Useful contact details:

Multistream Estates Ltd
Simon: penstowe@multistreamestates.co.uk
Estate office landline: 01288 321734
Site emergency phone: 07909 770890
 
Multistream Leisure Ltd:
Katie
Multistream Leisure Ltd
Tel – 07984 754 753
E – mail – multistreamleisure@outlook.com
Multistream Leisure Ltd
Penstowe Manor Kilkhampton, Bude CW EX23 9QY
 
Facebook pages for Club Penstowe and links to Hoseasons bookings:
https://www.facebook.com/clublodgesatpenstowepark

 

A potted history of The Penstowe site

This was written up by me Kevin Doona, it has been proofread and approved by Tony and Roger to send out to try and outline about the Penstowe Park site. 
I hope this may help some, especially newer owners, but it is not mandatory reading and if you think it is just the ramblings of an old man with too much time on his hands that’s fine too.
I have tried to be factual and left out opinion as much as I can but Writing was never my forte at school and I have no ideas of being a writer so this is not the start of by first book. I am told I don’t put enough punctuation in my writings so sorry if a bit hard to read.
Happy to clarify anything that doesn’t make sense.

We have as a family been involved in the life of Penstowe for over 10 years now and love the place and it wish to see the place flourish and grow.
This probably makes me seem a Penstowe Geek knowing all this stuff but I like to understand things and base my thoughts on facts, so over the years and particularly when I was Chair for 4 years I did some digging and gathering.
I believe all I write is true as far as I know but happy to be corrected on anything not quite right.
 

There are just over 230 units across the site from the original units on the Drive and Manor to the  Bungalows along the Drive and the very latest 2 Manor Lodges built in the last 5 years. We still have on site some original owners who bought their properties ”Off Plan” when the site was initially launched.
Initially the plan was to sell properties Leasehold, but even at that initial stage some owners asked the then owner if they could buy the Freehold, with an agreed price and term the Freehold option was introduced.
Some years later when the then owner of the site was short of money, “That sounds familiar too doesn’t it”, he offered the current Leaseholders the option to buy the Freehold. For the units that didn’t take that option on he put the units Freehold in “Lots” and sold them on the open market. Several people bought these, the largest being Pallisters who bought a total of 89 units across the site but dotted around so we have say a pair of semi-detached where there is a Freehold owner attached to a Leasehold owner.
When these units were sold off a Freehold agreement was created with the new Freehold owners, that stated that the Freeholder was obliged to pay to Penstowe an annual fee towards maintenance, but this was lower than the prevailing rate that an Owner Freeholder was paying, which is still true today.
This is why, the site disparity exists today as highlighted below. The figures are estimated average rather than absolute, but indicative.
The costs of ownership are quite different. Freehold units whilst costing more to buy have lower annual charges and the reverse is true for the leasehold. It is roughly 50/50 across the site.
 
Standard Typical Annual costs
Freehold
Service Charge, payable to Penstowe Leisure usually May each year for the season between £400 and £1500 depending on size of unit and age. Most with 3 or 5 year price increase linked to RPI. The service charge is for the maintenance of the communal grounds and the roads and lighting
Council Tax: £1200 to £2k dependant on rating or
Business rate if you comply with Valuation Offices rules re commercial letting £500- £900
Water Rates prevailing rates £150
Insurance £250 – £450
CCTV £30
Electric Supply £134 (+ usage based costs). The supply charge is for Infrastructure, distribution cabling to the meter. It’s like our standing charge at home which for us at home is .24p per day, £88 per year.
Units pay currently 19p per unit for usage above that.
Refuse Clearance £150
Total cost per year per unit between £2314 and £3414
Leasehold equivalent
Lease Charge to Freeholder £1,600 to £2,300 the Freeholder has a contract to pay some money from this to Penstowe Leisure for Service charges, this is circa £100.
Council Tax: £1200 to £2k dependant on rating or
Business rate if you comply with Valuation Offices rules re commercial letting £500
Water Rates prevailing rates £150
Insurance £250 – £450
CCTV £30
Electric Supply £134 (+ usage based costs) The supply charge is for Infrastructure, distribution cabling to the meter. It’s like our standing charge at home which for us at home is .24p per day, £88 per year.
Units pay currently 19p per unit for usage above that.
Refuse Clearance £150
Total cost per year per unit between £3514 and £5214
The above costs are just for the units, the Manor House facilities have always been run as an independent and paid for by owners, holiday makers and local people using the facilities and paying the prevailing rate for what they use.
 
