The Scheme of Management is designed to maintain the special character of the area for which Dulwich is renowned. It was approved by the High Court in January 1974 and has contributed to making Dulwich the much-loved neighbourhood it is today. Just over 6,000 properties are in the Scheme area. The Scheme is self-funding and is covered by an annual scheme charge, payable by all freehold households on the Estate. The Scheme is cost neutral and beneficiaries of the Estate do not receive any funds from it. The Dulwich Estate, as Freeholder of nearly 2,000 properties within the Estate, pays its share of the cost of maintaining the amenity areas.
Every September, properties incur an annual Scheme of Management charge which is calculated according to property council tax bands. The charge for the year ending 31 March 2023 is between £72 and £215 per annum depending on the property band. It covers only the cost of the Scheme. This includes the cost of the planning element of the Scheme, including enforcement, as well as:
- The maintenance of 28 Scheme of Management Amenity areas (see Scheme document). This includes the largest common amenity space, Dulwich Woods
- Work to maintain these areas. This includes gardening, tree works, repairs to roads and paths
The actual expenditure for the year ended 31 March 2023 was £715,871 and the anticipated expenditure for the year ending 31 March 2024 is £771,313 an increase of just under 8%. Scheme expenditure is reviewed by the Estate's auditor and the allocation to property bands is reviewed by an independent surveyor. The Advisory Committee, an oversight body of the Scheme of Management which has four independent members, comprised of Residents' Associations and The Dulwich Society, scrutinises the accounts and the Managers Certificate. The Scheme of Management of the Dulwich Estate has recently sent out its September 2023 invoices to householders for the charges for the Scheme of Management. The invoices comprise the estimated charge for the year ending 31 March 2024 together with the balancing charge for the year ended 31 March 2023. This format of an estimated charge for the current year and a balancing charge or credit for the past year is a common way of charging for service charges. The charges for domestic properties are in the table above.
The objects of the Dulwich Society are to maintain and enhance the amenity of Dulwich. The Society appoints two members of the oversight body of the Scheme, the Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee monitors the activities of the Scheme and reviews the accounts, the Estate auditor's opinion and the surveyor's determination of the basis of apportionment as well as monitoring the activities of the Scheme including the enforcement of the Scheme guidelines.
Further details of the Scheme and its expenditure can be found on the Dulwich Estate website. For members who are interested in looking further, details provided by the Estate on the increase in the charge for the Scheme can be found on the Estate’s portal, for which you will need to register.