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Mayfields – By Name And Nature

05/01/2018

Outstanding views of open countryside are maximised at this three bedroom cottage in a popular hamlet south of Shrewsbury.

Mayfield Cottage is found at Golding, just six miles from Shrewsbury and Much Wenlock, so highly accessible, yet wonderfully rural.  Semi-detached, the property has been totally renovated, agent, Scott Kemsley, of Balfours explains: “A three bedroom property in such a great location, renovated and ready for living really doesn’t come up every day. We are marketing Mayfield Cottage with a guide price of £289,000.”

The reception hall gives access to the dining room, sitting room and stairs. The dining room opens through to a fully fitted kitchen with integral appliances. Across the hallway the sitting room is a large room with working fireplace and French doors to the conservatory, the two achieve an abundance of space for family and friends. Two of the three bedrooms have fitted wardrobes, with the bathroom also off a well-proportioned landing.

On arrival the welcome is to gravel parking edged by lawn and flowerbeds. To the rear the large garden is laid to lawn and borrows the most magnificent views. Garage and log store complete the package, on the market with Balfours. For more information call Scott Kemsley on 01743 353511.

Please click here for further details.

Mayfield Cottage Main

Mayfield Rear Elevation

Mayfield View

Mayfield Conservatory

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Little Hope – Big Dream

04/01/2018

Little Hope, near Welshpool, will be a big hope and reward for someone providing a wonderful backdrop to happiness.

On the market with Balfours, this 17th century cottage has undergone a large extension, the design of which flows with exceptional clarity and focus as a property with an option for two halves. Currently it provides a family home and a highly successful bed and breakfast accommodation, however the layout is so flexible as to provide for two co-habiting families with separate quarters.

Nestled in the hamlet of Hope, Leighton is just two miles from Welshpool, with all necessary services to hand. It is located on the original Offa’s Dyke and sits within an acre of garden and grounds in an elevated position on Long Mountain. The result is a magnificent uninterrupted vista across open countryside –a true wow.

The main cottage comprises of a porch, large sitting room with inglenook fireplace, woodburner and French doors. Adjacent is the library with glazing and views to two aspects and the study – a cosy hideaway. The morning room is the central point of the ground floor from which the stairs ascend to three bedrooms and a family bathroom. Beyond the morning room, the dining room is partially open plan to the kitchen achieving a fabulous social space with sleek contemporary fixtures in the kitchen. A second study, cloak and utility complete the ground floor accommodation.

Agent, Duncan Scobie, of Balfours, comments: “Evelyn and Mike Gregory have nurtured Little Hope to create a fresh and spacious home, together with a highly successful bed and breakfast business. The latter is run as Long Mountain Bed and Breakfast, which has received many awards and certificates of excellence, from Visit Wales and Trip Adviser. The guest accommodation reflects this it provides three spacious double bedrooms one with en-suite bathroom and the other two with en-suite shower rooms. A large guest dining/lounge spanning nearly six metres square and an independent guest kitchen allow the guest accommodation to be run totally separately; or for an extended family to enjoy.”

Duncan adds: “There are surprises and pleasures throughout the property, the staircase and floorboards and some internal doors are wonderful features preserved in the old part. There are also two large garages, a workshop and plant room.”

Outside features include stone wall, coach lamps punctuating the lawn and a haha wall to maximise the views. The property is reached via a tarmacadam driveway with ample parking and sweeping lawns which virtually encircle the property.

Balfours are marketing Little Hope with a guide price of £725,000 for more information call Duncan Scobie on 01743 353511.

Please click here for further details.

Little Hope Main

Little Hope Sitting Room

Little Hope Kitchen

Little Hope View

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Sale Of The Year – A Two Million Pound Home In South Shropshire

02/01/2018

One of South Shropshire’s top homes, marketed in 2017, with its own private runway, and state of the art cinema room has sold within its £2m guide price.

A new build state of the art farmhouse, Edge Farm, was completed in 2013, incorporating high tech electronics and efficiencies. Located at East Wall, the 44 acre property is set within South Shropshire’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Runway and helicopter access are complimented by conventional access via its own private drive. Edge Farm is equi-distance between Much Wenlock and Church Stretton and yet just 40 miles from Birmingham.

Agent, Duncan Scobie of Balfours reflects: “We are delighted to have closed the sale of Edge Farm. We had strong interest and ultimately there were two parties in serious contention. The vendors had lavished greatly on Edge Farm; the his and her dream home included a sleek and unique designer kitchen breakfast room with bi-fold walls of glass and polished stone floors and granite worktops set within an abundance of space, plus a cinema room.”

The house which comprises of 9,000 feet over four floors includes three reception rooms plus reception hall, seven bedrooms and five bathrooms.

Duncan adds: “Edge Farm wants for nothing; it is in a fabulous private location and boasts a breath-taking interior. The sale reflects that there are buyers out there who are happy to make a significant investment in the right property despite political uncertainties. The sale bodes well for 2018 and  we are delighted that both our client and the buyer have the deal sealed in time to celebrate Christmas.”

