Neston Residents See Red Over Pay Per View Proposal
||Published: 1st April 2016 06:24
Local residents are expressing anger over Government proposals to tax the view from their homes.
Early leaked plans for the next Budget will see residents throughout the Neston area bracing themselves to resist proposals to introduce a new 'Pay Per View' tax, as the Government explores ever more creative ways of addressing the national deficit.
Across the UK, homeowners whose dwellings are deemed to benefit from an attractive view, from any aspect of their property, could be subject to a property surcharge amounting to 0.5% of the property's market value, annually.
In and around the Neston area, this would have a significant impact.
A property in Parkgate, for example, with the stunning view over the marsh to North Wales, might attract a surcharge amounting to thousands of pounds. Burton, Little Neston and Willaston also boast many views that may force overlooking properties into the new charging system.
Just one of the stunning views from Parkgate that residents may soon have to pay for. Photo by Bernard Rose.
Residents are, naturally, up in arms about the plan, leaked from within the Department of the Exchequer today. Already beleagured by problems ranging from visitor parking to rubbish accumulation, particularly during finer weather, Parkgate residents in particular feel they already suffer enough from the effects of living in an environment with a subjective 'lovely view'.
Speaking exclusively to AboutMyArea CH64, Councillor Martin Barker, representative for Parkgate ward, said:
"This is completely outrageous.
"Residents in Parkgate already pay a considerable sum in Council Tax, not to mention other taxes and insurances and now they are being asked to cough up even more, just because they have a 'nice view' from their window.
"This is entirely coming from central government, but we will seek to have the decision overturned - we will fight it with everything we have!"
New 'Window Tax'
The 'Pay Per View' levy, as it has swiftly been branded, is not the first of its kind to appear in the UK. The 18th and 19th centuries saw the introduction of a hugely unpopular 'window tax' - essentially a property tax based on the number of windows in a house. Introduced in 1696 and repealed in 1851, the tax led to many people bricking up windows and doors in an attempt to lessen the impact of the tax.
Naturally there are fears that the same might happen now, having a devastating effect on the stunning architecture in the area. Parkgate would be significantly affected of course, as would homes throughout the CH64 area, particularly those with views over the marsh.
An impression of how the iconic Parkgate building that housed the former Mostyn House School might look if residents chose to brick up their windows to avoid the new tax.
Not everyone is against the tax however. Local resident Edna Harris agrees: "Why not charge for the view, they charge for everything else these days! Perhaps if people had to pay for their lovely vistas, they'd look at them more instead of being glued to the TV or laptop all the time."
Could your property be impacted by the proposed new tax levy? How might it impact your household budget? Who should judge what constitutes a taxable or non-taxable view? Let us know your thoughts and share your concerns in the comments section below.
UPDATE posted 12noon on 1.4.2016:
Thank you to everyone who joined in the fun with this year's April Fool article, both on here and our Facebook page. Regular readers will know that this is something we like to do every year and if you've not seen our previous efforts, they have all been put in one handy place for you to enjoy. Click here.
Meanwhile, AboutMyArea was not alone in Neston in trying to raise a few smiles today. The following photos were posted on our Facebook today:
From Bernard Rose, who said : "Checking through the local planning applications I found this about the designated helicopter landing area in Neston Market Square (application No. A14-1161812912/F16) The plans have been passed and work on the area is to be completed in the next three weeks. This will have serious implications for Neston Friday Market which will now have to move across the road to the Brook Street car park. The other concern will be for Neston Female Society who intended to start the Ladies Day walk from the square this year, should a helicopter come into land the ladies staffs could be a health and safety hazard, especially if any local photographer asks them to hold them up high for a photo opportunity. Due also to potential confusion and distraction to helicopter pilots, this years Christmas Lantern Parade will gather at The Malt Shovel and the procession will start from there instead. It has been made clear this is an official landing area but is no way connected or sponsored by Sainsburys although one of the first floor apartments is to be converted into a control room. Time will tell if this will be a popular facility for Neston which should bring a lot of revenue into the Town"
Then there was this one from Rob Clive, who said: "As many locals will be aware, the wrought iron lamp post that sits aloft the Bushell Fountain on Neston Cross has been absent for many months, purportedly removed for urgent repairs. However, some have speculated there may be darker reasons for it's departure.
And now, after much browbeating, emails and phone calls to Cheshire West and Chester Council, and Neston Town Council, I can confirm these suspicions. Unfortunately, the historic lamp will not be reappearing.
The Budget & Finance departments of the two councils, have jointly agreed to adopt a policy to the Bushell Memorial plinth, similar to that of London's Trafalgar Square, fourth plinth. There, a rolling programme of temporary artworks and business promotions, paid for by the respective parties, appear on a regular basis to help fill the Capital's coffers. It is hoped that similar investments in the 'Neston Plinth' will bear the same rewards. The first project, due to appear in three weeks, will be promoting 'Tinder', the online dating app. The image is an approximate idea of the finished work, as supplied to me by the advertising agency involved.
And finally, from Neston Community Youth Centre, who said: "Amazing, our gardening volunteers have just found one of these under the new compost bin. Anyone know what it is? Someone suggested it might be a welsh dragon..."
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