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Ask The Expert By Charlotte White, Balfours Associate Land Agent


I need a valuation of my farm, will this be expensive?

Formal valuations for the bank, or to help settle family disputes or for negotiations with HMRC for example usually have to be prepared by an RICS Registered Valuer working to RICS rules and regulations - known generally as the ‘Red Book.’  A good comparison to the Red Book in farming terms would be the Cross Compliance handbook that farmers must comply with.  So the Red Book is the ‘red tape’ of our profession; it is some 270 pages of bed-time reading, requires us to produce reams of paperwork for each valuation report and consequently it can take many hours to produce a valuation report. 

The average valuation of, for instance, a 300 acre equipped arable farm will result in circa:

-          8-10 hours of professional time spent inspecting the property, undertaking desktop research and gaining market evidence;

-          2 - 3 hours administration;

-          Some 50 pages of desk top research; and

-          A signed and bound report of some 30 pages.

So the red tape in the farming world is not lost on our profession. Just as farmers are audited for Farm Assurance, we are audited by the RICS for compliance and accuracy. Gone are the days where a valuer could jot the value on the ‘back of an envelope.’  Everything must now be justified and supported with sound evidence, all of which must be recorded in an orderly file which often represents a door-stop sized object by the time it is complete.

All industries complain about the increasing volume of ‘red tape’ and justifiably so in some cases but in valuation terms it has been a good thing. Valuations are often the basis of some very significant decisions and to have a format and structure of producing them in a logical and structured way to arrive at an informed and accurate valuation figure is essential.  In answer to the question, no two Valuation Reports are the same but as with everything in life, you get what you pay for and good advice should be considered both cost effective and invaluable!

So, if you require a valuation for the purposes of loan security, capital taxation, probate or for strategic planning, do get in touch! Charlotte WhiteBSc (Hons) MRICS FAAV, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Building Plot For Sale In Shropshire


A rare opportunity to purchase a one off building plot, with planning permission for a four bedroom home, in the picturesque South Shropshire countryside is on the market.

The detached plot, which is at Hopton Heath, provides floor-space of more than 200 square metres, plus a double garage which accounts for an additional 36 square metres.

Individual plot at Hopton Heath

Agent, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. says: “Such opportunities are hard to come by; the house will sit centrally within its own good sized plot, to the east of Hopton Heath Farm. Not only does it provide a very individual home in a great rural location, but it will be a very economic home to run - thanks to today’s building standards; plus design and fixtures will be bespoke too.”

Hopton Heath is three and half miles from Leintwardine, while Craven Arms and Ludlow are eight and 12 miles respectively. Marketed with a guide price of £175,000, call Balfours Estate Agents Ludlow on 01584 707100.

For further details please visit our Property Sales Page.

Plot to the East Main

Plot to the East 2

Plot to the East 3

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New Partners Join Balfours Boardroom


Balfours are to welcome three new equity partners to the boardroom this spring: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Managing partner, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., says he is delighted with the appointments which come into effect from April 2019 He says: “The rural economy is ever evolving and it is our role as business and asset managers to many rural estates across Shropshire and neighbouring counties, to recognise challenges, promote opportunities and drive our clients’ businesses forward both strategically and operationally.  Equally our property sales and lettings department is carving a unique position in an increasing crowded sector by providing a very bespoke and personal service to both vendors and landlords. Our business must continue to evolve in the same way that we advise our clients that their businesses must do so and the new partners have each proved themselves in management and sales, bringing success and added value to our clients using the unrivalled professionalism, skill and experience that are the core values to Balfours”.

Head of sales, Alistair Hilton joined the firm in 2014, with more than ten years’ experience in London. He quickly developed town sales, and was then promoted to lead the sales team working from the Shrewsbury office in The Square. Most recently he has overseen the expansion into a new Ludlow office. Alistair’s wife was born in Shrewsbury, where he now lives with his family.

Andrew Liddiment and Charlie Fitzherbert-Brockholes, both joined the company in 2011 working in rural estate management. Charlie, who practices from New Windsor House, on Oxon Business Park, has quickly built up a portfolio of managements across Shropshire and Staffordshire advising on the management of farms and landed estates. He is married with two young children.