Council Tax v Business Rates
Full details here: https://www.gov.uk/introduction-to-business-rates/self-catering-and-holiday-let-accommodation
But basically if you plan to let your property on a commercial rate basis, i.e. not “Mates Rates”
You have to have your property available to let for 140 days a year (20 Weeks) and actually let for 70 days (10 weeks)
You can apply to be Business Rates, for a single unit the business rate is lower that Council Tax by about 50% but a special Budget variation by Gordon Brown many years ago offered 100% discount on business rates for a single business rate where the rateable value was under £12K, this still applies today but could be withdrawn by a current Chancellor. You only get the discount on 1 unit. As has happened on some sites where say an owner has multiple adjacent units they could be counted as one so a discount for all.
 

 
Amenities on site
Many years ago, an agreement was reached between the Owners association and the then owner, to pay a contribution to improve and run the Amenities on site, mainly the outdoor pool but others suggest it included Laundrette, Tennis Courts and Childrens play area.
The owners who agreed to that had use of the Outdoor pool for themselves and their guests.
A price was set with a 3 yearly review to allow for an increase in line with RPI. That has continued to date and in 2019 was about £160.
The original outdoor pool was in the garden of The Stables. About 10 years ago David Carey put The Stables, this included the shop and the Laundrette, on the market and it sold to Paul and Tania Howard who ran the pub and managed the Outdoor pool, shop and Laundrette, as part of the sale there was an agreement to pay about £10K per year from the Amenity Charge to them towards running costs of it is believed specifically the Outdoor Pool. Land Registry state sale was £400K
 
The Bar, Restaurant, Entertainment and the Indoor pool was always on a user paying as they used it whether owner or holidaymaker.
 
In the early 1980 David Carey bought the Grounds and took over the running of the estate. At that time The Manor House was a seperate business and was run allong the lines of a Country club.

The country club business was in some trouble and David Carey bought this too so now owned the whole of the park. At that time The Manour House was just the core old building.

David invested in first building the main Annexe that became the Indoor Pool and initially a sports hall. He later had the now Sports Hall and Staff Accomodation block added. The original sports hall had a messanine floor added that in now The Venue.

In the early 2000 David put the whole site up for sale, it had various parties interested but nobody signed on the dotted line.
In 2013  David sold The Manor House and some of the ground around it to a local family The Stones, Land Registry state £500K. Simon and Sherryl then took on the running of Penstowe Leisure Ltd and I understand had a lease assigned for a) The Manor House with The Stones as Penstowe Manor Ltd and b) David Carey for the rest of the site.
In 2015 Simon gave notice to The Stables that he was going to build a new Outdoor Pool in the grounds of The Manor House and from the following year he would no longer pay them for the running of the outdoor pool within The Stables.
 
In 2019 Simon introduced Club Penstowe and offered owners to join, if they joined, themselves and their guests got free use of the Indoor pool and although it was voluntary if owners chose not to join there was no “pay as you go” option for the pool. The cost for 2019 was £353.
 
In February 2020 Simon wrote to owners saying that he was having to increase the Club Penstowe price to £998 for the coming year.

Updated January 2021

In November 2020 Penstowe Leisure Ltd went in to Voluntary Liquidation.

Two new companies have taken over the running of the site and the facilities
Mutlistream Estates Ltd has agreed a contract with David Carey who as you know from above owns the Freehold of the common areas and the roads and infrastructure. Our service charges, Refuse charges CCTV charges will in future be from this company.
Multistream Leisure Ltd has plans to take over the running of the facilities that The Manor House has to offer. We are waiting for details of this but we have been told it is a fully independant company from Multistream Estates Ltd. So far they have said owners will have the option to join and use the facilities.