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DIY Livery yards – Professional Management Wins Landmark Case


A livery yard which offered DIY plus other services has recently won a land mark case against the Inland Revenue, qualifying for Business Property Relief, which could hold well with other land-based activities.

However the victory comes with three caveats, says Balfours partner, Susie King: The importance of running a professional livery yard, the cost of going commercial against the potential gain from BPR and the government’s intention to appeal the decision.

Susie explains: “Previously the Inland Revenue only applied Business Property Relief – BPR to full livery yards and did not permit DIY businesses – perceiving this as renting out land and stables classified as an investment asset rather than a key business asset.”

The case involved the estate of a deceased Maureen Vigne, who ran a livery business. It was argued on appeal that in addition to pasture and stabling, the yard provided feed, wormers and checked the horses. The judge said rather than assessing the value of the land’s occupation, the owner’s intentions should be taken into account.

Mrs Vigne had planning permission for additional stables and had previously applied for permission for accommodation for the yard manager –who was qualified to British Horse Society stage four. As a result the judge ruled that combined with the services provided this qualified as a non-investment business that was more than simply letting land.

Susie says: “If this result stands it could mean significant savings for those inheriting DIY businesses, with BPR at 50% or 100%. Therefore anyone running a serious livery stables should ensure that it is managed in a professional manner, which may also mean ensuring some staff or personnel have appropriate qualifications and by adding some additional services, to demonstrate that it is a true trading business.

Conversely, Susie suggests that many DIY initial start-ups are relaxed and informal often evolving as a diversification or side-line to support the owners own equestrian habits. Going to the next level to potentially qualify for BPR is going to incur additional costs and complications in terms of facilities, staff, insurance, planning permission, taxation, business rates etc - which will only be viable on enterprises with the necessary scale or critical mass. “If you would like to discuss the implications of this case call Susie King on 01743 241181.

stable yard

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Top Location For Town And Country


The best of both worlds, proximity to Shrewsbury town and open country views are on offer on the fringe of Meole Village. Number Six Milnthorpe Close is a modern, detached family home in a sought after location enjoying views over the Rea Brook.

Marketed by Alistair Hilton, head of sales at Balfours, the property comprises of an entrance hall with access to two of the three reception rooms, also to the kitchen with breakfast bar. He says:  “This is a well laid out property with the study immediately accessed from the entrance front door, while the living room and dining room are found to the bottom of the hall, linked by double doors. Each has wonderful views to the garden and landscape beyond, with the lounge providing access to a terrace.”

A cloakroom is to be found off the hall too, while ascending the stairs reveals the master bedroom with en-suite shower room, and three bedrooms sharing a family bathroom. Alistair adds: “Number Six has much to offer, a double driveway, to a detached double garage, with space for a workshop within its generous 25 square meter space.

“This is a wonderfully quiet location, yet it is only three miles from Shrewsbury town centre with all the amenities that provides. Significantly a selection of both primary and secondary, state and private schools are all within walking or cycling distance.”

Balfours are marketing Six Milnthorpe Close with a guide price of £410,000. For more information call Alistair Hilton on 01743 353511.

Please click here for further details.

6 Milnthorpe Main

6 Milnthorpe View

6 Milnthorpe Kitchen

6 Milnthorpe Garden

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Village “Help To Buy” Development Homes Fly Off The Shelf


A new and innovative development of 30 homes at Minsterley, is enjoying exceptional interest.  

The Orchid Meadow development - which is being carried out in two phases - has, within two weeks of 2018, seen the reservation of two of the newly launched 3 bedroom detached “Tyrell” Homes along with all four of the first phase’s  2 bedroom “Bolton” homes and a further two reservations on the 3 bedroom semi-detached “Lannister”.

The two and three bedroom houses are built by Clutton Homes, with a ground breaking roofing technique, which credits them as the first property developer in the UK to have an entire roof, complete with tiles fitted via a crane.

Agent, Scott Kemsley of Balfours who are marketing the properties says: “We are thrilled to be working with Clutton Homes, they have been innovative in their approach, not only making history with the roofing system, but also their use of intelligent design techniques, from quality modern fittings and craftsmanship to achieve a contemporary fresh and stylish feel.

“Furthermore the development is built within the scope of the “Help to Buy” equity loan - which, along with the abolition of Stamp Duty for people who do not already own a property, is proving to be a real help to purchasers. With the Help to Buy equity loan, the Government lends up to 20% of the cost, so only a 5% cash deposit is needed and a 75% mortgage to make up the rest. The two bedroomed is marketed with a guide price of £145,000, while three bedroomed homes available between £170,000 - £199, 950 are available.”

Scott adds: “These are beautifully presented properties in a great location with more of the development to come on stream. Minsterley is a popular village with good reason; there is a full complement of services including primary school, plus secondary school in neighbouring Pontesbury. Shrewsbury is less than ten miles away, with easy links to the bypass and motorways.”

For more information call Scott Kemsley on 01743 353511.

For further details on some of the remaining Plots please click here 27, 29 and 36.


Orchid Tyrell

Roof Orchid Meadows 4

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New Chapter For Inspired Sandstone Cottage


It is said that The Chronicles of Narnia, when filmed in the original BBC adaption, incorporated areas within Mulberry Cottage and its 3.2 acres. Here atmospheric and ancient sandstone features both inside and outside this four bedroom home.

