The Dulwich Estate

About the Scheme of Management

The purpose of the Scheme is for the Managers (the Trustees of The Dulwich Estate Charity) to preserve the amenities of the Dulwich Estate for the common benefit.

The Scheme Document sets out the rights and powers of the Managers and the obligation of freeholders to observe the terms of the Scheme.

Regardless of whether planning permission is required or has been obtained from the local authority, freeholders require the prior written consent of the Managers before:

  • Any works to trees
  • Altering the external appearance or structure of a property
  • Adding an additional building or structure
  • Placing a temporary building, trailer, caravan, boat or commercial vehicle which can bee seen from beyond the boundaries of a property
  • Placing any inscription, placard, posters, advertisements or notices which are visible beyond the boundaries of a property (except for ‘for sale’ or ‘to let’ signs or notices regarding functions, for a period not to exceed 21 days)
  • Change of use, for example, converting a house into flats or running a business from a property

For details of how to obtain consent see Applications for Changes.

The majority of Applications comply with the Managers’ Policy Guidelines and where there are no objections, a licence consenting to the proposals is issued. Where there is an objection to a proposal either from neighbours or from a member of the Advisory Committee, or where the works do not comply with the Guidelines, the application will be considered by the Scheme of Management Committee which meets monthly.

The Committee may approve the works as proposed or request amendments; wherever possible, the Committee will seek to encourage the freeholder to agree such changes as may be necessary for the proposal to be acceptable. In a minority of cases, where a mutually acceptable solution cannot be agreed, the application will be rejected. The Managers’ decision is final but the Scheme does provide for any dispute or difference between the Managers and an owner to be referred to arbitration (clause 17. Scheme Document).

The Managers have wide powers to enforce the provision of the Scheme:

The Managers or their agents have the right, with prior notice, to inspect a property (clause 8.(a) Scheme Document). Where a freeholder has made unauthorised changes to a property without consent, the Managers may issue a notice requiring that the property be returned to its former state within a period of three months and failing this, the Managers may arrange for works to remedy a breach of the Scheme to be carried out and the cost of this will be recoverable from the freeholder (clauses 8.(b) & (c) Scheme Document).

Freeholders are also required to observe the following terms of the Scheme:

  • To keep the exterior of all buildings, structures and boundaries in good repair, properly cleaned and decorated in colours in harmony with other properties in the vicinity and to keep all gardens cultivated and free from weeds.
  • Not to park or permit anyone to park on any private road on the Estate so as to cause an obstruction (clause 7. Scheme Document).
  • To do nothing on any property which may be or grow to be a nuisance, annoyance or damage to any neighbouring owners or occupiers which the Managers reasonably consider to be detrimental to the neighbourhood (clause 6. (d) Scheme Document).

When a property is sold, there is a requirement for the new owner to register with the Managers within two months – see Change of Ownership.

The costs of operating the Scheme are recovered by way of an annual Scheme Charge levied on each of the 3,800 freehold properties on the Estate.