Residents in Montgomerie Park say they have been ‘left to rot’ after maintenance factors pulled out of their estate and council chiefs refuse to clean up.

Families living in the estate have become embroiled in a turf war between themselves, former factors Mitie and North Ayrshire Council in a dispute over who is responsible for the upkeep of common areas.

They say the estate has been ‘left to rot’ and fear a child may come to harm after numerous reports of dogs being injured on broken glass in the play parks and grassy areas.

Residents say they pay almost £300 per month in council tax – which rakes in £1.4million a year for NAC – and as such, say they have a responsibility to maintain the area.

But council bosses say it is in their title deeds that they must pay for an external factor to maintain the estate and say NAC “is not in a position to assume the additional responsibilities or costs”.

Kerr Glen, who spearheads the Montgomerie Park Community group, told the Times: “These common areas are owned by North Ayrshire Council and we believe they have an obligation to maintain them or employ someone to do so.

“Since Mitie pulled out they have failed to get anyone else in but are also refusing to maintain the land – despite owning it.”

Montgomerie Park is made up of 523 homes over five estates – Earlswood (123), Persimmon (129), Ladyacre (113), DWH (113) and Pavilion Gardens (45).

Earlswood and Persimmon were the first estates to be built followed by the others. All four private estate residents pay an internal factor for the upkeep of their respective areas.

However, as a result of a legal fight in 2008 over factor fees, only three sites – Ladyacre, David Wilson Homes and and the Cunninghame Housing homes in Pavillion Gardens – pay for the upkeep of the “common areas”.

Residents say, up to now, council chiefs have controlled all the decisions about appointing a factor for these common areas and everything was fine until Mitie did not renew their contract last November.

Mhairi Millar, who lives in Pennant Place blasted North Ayrshire Council for being “spiteful” and “dangerously short-sighted”.

She said: “There’s a lot of history. There is a clause in the title deeds that means some of the home owners have to contribute to the maintenance fees.

“This aspect is pretty much all NAC are concerned with. The dispute over payment is entirely incidental though, given current circumstances.

“Mitie made their last visit in October 2018, so NAC have known for at least eight months that the publicly accessible ground, which they own wasn’t and wouldn’t be, maintained.

“NAC have done nothing in that period, besides for telling householders its our problem and not theirs. There has been no goodwill nor understanding on their part.

“It’s a ridiculous situation - NAC are behaving in a spiteful and childish way. It’s not the householders’ fault that Mitie ceased to do the work.

“NAC appointed Mitie, and allowed Mitie to leave at the end of their contract without putting a new factor in place.

“We’re being treated as though it is our fault though, and forced to bear the consequences of being surrounded by land which has become unsafe to walk on.

“NAC’s interest is only in the title deed question – about who pays.

“Their outlook is dangerously short-sighted.”

Another resident, Crawford Hume accused North Ayrshire Council of “neglect”.

He said: “Me and my wife saved for three years to buy a house here as it seemed a lovely area with surrounding grounds you could go walks in with your dog or just with the family.

“Up until this year, that has been the case. Mitie used to maintain the land but have subsequently stopped and I believe the council are now responsible for its upkeep.

“They are refusing to do so.

“We pay nearly £300 a month in council tax here and I believe the least we should get is our grass cut. Especially as the council recently increased the council tax by the max 4.79per cent.

“The council are neglecting this area and its residents.”

A North Ayrshire Council spokesman told the Times: “The landscape maintenance contract for Montgomerie Park was held by Mitie until it ended in October 2018, after which Mitie also resigned as factor.

“While Mitie were appointed by the council acting as developer, the power to remove or appoint a new factor passed to the residents following a five-year period, as set out in their title deeds.

“We appreciate that the current situation needs to be resolved quickly and that will be best achieved by the appointment of a new factor. “To assist matters, we have contacted three potential local factors to seek further information relating to their service and costs.

“We will share this information with the residents in the coming weeks and ask them to vote on the appointment of a new factor which would need to be supported by the majority of owners.

“As stated in the residents’ title deeds, the landscape maintenance will need to be managed by a factor and the council is not in a position to assume the additional responsibilities or costs.”

Council chiefs say they are aware of health and safety issues which may arise from the absence of a maintenance team, and are taking steps to ensure the area is safe.

The NAC spokesman added: “In the meantime, we are also carrying out weekly inspections of the play park to ensure that health and safety is not compromised. If residents identify any safety issues, these can be reported to the council’s contact centre and will be investigated.

“We will be providing further information to residents and expect this to be made available on our website in the coming days.”