A BRADFORD MP has taken up a fight on behalf of her constituents over maintenance costs at a housing development.

Naz Shah, the MP for Bradford West, claims residents at Sunningdale Park, in Allerton, agreed to a yearly charge of £69 per household to cover the costs of maintaining public areas, including a fence and grass verge, but the charge has now increased to £120.

Ms Shah has accused those responsible for the charge, Gateway Managements, as "ripping off" the residents as, she claims, no work has ever been done.

Gateway Managements, however, say they took over the running of the communal areas in 2017 and the charge was £111.

This price increased to £115 a year later and they estimate the charge for 2019 to be around £119.

The MP for Bradford West said: "The residents have been tied into a contract that was mis-sold and never explained properly.

"I am informed that Gateway Managements charges depend solely on the maintenance of a simple fence and grass verge, however, according to residents no maintenance has ever been carried.

"This causes me great concern and brings into question the legitimacy of the charges.

"It is simply not acceptable that these big companies think it’s okay to rip people off, the company in question needs to be held to account and I will support my constituents in doing this."

Mikaila Teare, chief administrative officer, of Gateway Group Ltd, told the Telegraph & Argus: "Gateway were appointed by Sunningdale Park (Thornton) Management Company Limited to manage the communal areas of the development in 2017.

"At that time the on account yearly maintenance charge was £111.00.

"This increased to £115.00 in 2018 and this year the estimated charge is £119.00.

"We do not consider the increases which have taken place to be unreasonable.

"We are in regular communication with all stakeholders and have not been made aware of any complaints in this regard."

Mark Midgley, a resident at the Allerton housing development, explained: "The last two years have been unsettling for us as residents, due to the fact that between Persimmon & Gateway management we have no idea of the costs they will be demanding each year despite assurances it would be a nominal fixed cost.

"It is with great relief we now have the help and support of our local councillors and our MP to bring these two companies to account.

Labour ward councillors Richard Dunbar, Sue Duffy and Bev Mullaney, released a joint statement on the issue, explaining they have supported residents for two years.

They said: "We have serious concerns in the way the Gateway Management Company have been treating residents not only in terms of very questionable service charges but also in terms of aggressive demands for collection of charges despite poor levels of service."