Newcastle North MP Catherine McKinnell has spoken in Parliament to highlight the ongoing plight of residents in Newcastle during the debate on the King’s Speech.


As part of the Government’s programme for the next year, some reforms to leaseholds have been announced, however, there was no mention of estate management fees, such as those paid on Gosforth’s Newcastle Great Park.


Speaking in the debate, Catherine outlined that despite some residents on Newcastle Great Park living there for over a decade, the area remains unadopted with those living there paying a service charge on top of Council Tax.

Catherine commented: “Some residents have lived there for over a decade. They are paying service charges on top of their council tax, yet they are left with hazardous pavements and roads and have been waiting for promised community facilities for years on end.


Residents are left in limbo without any real plan for when their estate will be finished and adopted. Children are growing up and leaving home before a proper pavement appears outside their house. Residents deserve certainty at the very least about the timescales within which adoption should take place.”


Following her speech Catherine added: “Whilst some changes to leasehold are welcome, they are long overdue and do not go far enough in relation to existing leaseholders. The government have once again missed an opportunity when it comes to service charges on estates.


“For too long these residents have been left in limbo, without any action towards estates getting adopted, whilst at the same time paying service charges on top of council tax. The King’s Speech was an opportunity to address this and yet once again the Government have failed residents on Newcastle, including those on the Great Park”.


Notes –

In 2021, during the previous Queen’s Speech debate, Catherine raised the issues of Newcastle Great Park and housing development – and highlighted concerns with the proposed planning changes, which were later dropped –

In 2019, Catherine co-sponsored The Freehold Properties (Management Charges and Shared Facilities) Bill, seeking to cap estate maintenance fees, ensure shared facilities are maintained to an adequate standard and allow for self-management of communal areas by resident groups.