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We are delighted to announce

16/11/2015

We are delighted to announce that due to continued expansion in the business the Balfours Estate Agents team are relocating to The Square in Shrewsbury. The new address will be Balfours LLP, The Square, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY1 1LG. From Monday 7th December 2015 we will be operating from the new premises.

We do hope you will be able to come and see us soon in the new premises.

 

Music Hall

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Winter responsibilities

03/11/2015

Landlords and tenants should ensure they are fully aware of who is responsible for what before the onset of winter.

Most tenancy agreements require tenants to take such reasonable and prudent precautions expected of a householder, particularly between and including the months of November to February, by heating the premises to prevent damage by frost or freezing. 

To this end Charlotte George MARLA, Senior Lettings Negotiator of Balfours Property Professionals is urging landlords to make tenants aware that if they are planning extended periods away they should always remember to leave heating on at a low level, which should stop the possibility of freezing damage to the plumbing and heating systems, prevent condensation and mildew and mould growth. 

Charlotte says, “The most effective way to achieve this is not to have the heating on for one hour in the mornings and evenings, but to leave it on permanently, with the boiler output thermostat set to low or min and the room thermostats set to  around 12C. Radiator valves should be left fully open, and any thermostatic radiator valves turned up to max.

However if the tenant is out daily, they should ensure that the heating is put on for a period of time in the evening – the easiest thing to do is to set the timer/thermostat.  This will ensure pipes do not freeze and avoids damp in the property,” she adds. 

With additional heating comes an increased risk of fire. New legislation that came into effect on 1st October this year requires private landlords to install smoke alarms in all rented properties on every floor of their property. Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarms are also required in any room which is used wholly or partly as living accommodation and which contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance, for example a wood burning stove, an open fire or a solid fuel Aga.

Charlotte explains: “In the first instance the alarms are the responsibility of the landlord, but on handover tenants should take responsibility for their own safety and test all alarms regularly to make sure they are in working order. ‘Test it Tuesday’ is the day Balfours and the Fire & Rescue Services recommend that smoke alarms are tested.”

She concludes: “Keeping a house or flat in good condition is particularly important in winter, areas of responsibility do need to be clear to avoid both misunderstandings and costly repairs, neither of which the landlord or tenant want.”

 

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Development land activity positive

02/11/2015

Development plots across Shropshire have gone under offer as the county sees improved activity in sales of land for development.

Balfours property professionals report exchanges at Pear Tree Lane, Whitchurch and Mytton, near Shrewsbury, with others close to fruition too. However head of sales at Balfours says preparation is key to anyone launching development land to the market.

“Details must be ready up front, with full information available to developers. The planning portal doesn’t give a developer the full picture. The devil is in the detail and it is important that clear information is available regarding site utility services,” says Mr Main.

Another factor currently driving the market is proximity to population and amenities including shops, schools and restaurants: “Developers want to be confident of sales and sale rates are of course key to cash flow. Home buyers are more likely to seek convenience,” he adds.

As Shropshire Council claim to have a full five year supply and as prices are static there are an increasing number of sites available. “Developers are buying when they need a new site rather than when one comes available.”

Mr Main adds that for developers’ size matters: “Local builders are seeking a manageable, two to 15 plot development, while the nationals are happy to take on 100 plots plus. Regional builders will take on land offering ten to 50 plots; the gap in the market is 30 to 80.

“We are experiencing growth in the development market, however it still has to be viewed with caution – and that is why factors including size of site and preparation of information are key to success,” he concludes.

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Opening night success

29/10/2015

Shropshire Drama Company took to the stage at Theatre Severn for a highly successful first night of their production “As you like it.” Mistaken identity and love are plot credentials which saw Eleanor Gromadzki-Owen, and fellow actors woo the audience.

SDC spokesperson, Neville Street, says that since Eleanor joined the company and was given a fairly minor role in Romeo & Juliet some six years ago, she has blossomed into an excellent leading actor. As you like it sees her play Rosalind, Duke Senior’s daughter, later disguised as Ganymede.

Eleanor, whose day job is with local land agents, Balfours, says she loves the magic of the stage: “There is something very special about captivating the audience – being on stage is challenging but hugely rewarding.” The production runs until Saturday, with seats still available.

Ellie as you like it

  • Pictured from left, Jenny Ebrey, playing Celia, Eleanor Gromadzki-Owen, Rosalind and Alex Beechey, playing Oliver.
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Your piece of Downton Abbey – near Market Drayton

27/10/2015

Lady Mary of Downton Abbey may not approve, but Tom would love the idea of taking up residence in an apartment at Styche Hall, Market Drayton.

This fabulous four bedroom apartment is on the market with Balfours Property Professionals. Within the grand Grade II listed Styche Hall boasts a truly inspirational setting within the rolling countryside of north east Shropshire. Market Drayton is just two and a half miles away with Telford, Shrewsbury and Chester each easily commutable.

Offering magnificent views and situated on the second floor, the apartment boasts a large living room with bay window. The kitchen is of spacious proportions too and has good natural light. There are four bedrooms, two ensuite, plus a family bathroom serving the other two rooms.

Agent, Scott Kemsley of Balfours Property Professionals comments: “The Georgian house was designed by Sir William Chambers, and was originally the home of the parents of Sir Robert Clive of India. It has a fantastic feel of relaxation, mainly due to the beautifully ornate spacious rooms. The location within nine acres of amazing countryside and woodlands incorporating three acres of gardens is unprecedented and only shared by a small handful of residents.”

Apartment Four, Styche Hall, is marketed with a guide price of £300,000. For more information call Scott Kemsley on 01743 353511 or visit www.balfours.co.uk.

 

Scott Kemsley

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Epic journey to join us for winter – we hope

22/10/2015

The weather is turning along with the leaves and next week the clocks go back. These are little signatures of winter being imminent that we all recognise in the UK.

It does make me marvel though, at the epic journey the woodcock are beginning to negotiate travelling in excess of 2,000 miles to return to the UK. The Game and Conservation Wildlife Trust are currently tracking 20 birds, of which 11 are in Russia and a further five in Scandinavia.

Since 2003 to 2013 the research into woodcock numbers has shown a decrease in population by 29%. Not knowing the exact reason for the decline, it could be a number of factors including loss of habitat, increased predation in Russia, climatic conditions.

Further research, and therefore funding, is needed. The GWCT are tracking these 20 woodcock as they migrates across Europe and back again, sometimes to the very same field. The cost of buying, fitting a tag and monitoring a woodcock on its epic migration for one year is £3,500.

You can subscribe to email updates from the woodcock watch blog and follow news and location updates on social media. To support the GWCT cause go to the just giving page; with such a decrease in numbers to sit and do nothing would be woefully neglectful.

Sitting on the border with Wales we need to be aware of new fox-snaring code for Wales. The GWCT is highly supportive of the new code of best practice on the use of snares in fox control in Wales. GWCT has been instrumental along with other organisations in developing this new workable code for Wales. The code seeks to deliver higher animal welfare standards, increased efficiency in fox control, and ensure that fewer non-target species are caught.

I suspect it won’t be long before the introduction of a similar code of practice on snaring for England. I know the instinct is to consider we all know better, but by signing up and practicing good husbandry it gives those who consider all foxes have a right to be here less ground for complaint.

Remember our great grandfathers would have chuckled at the idea of badgers being protected. Best Practice Snaring courses, run jointly by the GWCT and the National Gamekeeopers Organisation. Courses are run throughout the year.

Tim Main, head of sales at Balfours, is Chairman of the Shropshire Branch of the GWCT. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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