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Plot with outline planning in AONB


Have you ever wanted to build your own home in one of South Shropshire’s picturesque rural hamlets? A building plot with outline planning permission adjacent to Great House, Hopton Heath affords precisely that opportunity.

Located less than four miles from the vibrant village of Leintwardine, planning is for a detached house with garage and garden. Shared access is already in place, while electricity and water close-by.

Balfours Ludlow sales manager, Scott Kemsley explains: “The opportunity for a bespoke build in such a beautiful and popular hamlet are what dreams are made of. For anyone seeking to achieve their very own ‘Grand Designs’ ambition, this plot framed by mature trees and views of the hamlet and open countryside should not be overlooked.”

Balfours are marketing the plot adjacent to Great House with a guide price of £125,000. It is marketed in conjunction, but separately to, the five-bedroom, Great House. For more information call 01584 707100.

Building Plot Adjacent to Great House Main

Building Plot Adjacent to Great House Gate to Plot

Building Plot Adjacent to Great House Plot

Building Plot Adjacent to Great House Shared Track

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Pasture, orchard, stables and barns - Parkside rural idyll


Four bedrooms and five acres are part of the package of Parkside. This idyllic country property is found in one of South Shropshire’s most sought-after locations, four miles from Ludlow close to the hamlet of Whitton and nearby village of Knowbury, with village hall, Church and public house.

“This is a great package, offering a delightful accommodation together with the opportunity of a rural lifestyle, likely for horses, but it could be alpacas or any other livestock,” says Balfours, Ludlow sales manager, Scott Kemsley.

The accommodation comprises of three reception rooms, two of which have wood burning stoves, ground floor also provides a delightful traditional hall with access to the main reception rooms and utility and downstairs cloak, also to the first floor. Beyond the main living room, which has an inglenook fireplace, wonderful character beams and glazing to two aspects is the kitchen, with the conservatory’s south facing French doors opening to the garden terrace.

There are three double bedrooms on the first floor, each with built in wardrobe with the master room benefitting from ensuite shower room. The family bathroom serves three additional bedrooms. Outside there is a garage and woodstore, gardens and a highly productive vegetable plot, together with several charming seating areas. Just across the road is the main pastureland and an orchard, together with ample off-road parking, an agricultural and carriage barns. There are two stables and a tack room with direct access to the pasture. A copse and dew pond complete this country idyll.

The local town of Ludlow is recognised for its independent shops, foodie restaurants and culture. There is an excellent choice of state and private schools in the area, with Shrewsbury, Hereford and the Midlands all being within commuting distance. Parkside is marketed with a guide price of £775,000.

Parkside main

Parkside kitchen

Parkside living room

Parkside garden

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Dedication rewarded with promotion to top job


Chartered accountant, Laura McIver-Driscoll, has been appointed head of accounts at Balfours, managing a team of a dozen accountancy staff, spread across three offices in Shropshire and Herefordshire.

The promotion follows years of dedicated studies and training on the job. Laura’s journey started when she joined Balfours nine years ago working fulltime for the estate and property management accounts team at its New Windsor House office, Shrewsbury, while studying online with Bangor University and Birmingham Kaplan.  She completed her studies and qualified in 2017 and two years later was promoted to deputy head of accounts.

Laura reflects: “I love my job – it has many challenges the latest has been to provide clients with the standard of service and care we are proud of during Covid and the lockdowns. Electronic account data is only ever as good as those operating it, we have a fantastic team, including IT back-up, enabling us to deliver a bespoke and timely service to our clients.”

Business manager, Craig Varley, acknowledges: “The promotion recognises Laura’s drive and dedication, not only during her four year’s initial training to qualify as a Chartered Certified Accountant, but since then she has played an integral part within the accountancy team. That has included growing the accounts portfolio, successfully taking on new clients.”

Laura adds: “I derive a great deal of satisfaction from making the figures balance and ensuring our clients have the appropriate financial information to make key management decisions; that makes my work both fascinating and rewarding.” 

Laura McIver Dris

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Market strength with a leg at each corner


By Alistair Hilton, head of sales at Balfours

The property and land markets currently have legs as strong as any Hereford Bullock – storming across an open field.

