Policies and Strategy Documents

The following policies are applicable when a new house is being built, a house is being substantially reordered and it is convenient to upgrade the facilities, or circumstances require a replacement or upgrading.

It should be noted that many houses presently fall short of some of these facilities and that there is no general commitment by the Committee to provide these standards in all houses.

Heating

A. Central heating in all rooms, with an additional secondary source in study and living room (usually an open fire in the living room and fitted gas or electric fire in the study). The method of heating may not be changed at Committee expense.

B. Any extensions to a system in an existing house to be decided on its merits but would normally have to be with PCC assistance.

C. Technical upgrading of existing systems i.e. thermostatic radiator valves will be considered on merit with a 50% maximum grant.

D. Conversion of central heating systems from oil to gas will be financed totally only where conversion constitutes a repair because of the dilapidated condition of the boiler.

E. The Committee meets the cost of an annual maintenance service of the central heating boiler by Mr. David Olive. Occupants are free to choose other engineers but the Committee meets only 50% of the cost.

Floor Coverings

A. A durable floor covering is provided for the kitchen, utility room, cloakroom, bathroom and shower room; this will be replaced only when it has reached the end of its useful life.

B. Hardwood floors are normally provided on the ground floor of new parsonage houses. To avoid damage they should never be covered by linoleum or vinyl sheeting and should never have carpets etc. stuck, glued, tacked or nailed to the surface.

C. In houses, which may happen to be carpeted because a previous occupant has left the carpets or provided by the PCC, such carpets become part of the fittings but are not eligible for replacement by the Diocese when they become worn. These ?inherited? carpets must not be removed when the occupant moves.

Kitchen/Utility Equipment

A. Washing machine and dishwasher connections to be provided.

B. The Committee is not responsible for cookers except cookers, which are built-in, or Aga type cookers. The committee will continue to be responsible for the repair works to these cookers whilst it remains economic to do so. Such a decision will be made by the Property Department. If the cooker / Aga repair becomes uneconomic the occupant will have to arrange and finance it?s replacement. It is not Committee policy to install Agas in any situation.

C. Extractor fans in kitchens and utility rooms will be provided where condensation or natural ventilation is a proven problem.

D. Kitchen units and worktops ? adequate provision but no standard number of units/cupboards identified. The Committee will not normally reorganise kitchen layout to suit the wishes of the occupant. Requests for modernisation are firmly controlled.

E. A sink in both kitchen and utility room, usually single bowl and double drainer in the kitchen, single bowl and single drainer in utility.

Insulation

A. In existing houses the Committee may be willing to meet the cost of upgrading roof insulation to current standards (less any grant available) on a DIY basis of 50% towards the cost of professional work.

B. During quinquennial surveys the Committee may be willing to meet the cost of upgrading the roof insulation to current Building Regulation requirements.

C. The committee will not provide cavity wall insulation to existing houses.

D. The committee will not permit occupants / PCCs to install cavity wall insulation.

Double Glazing

A. To be provided throughout to all new houses.

B. Double or secondary glazing is not normally provided to existing houses except where sound insulation is particularly important and instances where large north facing windows in halls or landings are responsible for significant heat loss. The Committee would normally expect other installations to be funded by the occupant and/or the PCC.

Roof Space

A. Provision of electric light.

B. Partial decking where the roof construction is suitable and required for storage, together with provision of a loft ladder.

Security

A. All new houses to be fitted with locks to ground floor windows, mortice locks and door chains to existing doors and spy hole viewers where applicable.

B. For existing houses mortice locks, spy hole viewers and door chains should be fitted at the time of the next quinquennial, if possible.

C. The Committee will pay for the supply of ground floor window locks on a DIY basis. In exceptionally difficult circumstances the Committee will meet the cost of fitting as well.

D. Only in exceptional cases where break-ins have occurred, will the Committee provide a contribution towards the installation of burglar alarm systems. The Committee?s principal concern is the safety of the occupant and the protection of the building and its fixtures. The security of personal property whether inside or outside the house is always the responsibility, and insurance liability, of the occupant.