Yorkshire born, Andrew Liddiment has worked with some of the UK’s most prominent and strategic landowners. Practicing out of the Craven Arms office, he is an agricultural valuer with a keen interest in landlord and tenant matters as well as advising on land sales and traditional estate management. He is married to Natalie who is an Associate Partner with Balfours.

Stepping back from the partnership are Michael Evans and Jonathan Lovegrove-Fielden, who will both remain as active consultants providing good counsel and advice to the business and its clients. Rory acknowledges: Both Michael and Jonathan have devoted their careers to Balfours and have been key to driving the business forward. Today, Balfours is the leading firm of Land Agents in the region managing rural businesses and property across the Midlands, Wales and the Marches as well as nationally from Lincolnshire to Devon with more than 70 staff across five offices.”

new partners


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Flexible Mixed Use Freehold Property For Sale In Shropshire


A highly flexible and inspiring residential and commercial freehold property at the hub of Minsterley has been launched to the market offering great investment potential.

Holly House is a generous 377 square metres.  It currently comprises of a post office with sorting office and a butchers shop. Above is a spacious three bedroom home on the first and second floor, two garages and a substantial garden.

Village retail and residential - with entrepreneur and lifestyle appeal

Agent, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., of Balfours Estate Agents Shrewsbury, says: “This is an unusual, but inspiring package which is likely to be of interest to investors and entrepreneurs. The property is achieving a significant combined income, through the post office and rental.”

The residential accommodation comprises of three good sized rooms, namely the kitchen, living room and dining room, plus a utility and cloakroom. On the second floor there are three double bedrooms and a family shower room. A large, partially walled, garden is found to the rear, together with a courtyard to take five or six vehicles plus two garages.

Charlie adds: “This is a fascinating opportunity for anyone seeking a change of lifestyle and livelihood, or an investment project. Minsterley is a large and vibrant village which also draws from a wide rural area. The village has a primary school, petrol station with grocery shop and public house. Secondary education is found just one and a half miles away at Pontesbury and in Shrewsbury, ten miles.”

Holly House is marketed with a guide price of £260,000 for more information call Charlie Giffard on 01743 353511.

For further details please visit our Property Sales Page

Holly House Main

Holly House Garden

Holly House Sitting Room

Holly House Dining Room

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Border Cottage On The Market


A pretty two bedroom semi-detached cottage on the Shropshire, Welsh border, ticks all the boxes with a stream at the bottom of the garden, a summer house and two garden sheds. This delightful property with double glazing is marketed by Balfours for just £150,000.

Rose Cottage is situated in the hamlet of City, on the slopes of the Clun Forest, less than a mile from Sarn village and the English border.  Montgomery is some five miles, with Newtown and Welshpool, seven and 13 miles respectively; Shrewsbury is also within commuting distance at 28 miles.


The kitchen boasts an original inglenook bread oven and a matrix of beams. Fitted units and ample worktop create a convivial 21st century space. Adjacent is a utility room with wc. Lifestyle virtues of the living room include an inglenook fireplace with wood burner, plus French doors to a charming veranda with the garden beyond.

There are two bedrooms and a bathroom on the first floor together with several storage areas. Agent, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of Balfours says: “This is a charming authentic country cottage in an idyllic setting close to and overlooking the Kerry Ridgeway.”

For more information and to view Rose Cottage call 01743 353511.

For further details please visit our Property Sales Page

Rose Cottage Main

Rose Cottage Garden

Rose Cottage Lounge

Rose Cottage Kitchen

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Balfours Recruit Local Farmer’s Daughter

A Herefordshire farmer’s daughter who is fulfilling her career ambitions has joined Balfours. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., MSc MRICS FAAV, whose family hail from Ledbury has joined the land agents Hereford office.
Graduating from Exeter, Olivia achieved an MSc in Rural Estate Management at the Royal Agricultural College. Since, she has spent three years with a Cotswolds agent, where she passed her CAAV (Central Association of Agricultural Valuers) and APC exams.
Balfours partner, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., enthuses: “Olivia has achieved a great deal in her career to date, add to this her local knowledge and affinity to rural matters and she will be a great asset to our clients.”
In addition to estate management, valuations and conveyancing, Olivia has coordinated a number of Mid and Higher Tier Countryside Stewardship agreements. A member of Ledbury Young Farmers she says: “It is great to be back working close to home; I am looking forward to achieving for Balfours clients in what are increasingly challenging times for rural estates.”
Olivia Manning  HS
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