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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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Shropshire rental property in strong demand

20/10/2015

One of the busiest months on record means a Shropshire letting agent is now seeking new housing stock.

Balfours letting agent, Charlotte George MARLA, says properties of all shapes and sizes have flown off the books during September. She says: “August is traditionally a month where people want to move for schools and jobs, but the demand just kept going in September making it exceptionally busy across the full range of homes.”

Larger properties included a period house and a farm house, each with six bedrooms and each snapped up very quickly. “We have had just as much demand for one and two bed flats, bungalows, cottages, barn conversions and modern houses which have all been moving quickly.”

She says Shropshire and border county residents continue to face competition for rented accommodation from people moving into the area, from throughout the UK and abroad.

“Last month we had one couple moving back from New Zealand and taking a tenancy. Block visits for an estate property yielded a high level of viewings, very positive feedback and a number of applications for that property. This delighted the landlord giving a good choice of tenants and achieving the full rental value,” Charlotte explains.

According to Charlotte October is continuing the trend with a significant number of new instructions boding well for landlords and tenants. For more information call Charlotte on 01743 277069. 

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South Shropshire: the new Cotswolds racks up demand

13/10/2015

South Shropshire and the surrounding borders are being labelled the “new Cotswolds,” as the number of southerners seeking a place to live within 20 miles of Ludlow strengthens.

“Ludlow and the surrounding villages, both in Shropshire and over the borders to Herefordshire, Powys and Worcestershire, are increasingly keenly sought after, as aspirational home owners from the south east recognise that they can make very favourable lifestyle choices,” says Scott Kemsley, of Balfours Property Professionals.

According to Scott, buyers include those who want to retire, semi-retire to a vocational career and those who are seeking a holiday home. “We currently have a number of buyers on our books that are looking to settle further north. The rural midlands puts them in the centre of the country, where nowhere is too far away.”

He says it is because Ludlow indulges on so many levels, as a historic medieval market town, for its gastro foodie culture and its continually developing cultural offer, not only in Ludlow, but just down the road in Hay on Wye.

“Beyond the town we have the most fantastic rural landscape with a medley of villages, all of which amount to a very meaningful change of lifestyle for anyone currently living in or near the city. Our country and town houses offer a wide range of styles from mansions, to half-timbered and stone farmhouses, village properties; most with glorious views and access to fantastic countryside.

“There is no doubt the market has changed in the past ten years, not only have the road and transport networks improved, but the plethora of communications systems over the internet now enables lifestyle choices which would have been impossible even a decade ago.”

Scott adds: “We would be delighted to speak with anyone considering selling in the area. We currently have proceedable buyers on our books patiently waiting for the right property, which can be in many guises. For vendors there can be merit in short circuiting the ‘for sale’ sign and the viewing process in favour of one serious buyer who is prepared to pay true market value.”

If you would like to discuss your property with Scott Kemsley, call 01743 353511 or email, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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