For more information call Duncan Scobie on 01743 353511.

Edge Farm Main

Edge media

Edge Farm Kitchen

Edge 1Taxi

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H20 – The Power Is In Planning

21/12/2017

There is one major take home lesson in the creation of a new micro hydro scheme, planning and preparation are key; now twelve months up and running Maesgwm Hydro Scheme is testimony to dogged determination and has exceeded performance targets.

On the Brondanw Estate, in North Wales the Maesgwm Hydro Scheme was more than five years in the planning. After this gruelling journey, construction commenced in late August 2016. The weather remained kind throughout the four months it took to run water past the turbine and into the power hungry finishing post.

The Scheme is within the boundaries of Snowdonia National Park Authority (SNPA) where, ironically, hydro on the Brondanw Estate has been harnessing energy since 1902, nearly half a century prior to the establishment of SNPA in 1951. 

Agent of the Brondanw Estate for more than four decades, Jonathan Lovegrove-Fielden, a partner at Balfours, takes up the story: “The Estates’ first 1902 hydro system is in the magical Croesor Valley, with a big reservoir in the hills and a turbine house at the bottom. When we re-built the Cwm Croesor hydro system in 1997, we quite literally put the new turbine in the corner of the old original turbine house.”

The Maesgwm Hydro Scheme passed planning in 2015, after five years scrutiny involving the planners, local communities, a variety of “ologists,” the technical team and of course the Trustees and tenant farmers on the ground  - who nurtured the whole project. Planning and expert adviser costs made up a not insignificant portion of the £800,000 to finance the project, which is forecast for payback within 10/11 years. Against which the turbine has a life expectancy of 20 to 25 years, the penstock piping a 60 to 80 year time-frame and the stone clad Turbine House - built like a shepherds hut - 200 years.

Design was driven by engineer Mike Woolcock of Kiem Water Limitedtogether with Renewables First of Stroud.  The main contractor was Alan Jones of GHJ Civil Engineering, Pwllheli and the turbine was supplied by Hydrolite of Swansea.  Jonathan explains: “The whole thing was brought together by Mike Woolcock who helped me project manage the construction and installation.”

The intake at 235m above sea level is the starting point, followed by 840 metres penstock piping, with a 128 metre drop to a Turgo 99kw capacity turbine within the turbine house. The energy created is then fed into the grid via £100,000 worth of cabling. The stone clad and well insulated shepherd’s hut not only fits in aesthetically but absorbs the significant  noise made by the turbine.

Jonathan continues: “We have reduced the amount of water we take out. This was predominantly due to protecting bryophytes – aquatic lichen. Bryophytes are most prominent in fast-flowing, soft-water streams draining upland catchments thriving in lots of spray and gushing water. Wales has an exceptional diversity of bryophytes. As a result restrictions also include limiting intake during seasonally reduced rainfall.”

Nevertheless the project remained viable with an anticipated output of 355,000kw per annum, powering some 125 Welsh homes. The energy generated is fed directly into the national grid, with the Estate receiving the Feed in Tariff and top up payment.

He adds: “The spirit of the Trustees work is as custodians of the landscape right down to the micro-level, and as such they remain true to Clough’s ethos. Small scale hydro achieves on all levels: High conversion efficiency of 70 to 90%, and far higher than other technologies; zero carbon footprint; as a well-designed project it is environmentally benign and can encourage ecology allowing, and in some cases enabling, fish and aquatic species movement. Finally sustainable income enables further investment in the estate and local community.”

Tenant farmers, Lewys Williams and son Rhys, who are second and third generation farmers on the Estate, and Richard Pearson have all been pivotal in their cooperation. “Richard farms the land on which we have installed the intake; he has been hugely helpful regarding the new installation. Already he assists with the timber contract for the Estate’s Renwable Heat Incentive (RHI) plant, heating the main house together with some half dozen houses and the Estate caffi.”

Jonathan continues: “The Williams’ have also embraced the Maesgwm project with the whole of the Penstock piping crossing the land they farm and culminating at the turbine house. “They have been enthusiastic and helpful throughout the planning process. As their farming regularly takes them past the turbine house Lewys and Rhys are now responsible for the maintenance contract for the turbine. It’s another string to their bow – their main farming enterprises are sheep and Stabiliser cattle. However this isn’t their first deviation into renewable income, with the family installing solar panels on land they own nearby – and outside the SNP.”

Jonathan concludes: “We commissioned the turbine January 2017 and by September it had exceeded expectation. We anticipated generating 355,000kw/annum – by September we achieved 320,000kw, which is amazing given the low rainfall.”  To discuss the project in more detail Jonathan Lovegrove-Fielden can be contacted at Balfours on 01743 241181.