E. If the installation of a security alarm is granted, the committee will contribute 50% towards the funding of the installation. The remaining balance will have to be met by the occupant. If the property is a Benefice House, the committee will apply for a grant to assist with the works from Marshall?s Charity (approximately ?250). The grant obtained will be used to assist the occupant?s contribution.

F. The Committee will not be responsible for the maintenance of burglar alarm systems. Occupants however, have to pay for the annual servicing of the alarms.

G. Security lighting will be provided to houses when requested by occupants. The committee will meet the cost of supplying and fitting 2no. security lights maximum per property.

H. It is not Committee policy to upgrade outside locks as a matter of course, but the Committee will consider upgrading when an existing lock is broken or damaged beyond repair.

Gardens

A. The following to be provided with a new house: –

* grass seeding or turfing to all lawn areas;

* planting of any trees, hedges or shrubs that form part of the conditions of any planning consent;

* provision of fencing, walling or hedging considered essential to adequate privacy together with a stock-proof main entrance gate;

* provision of adequate pedestrian pathways round the house to enable dry shod access to garage

* provision of parking and hard-standing (either tarmac or gravel) for a maximum of 3 visitors’ cars with as short an entrance drive as possible;

* an adequate paved area adjoining the house in a sheltered position for sitting out and children’s outdoor play;

* an outside tap.

B. Although consent from the Property Manager is not needed if an occupant plans to carry tree work at his/her own expense, it is essential that occupants contact Church House in advance of any work to ensure that the tree(s) is not subject to a Tree Preservation Order, or within a Conservation Area. In these circumstances planning approval from the Local Authority may be necessary. Please note that there is currently a £20,000 (maximum) fine for unauthorised tree work requiring Local Authority consent.

C. Ornamental trees, fruit trees, shrubs, and hedges are the responsibility of the occupant. The Committee will only assume responsibility for major works to large trees (eg. chestnuts, oaks, limes).

D. Under no circumstances should new conifer hedges be planted as they can cause serious damage to the foundations and drains of properties and create serious management problems.

E. If a new occupant to a property inherits a hedge which has grown out of check, consideration will be made during the ingoing for its removal or its substantial reduction so long as the occupant is prepared to agree to keep the hedge in good order thereafter. The committee does not expect to work on gardens and hedges, which have not been maintained by an existing occupant.

F. The responsibility for ongoing garden maintenance costs lies with the occupant.

G. A garden shed only if the garage is too small for additional storage.

H. Greenhouses are not provided. Where an occupant brings his/her own, or inherits one from his/her predecessor, he/she is responsible for insuring and maintaining it.

I. A half-ton solid fuel bunker or 600 galls. capacity oil tank is provided where necessary.

J. Maintenance of the drive at Diocesan expense will be considered on merit at the time of the quinquennial survey.

Housing Payments

Insurance
A. Houses are insured as part of a Diocesan group policy. In the event of any damage, which may be the subject of a claim, please contact the Property Department as soon as possible. The occupant is responsible for insuring the contents.

Leases
A. Clergy (or churchwardens during a vacancy) should not enter into any agreement to let any part of the clergy house or gardens without consultation with the Property Manager (the general principles as E12 apply). Under no circumstances should ‘informal’ gentleman’s agreements be entered into – experience has shown that these can lead to costly boundary disputes.

Water Rates and Council Tax
A. Water Rates and Council Tax are paid directly by The Diocese. It is important that the date of taking possession or of vacation is notified by the occupant to the Property Manager to whom any general problems should also be referred.

Replacement of Parsonages
A. For some years it has been Diocesan policy to replace old, overlarge and unsuitable parsonage houses, which are expensive both for the Diocese to maintain and the Incumbent to heat.

B. The sale of a parsonage and the purchase or construction of a replacement requires the consent of the Incumbent, the Bishop, the Houses Committee and the Church Commissioners. The PCC and the Patron are also consulted. The initiative for replacement may come from any of the parties listed.

C. With regard to the building of a new house, the Houses Committee will consult with the Incumbent about the proposed plan.

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