On 2 December 1859 the three original Trustees of the fledgling Battledown Estate drew up a Deed of Covenants and Regulations “as to the Future Enjoyment of the Same Estate”. In so doing they were following the pattern laid down 32 years before in the establishment of the Pittville Estate in Cheltenham and the Trustees were advised by George James Engall, who had been the Estate Agent for Pittville. In both cases the aim was to create an exclusive residential development which, in the case of Battledown, would "emulate Cheltenham in the number and quality of its Fashionable Residents". The aim of the Deed of Covenants was to create the legal infrastructure which would shape and perpetuate such an estate. It is a lengthy legal document: some of it applied to the actual ongoing establishment of the estate, and is no longer applicable; some parts related to matters overtaken by national legislation, such as the take over of sewers by the Local Authority; and other parts were simply overtaken by the march of time, such as the rule that no house could cost less than £500, and no bricks were to be burned on site. The purpose of this section is to provide residents, and especially new or prospective ones, with a summary of those items which remain relevant. Many are couched as restrictions but they should not be seen entirely as such, for their aim is to ensure the standards and ambience of the Estate are maintained, truly for “the Enjoyment” of all.

  1. The Battledown Rate
    The infrastructure of the estate is maintained by a Battledown Rate, which is levied annually in proportion to the amount of land held. The Rate is decided at the Annual Meeting of Owners, when the Trustees recommend the amount per acre thought necessary for the coming year. The Rate is set by the vote of the Residents, who may accept or vary the amount recommended. The Meeting of Owners is held annually on the fourth Monday in June. There is provision for Special Meetings to be called, if necessary.
  2. The Trustees
    The Deed requires there to be at least three, and not more than five, Trustees, whose duty it is to maintain and administer the Estate. The Trustees must themselves own Battledown land. They are appointed and not elected. The Trustees undertake all the many administrative functions on a purely voluntary basis and the administrative costs of the estate are very small.
  3. The Residents
    All Residents, their heirs, appointees and assigns, are legally bound by the Deed of Covenants when purchasing a Battledown house. On selling, every conveyance has to contain short recital or mention of the Deed of Covenants.
  4. Trade or Business
    No trade or business is to be carried out on any lot. The use of houses for religious or literary purposes is, however, permitted. (Further guidance for residents can be obtained from the Trustees)
  5. Density of Houses
    No person is to build on the Original Lots of Estate land more houses than in proportion of one house to each half acre of land.
  6. Building Works
    Plans of proposed constructions and alterations must be first submitted for the approval of the Trustees before building commences. This process is entirely separate from obtaining Planning Permission from the Borough Council. Both processes are necessary, although approval from the Trustees is free of charge and much quicker.
  7. Positioning
    Houses will normally be required to stand 40 feet from the edge of the verges. Outbuildings may come within 40 feet in exceptional cases but the approval of the Trustees is necessary for this.
  8. Boundaries
    The original residents were required to maintain their boundary fences. These have, in the main, been replaced by hedges, which contribute to the semi-rural ambience of the estate. Residents wishing to erect hard landscaping in the form of walls or railings are advised to do so behind a hedge.
  9. Access
    Any change of access involving the crossing of the verges requires approval. Drainage is most important on Battledown Hill, and drainage under drives must be sufficient to carry the often substantial flows of surface water. The Trustees will advise on this.
  10. Maintenance of Verges
    Until 1947 a roadman was employed to maintain the verges. Since the start of the high wage economy, residents have formally agreed to maintain their frontages themselves. (Further guidance for residents is available from the Trustees)

The restrictions of the Deed of Covenants are not, in practice, onerous and most residents readily accept that it is precisely their existence, which has made Battledown an attractive place where people aspire to live.