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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.
View from Parkgate, photo by Bernard RoseJust 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 Introduced in 1696 and repealed in 1851, the tax led to many people bricking up windows and doors in an attempt to lessen the impact of the tax.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.
Residents up in arms at possible Pay Per View taxAn 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"

April 1st photos - Bernard Rose

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.

April 1st photos - Rob Clive

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..."

April 1st Photo - NCYC


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At 09:10 on 1st April 2016, Tony commented:
Disgraceful! Do we get a refund if we live in the town centre and have to look at Shand all day?
andy w
At 09:12 on 1st April 2016, andy w commented:
This is outrageous I have already been on to the council and we will be issuing black sticky back plastic free to block up your view and avoid the tax and I will be liaising with Martin about the possibility of raising the height of the wall on the front to about 5 metres to block the view off, that will teach the government
null n
At 09:17 on 1st April 2016, null n commented:
Sorry but I think this is an excellent idea ! I am fed up of my Parkgate relatives bragging about "the view" while I am left overlooking an industrial estate ! I have already spoken to the local estate agent not 5 minutes ago and been advised my property has increased in value as will not be subject to this new "tax" so its good news for us Northern Nestoners

Something else you may need to consider. I believe commercial properties will pay far more than residential in the same way as they do for other pay per view services. This cost will have to be passed on to the customers and I believe a number of parkgate pubs and cafe's are already considering a "50p per drink" surcharge for those who want to sit in the front windows or sit outside. There is no surcharge if you sit in the back of the premise however and agree not to face the front of the building.
null n
At 10:44 on 1st April 2016, null n commented:
Sorry Andy but building a 5 metre wall on Parkgate front is ridiculous.

People on the top floor of the redeveloped Mostyn House will still be subject to the tax. Can I suggest you measure this again and maybe look at 10 metres. There is a similar sized wall already in use around HMP Walton if you need some architectural input.
andy w
At 10:54 on 1st April 2016, andy w commented:
Thanks Dan I was so angry at this unwarranted tax that I wasn't thinking straight of course it needs to be at least 10 metres but I think we can skip the razor wire as per HMP Walton
John Cartlidge
At 10:56 on 1st April 2016, John Cartlidge commented:
Andy, Dan,
Surely far better to just demolish Parkgate.
null n
At 11:00 on 1st April 2016, null n commented:

After doing some more research I have found a loophole. The view has to be "real". You cannot be taxed for looking at a nice picture for example so can I suggest:

1. Get Linda or Bernard to take a panoramic photo of the Parkgate front on a sunny day.

2. Build the wall

3. Get the photo turned into a huge panoramic "picture", laminated of course, and fix this to the wall.

That way people still have the view but as its just a picture it gets around the tax. Also on rainy days the view is still sunny ! Win-Win all round.

Agreed razor wire is going too far but how about an electric net instead to catch some of those pesky mosquito's that try and fly over.
null n
At 11:02 on 1st April 2016, null n commented:
John please don't suggest that. if you demolish Parkgate then the people of Neston will have the view over the marshes instead, and they will have to pay the tax.

Where would that end ? Demolish Neston ? Then Willaston ? How far do we have to go before its no longer considered a view ?
John Cartlidge
At 11:03 on 1st April 2016, John Cartlidge commented:
Andy, a cheaper version of your idea would be to issue spectacles to all residents / visitors with images of the view on the inner surface, with options such as Caribbean islands, steam engines, puppies, whatever takes their fancy.
John Cartlidge
At 11:05 on 1st April 2016, John Cartlidge commented:
Good point Dan. Do you think there could be partial tax relief for an interrupted view, say a tree or a multitude of ice cream eaters?
John Cartlidge
At 11:11 on 1st April 2016, John Cartlidge commented:
What about night workers who sleep all day; surely they should be exempted and what about visitors? In Tsarist Russia those who wanted to have a beard had to pay a fee and wear a medal to confirm they had paid the charge. So, anybody who wants to look at the view should wear a similar badge, or a beard.
null n
At 11:25 on 1st April 2016, null n commented:
How do you prove that John ? Also how do you prove the tree was there or what if the ice cream eaters move on ?

Its all going to be subject to red tape .. build the wall as Andy suggests and there is no ambiguity. Paint it white in places and the Elephant Bar can host a Pink Floyd music night with a backdrop to match ! There are so many benefits people haven't even considered !
John Cartlidge
At 11:31 on 1st April 2016, John Cartlidge commented:
Right Dan, 30 minutes to go...

What about the foundations; after all it is a marsh? And will the birders need some kind of access a la Checkpoint Charlie?
Katie Robson
At 11:38 on 1st April 2016, Katie Robson responded:
A beard, definitely a beard.
null n
At 12:22 on 1st April 2016, null n commented:
All good fun.

One of the best April Fool's ever was many years ago where one of the Radio City DJ's announced live on air that due to unusually low tides and unseasonally warm weather the Mersey had dried up and the Mayor of Liverpool was going to shake hands with the Mayor of Birkenhead in the middle of the dried up river at Midday.

Unfortunately an hour later they had to retract it quickly when all local roads became gridlocked by people trying to get to the river bank to see this unusual event.
Katie Robson
At 12:28 on 1st April 2016, Katie Robson responded:
Good one. Yes, in these days of t'interweb, things tend to get given away a bit too soon. I wish people could hold themselves back from announcing 'April Fool' on it at 7 in the morning before most people have had a chance to read it!

Ah well, tis nice to address the lighter side of life.
Susan C
At 19:47 on 1st April 2016, Susan C commented:
It will of course mean some income for CWaC as people will have to apply for planning permission to paint the black and white fake timber framing on the bare bricks. A nice little earner.

You need to log in before you can do that! It's only a quick registration process to join the AMA network and completely free.

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