The Park Estate - Nottingham
Park Estate
The Park Estate - Nottingham
Heritage and Conservation
The Park Conservation Plan
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A Brief History of the Nottingham Park Estate

The Nottingham Park Estate is a well-defined residential area of some 150 acres just to the west of Nottingham City Centre. Prior to its construction, The Park had been owned by the Dukes of Newcastle, the owners of the Castle, and was used for general recreational purposes. It was designed by the pre-eminent architect Thomas Chambers Hine for the fifth Duke of Newcastle as a quality residential estate in the early 1850s. Earlier housing, dating from c1828-1832 and designed by Peter Frederick Robinson, was mainly confined to the perimeter of the estate. The Park has remained an address of some distinction until the present day. The earliest leases contained covenants prohibiting businesses of any kind being set up on the Estate. Despite this, some commercial activity did begin to occur but was confined to the perimeter of the Estate. The majority of The Park has always been residential with a small amount of land being set aside for recreation.

In 1938 the ownership of the Estate was acquired by the Oxford University Chest and thereafter, until its acquisition by the Company, managed on their behalf by a London-based firm of solicitors. In 1986 negotiations between The Park Residents Association and Oxford University Chest, which had been continuing for many years, reached fruition and the ownership of the Estate, together with the rights and responsibilities that went with that ownership, were transferred to the newly formed Company limited by guarantee, The Nottingham Park Estate Limited.

All properties within the Estate were originally leasehold for a period of 99 years, but from 1940 onwards Oxford University Chest began selling the freeholds. By 1986 all freeholds had been disposed of. The Park, nevertheless remained a private estate and the Company took over responsibilities for the maintenance of the roads, footpaths and common areas within the Estate. In order to do this, the Company had the ‘right’ to levy 15% of the General Municipal Rate on all freeholds within the Estate. The amount payable to Nottingham City Council had historically been 15% less than other properties within the City to reflect the cost to Oxford University Chest of maintaining the Estate. The statutory basis for that ‘discount’ was The Nottingham Borough Extension Act 1877 as amended.

The Local Government Finance Act 1988 abolished the rating system with effect from 1st April 1990 and introduced the Community Charge. Accordingly the arrangement for funding the Company ceased. Of necessity the Company promoted the Nottingham Park Estate Bill through Parliament, which became law in April 1990. As a result, the Nottingham Park Estate Limited, a private company limited by guarantee, was established with the legal powers to raise funds for The Park Estate.

The administration of the gas lighting system, previously undertaken by the Residents’ Association, also passed to the Company in 1987.

At the time of the take over of the responsibilities from Oxford University, the priorities of the new Company were: to improve the roads and footpath surfaces; reduce parking by unauthorised users (by 1987 The Park Estate had become something of an inner city parking lot); reduce the volume of through traffic (The Park suffered from through traffic using The Park as a shortcut to bypass the congested the inner ring road); and generally improve the amenities within The Park Estate. Section 14 of the Nottingham Park Estate Act 1990 refers to the powers given to the Company for stopping up roads and traffic regulations.

One of the major reasons for setting up the Company was to enable the local property owners to have a voice in how The Park Estate should be run, and how the Rent charge collected should be spent. For that reason, the Directors are keen to encourage those who are eligible to become Members. Membership of the Company brings with it entitlement to vote for Directors, attend Annual General Meetings, receive copies of the report and Accounts and generally have a say in the running of the Company (see Membership section for details).

If you are interested in the history and development of The Park Estate there are a number of publications that give additional information. Among these is a booklet by Ken Brand - “The Park Estate Nottingham”. Also available is the Nottingham Park Conservation Trust Park Conservation Plan 1995, which is a study of the history and the then current state of buildings, trees, lights and open spaces within The Park Estate. 

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The Park Estate - Nottingham