The analogy is substantiated with a leg at each corner: Namely a 13-year property supply issue; interest rates below inflation; a lifestyle driven surge in rural demand; plus buying power of former city dwellers.

In our Shropshire and borders-based estate agency we know whatever we take to market right now will sell, with more than usual going to sealed bids. This is partially because housing supplies have never truly recovered since the financial crash of 2008. Brexit then kept vendors hovering and finally Covid whipping up the perfect storm.

Last year, 2020, saw a shift in demand to the rural market, irrespective of stamp duty and furlough, wealthier householders with city properties now have not only the buying power, but the homeworking lifestyle to move to the country.

I believe we will continue to see an increase in prices supported by how cheap and affordable money is from a buyer’s viewpoint as lenders fight for customers. When mortgages can be picked up at one per cent above Bank of England base rate and inflation is running above two per cent, it would seem sensible to take on third party borrowing; that is further fuelling house prices. In essence it means house buyers are paying less than last year which is impacting on house price purchasing power.


The take home for property and landowners, be it that farm cottage which has bumbled along, the derelict farm buildings or the field corner which buts up to the local village, it is time for a business meeting, visit to the accountant and re-appraising your farming business assets and management strategies.  I am not simply talking about selling the family silver, but rather maximising your assets in whatever guise suits your future business plan.

There are many ways to skin the game, but without doubt what the past 18 months has taught us is the world is moving and moving fast and we all need to progress to keep up.  I am not the only one whose emails, text messages and phone calls are on overload, my colleague in lettings has a similar “hot property” story to tell. The property sale and letting markets look set to continue for a number of quarters, if not years. However factoring in protracted planning permission and hiatuses in the construction industry – it would be best act now. Like that Hereford bullock, your assets are best progressed in this prime market.

Alistair Hilton

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Ask the Expert, Jackie Monro, FARLA, FNAEA, Balfours head of lettings


Someone told me the government’s Model Tenancy Agreement MTA, has been updated to allow tenants to keep pets by default. Does this mean landlords are legally obliged to allow pets?

The short answer is no. The MTA is an option for landlords in England, but has no force by law, at present. The MTA has been updated to be in line with changes to the Renters’ Reform Bill; however, this bill has been indefinitely delayed due to Covid-19.

The issue for many landlords, perhaps isn’t so much about allowing pets or not; rather protecting their asset from damage, wear and tear caused by pets.

Before the Tenant Fee Ban, landlords who allowed pets, increased tenancy deposits to mitigate potential damage. With deposits in England now limited to five weeks rent, landlords no longer have this option, though Welsh landlords do. According to government figures only 7% of landlords advertised their property as suitable for pets; yet there has been a sea change in pet ownership as more people work from home.

There are tenants who will pay a higher monthly rental to enable them to have a pet. What you must consider is if that is enough to cover the additional wear and tear and if the garden and public spaces are suited to the addition of pets.



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Unique lift within Edwardian house


An Edwardian semi-detached three bedroom property, with immense character and offering the unique freedom of a lift to the first floor is on the market.

Trinity House, 20 Julian Road, Ludlow, has been totally renovated with real empathy and is beautifully presented. It is located close to the town centre, yet in a quiet neighbourhood. The ground floor provides hallway, two reception rooms, kitchen and cloakroom. Both reception rooms have feature fireplaces, one with log burner and the other with open fireplace.

The lift operates from the reception room to the master bedroom.  A further double bedroom is found on the first floor, together with the family bathroom. The second floor provides a third bedroom, or home office/studio.

Balfours, Scott Kemsley, Ludlow sales manager comments: “This is a little gem, absolutely ready to move in to and future proofed for those hesitant about stairs. It is in a great location and enjoys a private garden incorporating sun terrace, fish pond, log store and garden shed. Ludlow town centre renowned for its culture of arts and food is on the doorstep and beyond the countryside of South Shropshire is spectacular.”

Balfours are marketing Trinity House with a guide price of £425,000, call 01584 707100.

trinity house main photo

trinity house dining room

trinity house reception room

trinity house master bedroom

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