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Questions over lifestyle village

THE Department of Consumer and Employment Protection will prosecute Settlers Ridgewood Village Ltd, the operator of the Settlers Ridgewood Rise Lifestyle Village in Ridgewood, near Clarkson, following residents’ allegations of misleading advertising about the facilities available at the village. The department will allege that the company made false and misleading representations relating to the development of a clubhouse at the village and associated amenities, as well as the provision of a bus for residents. “One of the principal reasons middle aged people choose lifestyle villages to be their home is the availability of facilities on their doorstep,” consumer protection commissioner Patrick Walker said. “In this case, the company represented that a clubhouse would be built in two stages, with stage one to be completed by December 2003 and stage two by June 2004. As it transpires, stage one wasn’t completed until October 2004 and stage two has barely commenced. “Stage two facilities were to include a swimming pool and bowling green. Residents have been without these facilities for over two years. “Understandably, some residents who signed into life lease-type arrangements to live in this village feel that they were lured by claims made by the operators, some of which have still not been delivered upon.” Complainants also allege that, back in 2003, the operators stated in their information booklet for prospective residents that one of the village’s features was a bus to take residents to local shopping centres. They claim a bus has never been provided. “Consumer Protection will be enforcing the provisions of the Fair Trading Act and Retirement Villages Act vigorously,” Mr Walker said. The case is to be heard in the Perth Magistrates Court on July 28.

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