Situated nine miles from Whitchurch and 13 from Shrewsbury, Mulberry Cottage is found at Weston Heath, a hamlet half a mile from Weston Under Redcastle. The four bedroom home comes with gardens, two paddocks and a three bay garage.

As with so many cottages, its original small beginnings now render the name a misrepresentation. The current owners have carried out a significant sandstone, oak and sweet chestnut clad extension. Such has been their attention to detail that it is difficult to distinguish new from old.

The result is a wonderful spacious semi open plan property where character and contemporary are true bedfellows. The scene is set by an oak veranda, each post sitting on sandstone staddle. This leads to a hallway, off which can be found an eight meter by four meter kitchen, day room with French doors opening to a terrace. Opposite the kitchen is the dining room with beams, French doors and a slender sandstone inglenook with an ornate cylinder shaped burner.

There are two further reception rooms, the lounge with traditional inglenook and cupboards to each side and a sitting room. Ground floor accommodation also takes account of utility and wc.  The first floor is found from the hallway stairs that rise to a mezzanine landing where the master bedroom has a Juliet balcony. The four bedrooms share two luxurious bathrooms both freestanding baths and one with shower too.

Agent, Duncan Scobie of Balfours comments: “Mulberry Cottage has been prudently lavished upon to achieve a bespoke home of quality and character, from copper baths to Habitat Massello oak and stainless kitchen.”

Outside gnarled sandstone features, including rock face from which the stone for the original cottage would have been sourced, together with water feature, gazebo and even a hidden shepherds cave. This Narnia inspiration is now looking for a new inhabitant to pen the next chapter.

Mulberry Cottage is marketed by Balfours with a guide price of £696,000. For more information call Duncan Scobie on 01743 353511.

Please click here for further details.

Mulberry Cottage Main

Mulberry Cottage Entertaining Area

Mulberry Cottage Living Room

Mulberry Cottage Kitchen

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A Positive Opening To 2018 Property Market


Shropshire has enjoyed a steady and remarkably certain property market during the past twelve months, writes Alistair Hilton, head of sales at Balfours.

The year closed with properties exchanging and completing right to the Christmas boundary, then opening in the New Year to activity well beyond our expectations. Going forward into 2018 we all have a better picture of what Brexit looks like and significantly, the knowledge that this is now unlikely to be a divorce where Britain is left out in the cold.

This positive outlook was endorsed in the New Year when we launched four new homes at the Orchid Meadow new development at Minsterley and those together with several others within the development were snapped up and reserved within two weeks of going on the market.

No longer is it true that the property market dries up during the late autumn and winter. Perhaps partially due to the internet and hugely flexible communications, but also people are more flexible in their approach, to where they work and live – which for a growing number are one and the same.

Shropshire has weathered the uncertainty of Brexit exceptionally well, operating in a more insular domestic market with confidence in buyers and sellers alike, right through the spectrum. Edge Farm is an example of a two million pound property on which we closed a sale last Autumn.

The vendors had lavished greatly on Edge Farm to create his and her new build dream home extending 9,000 square feet.  Extending to 44 acres in South Shropshire’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the land incorporated a runway with magnificent views for flying machines.  We had strong interest and ultimately there were two parties in serious contention.

It remains too early to judge the effect the abolition of stamp duty on first time buyers will have – but Alistair suspects that the chancellor’s gesture is a gesture which will be acted upon – and Shropshire has a good stock of homes which will fit the bill.

Throughout Balfours territory, Shropshire, Staffordshire and border counties, the residential town and rural markets, development and agricultural land have enjoyed a hugely positive year. During 2018 demand will dictate what will happen to property prices.

We don’t anticipate a huge influx of new stock coming to market, thereby enabling prices of good quality - and well marketed well priced stock - to be a commodity which remains in high demand. Alistair Hilton, is based at Balfours office The Square, Shrewsbury,  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Edge main other

Edge garden

Edge Farm Kitchen

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Hidden Tranquillity Of Equestrian Gem In 78 Acres


Hidden tranquillity in paradise is to be found tucked behind Habberley, one of Shropshire’s hidden gems. Lower Vessons Farm, provides a grade II listed farmhouse, 78 acres of pasture and woodland together with a complete suite of equestrian features. 

The farmhouse has been totally refurbished over the past decade to now comprise entrance hall, living room linking to the conservatory, open plan kitchen breakfast room. French doors from both the kitchen and the study access to the summer room.  The rear porch gives entry to the boot room, downstairs cloakroom, and through to the utility room.

There are four bedrooms, including a second floor suite, where a fifth bedroom could be exchanged for the current sitting room. Three bedrooms on the first floor enjoy a large family bathroom, while a wet room is found within the second floor suite.

On the market with Balfours, agent Scott Kemsley explains: “Lower Vessons Farm is situated in a stunning, elevated rural position. The land comprises 62 acres of permanent pasture and 16 acres of woodland. The present owners have upgraded the equestrian facilities to include an indoor school, 13 stables, with flexible penning for an additional 15 horses. The hacking is superb, wonderfully quiet with an abundance of off road forestry.”

Whilst being off the beaten track Pontesbury is just two miles and Shrewsbury ten miles, with major cities of Manchester and Birmingham and their airports within easy reach. Lower Vessons Farm is marketed with a guide price of £1,475,000. For more information call Scott Kemsley on 01743 353511.

Please click here for further details.

Lower Vessons Main

Lower Vessons Land and View

Lower Vessons Stables

Lower Vessons Sitting Room

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