 

Sir Clough Williams-Ellis was given control, by his father, of the Brondanw Estate in 1908, aged 25 years, at the time he wrote: "Nothing, just then, could possibly have been more ecstatically welcomed by me... The guardianship of a rambling old Carolean Plas set in a wildly romantic little estate among the Welsh mountains that had been held by my family for over four centuries was well calculated to inflame me."

It was indeed a fortuitous match, directly tapping into his professional prowess as a highly successful and well-known architect and so it was as a result of financial success that he galavanised his Estate and created the Portmerion Village. Five years prior to his death in 1972 to protect his property and ensure its conservation he created a Foundation, now known as the Clough Williams-Ellis Foundation. Today the Foundation is run by eight Trustees, four of whom are direct descendants, the balance being local people with specialist skills or knowledge, including the Vice-Chairman of the CLA Cymru David Wynne-Finch.”

The green ethos of Clough and his wife Amabel remains a corner stone of The Foundation and the Trustees interpretation of Clough’s vision, specifically to "Cherish the past, adorn the present and construct for the future."

trustees

Michael Woolcock - Engineer, David Wynne-Finch - Trustee, Christine Wallace – Wife of Julian Wallace, Iwan Huws - Trustee, Dafydd Iwan - Trustee, Menna Angharad - Trustee, Julian Wallace - Trustee

penstock piping installation

intake

shepherds hut construction

the power house

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Barn Conversion With Convenience

20/12/2017

Granary House is located in the pretty hamlet of Edge, near Yockleton. It is a charming three bedroom barn conversion and is on the market with Balfours.

Located less than eight miles from Shrewsbury and three from Pontesbury, Granary House is in a quiet rural location, yet with good access to services, including schools and the major road networks.

This grade II listed property has been finished to a high standard, including solid oak internal doors and generous down lighters which highlight character features. From the reception hall, double doors beckon to the lounge/dining room which benefits from dual aspect windows. Here the seasonal focal points are the inglenook fireplace with wood burner and French doors to the garden.

The kitchen breakfast room offers ample storage cupboards in cream finish, complementing the wooden worktop and floor, while black electrics, including a large Range Master oven proving a contrast.  A cloakroom and under-stairs storage completes the ground floor. Upstairs the master bedroom is en-suite, there are two additional bedrooms, one with built in wardrobes, plus a family bathroom.

Agent, Duncan Scobie of Balfours comments: “The property is very well presented. It provides garden to the front and rear, including patio area. There is a rare feature of a double garage set within the curtilage of the plot.  Balfours are marketing Granary House with a guide price of £342,000, for more information call Duncan Scobie on 01743 353511.

Please click here for further details.

Granary House Main

Granary House Lounge

Granary House Kitchen

Granary House Bedroom

 

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Raising Finance – Is Now More Involved

18/12/2017

We want to raise finance, probably £500,000 to fund several projects on the farm, including a third broiler house and a house for myself and my fiancé on the farm. Dad took a business loan half that sizeten years ago and he says the bank were very good, just a few formsand we had the money through a few weeks later. My friend says it is much more complicated these days, who is right?

Your friend is correct that increasing legislation and compliance is creating challenges for those seeking to raise funds. 

You have to prove the loan is affordable by demonstrating that there is sufficient cash in the business to make the repayments; also to carefully consider the value and suitability of the security being offered. Both these aspects now need greater consideration than before by whichever financier you approach, including ourselves as agents for the AMC.

You mentioned building a house on the farm, unfortunately since the Mortgage Credit Directive was introduced business loans can no longer be used for personal expenditure and that includes private house purchases, tax bills or other personal debts.

Anti-money Laundering (AML) requirements put pressure on timescales. Admittedly it is easier if you are looking for a loan from your existing bank but if you are considering moving to a new lender for a better deal, then full ID interrogation will be needed. Some clients, particularly trusts and charities also face questions relating to the original source of their wealth.  With you and your father, may I suggest you have an early fact finding meeting with me at this formative stage?

The process of securing a business loan from a new lender is significantly more onerous and can take from several weeks to several months depending on the complexity. Preparation is key; furthermore you must be made formally and demonstrably aware of the choices and implications of opting for fixed rate loans and the possible costs of redemption fees for early repayment. You will of course be aware that currently rates remain extremely favourable and in that regard time is of the essence.

I feel confident that together we can compile a strong case for the finance you are seeking. However I fear that today, unless you, or your father, are happy spending considerable time in the office, accessing such a loan is a minefield of form filling and information disclosure. As an AMC agent however we do the work for you and are regularly submitting applications on behalf of clients and I am pleased to say that in 2016 Balfours were rated the top AMC agency in the area, successfully securing more finance for clients than any other agent in the region.

Finally I am sure that there will be a viable route for your proposal to finance a new home for yourself and your fiancé, the first step will of course be planning permission – and that is something on which my colleagues would be happy to advise you. Rory Galliers, partner Balfours and AMC agent This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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