greenbelt supports drumsagard trust

The Drumsagard Trust at Cambuslang near Glasgow, have pulled off a remarkable partnership success when an official ceremony took place to formally open a new play facility for the community.

The Trust, led by its Secretary William McPadden, and the Drumsagard Village Residents Association, secured a new all purpose community facility. The pitch can accommodate hockey, football, tennis, and basketball. It took ten years of fundraising, and Greenbelt's contribution to the project - as owners of the land - was to grant permission for the project to be installed on our land.

"We would like to thank the Greenbelt Group for all their help in providing these facilities which will be well used by all the residents of Drumsagard Village and we hope to continue the good working relationship which has helped improve the development over many years", said William McPadden.

The official ceremony took place at the end of August, attended by the local MSP, councillors and invited guests.

greenbelt's international judges

Greenbelt staff judge entries at Tollcross International Rose Trials

Two of Greenbelt's most experienced staff have been invited to be judges at this month's Tollcross International Rose Trials in Glasgow.

Janet McQuillan, Head of Operations, and Gerry Gillespie, Regional Operations Manager, have 70 years experience of horticulture and arboriculture between them. In addition, Greenbelt have certain species of rose on some developments, so their knowledge and experience is backed up with practical day to day skills.

The event takes place on 25 and 26 August, 2011.

greenbelt’s response to scottish government consultation – maintenance of land on private housing estates

Greenbelt has provided a hard-hitting and frank set of responses to The Scottish Government discussion of options for the maintenance of open spaces on private housing estates.

The consultation closed on 06 June and all responses are due to be published on its website; but you can read for yourself the Greenbelt response here.

Our response points out a failure to understand key issues by The Scottish Government, Office of Fair Trading, and Consumer Focus Scotland. For example, the use of the term "switching" fails to grasp that each customer signs a legally binding agreement to contribute to a fair and equal cost of the management and maintenance of the development open spaces, as one part of a whole development. This is NOT like an energy supplier, insurance provider, or bank, where a customer can choose to change from one business to another. The issue is to "dismiss, transfer ownership and replace". A further example is that Greenbelt is a land owner, but the document fails to demonstrate how the proposed legislation would affect ownership.

just champion!

Greenbelt donates trophy to school football tournament at Springfield Park

Greenbelt has been supporting the Friends of Springfield Park, a voluntary group set up to promote the public use of one of Greenbelt's sites at Morley, Leeds.

Read more: just champion!