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Farming Talk - Tim Main


Land prices remain strong and stable; however two cyclic systems are bringing influence to bear.

Namely, commodity prices which have generally steadied farm incomes over the past two years, despite increases in yields in the cereals sector. Secondly the quietly returning strength of the UK economy and with it the talk of interest rate rises. Combined, these two factors are now taking the froth off land market prices.

Farmers are used to the cyclic nature of their incomes and most businesses are able to weather these vagaries, therefore when the opportunity to expand the business with land in the right location arises, it is usually too good an opportunity to miss and therefore strong prices are still being achieved.

The third factor is supply and demand; Shropshire is experiencing limited supply this year, after a very minor surge in supply last year. As a result of all these considerations, land prices are generally remaining strong.

That said one agent just outside the county recently reported sales of two blocks of land, one either side of the road – quality was on a par. Two parties wanted the same side, but interest was limited on the other side, the outcome was offers of £4,000 per acre difference!

For those considering a sale, it would seem that now could well be a good time, while supply remains so limited, interest rates are not intimidating and the contra nature of the UK economy vis land values has not yet turned.

Another example of the location factor was recently highlighted when a farm we are bringing to market next month (Sept) near Bishop’s Castle, has already achieved a sale of off lying land sold to a keen buyer while preparing the farm for market. Location remains a strong factor.

Development Land

Despite local and regional developers doubling the number of houses they are building this year, compared to 2014, there remains more planning permissions granted than can be absorbed. This is due to councils seeking to meet five year supply targets. Nevertheless the second term of Conservative dominance has given the economic stability these house builders need.

Individual plots in village locations remain popular; not least boosted by the fact that private individuals can register to be zero rated for CIL payment, offering a significant saving on building the dream home, for example on the average four bedroom house, at £80 per square metre, CIL would be in the region of £16,000.

There is no doubt house building is currently being a given strong greenlight, this will not always be the case. Tim Main is Head of sales at Balfours Property Professionals.

Lawley Telford resized2

Pictured:  Land on the market with outline planning permission for a luxury four bedroom house and adjacent two paddock, at Lawley, Telford; guide price £260,000.

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Tim Main - Head of Property Sales

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120 Acre Livestock Farm


A 120 acre stock farm, including a three bedroom character farmhouse near Ruthin, has been launched to the market.

Bryn yr Orsedd is available as a whole or in four lots; the property includes a highly versatile 15,000 square feet, steel portal frame building, which currently incorporates American barn stabling. There are a further two additional barns.

Currently the land is all down to permanent pasture; it is well drained fine loamy and silty soils, suited to stock rearing. On the market with Balfours Property Professionals, head of sales, Tim Main comments: “Traditional farms of this nature rarely come to the market. It is in a great location, the farmstead being reasonably central, having good access to all its land.

“Located six miles from Ruthin and some 13 miles from Corwen and Wrexham, the farm is also highly accessible to local services.  This is a great opportunity, either as a starter farm, or to expand a farm business.”

Mr Main adds: “The farmhouse has outstanding views over the Berwyn Valley to Snowdonia; it also has the benefit of separate access to the farm and is surrounded by some smaller paddocks. This property offers the adaptability to be a working farm, or a dream lifestyle for an equestrian enthusiast.”

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South Shropshire Lifestyle and Business Opportunity


Six holiday cottages and a grade II listed part timbered farmhouse have been launched to the market offering a business and lifestyle opportunity, complete with stables and paddock.

Located six miles from the medieaval town and popular tourist destination of Ludlow, Sutton Court Farmhouse and holiday cottages boast an idyllic rural setting at Sutton, Stanton Lacy. The farmhouse comprises of three reception rooms a large kitchen and four bedrooms.  

Agent, Scott Kemsley of Balfours Property Professionals, says: “The principal house is grade II listed and has great character with many original features, including an impressive oak staircase and original bread oven set in stone.  Of course the real wow factor of the whole steading at Sutton Court, are the fabulous views and outlooks to surrounding countryside, the courtyard and mature gardens.

”The farmhouse has the added benefit of a garage and first floor office/studio; plus stable and tack room which complement the paddock.

Across a courtyard, the traditional brick farm barns now provide holiday accommodation, with cottages for between two and six guests, including a ground floor unit. Scott explains: “The cottages have well-appointed fixtures and fittings; in addition there is a games room and a laundry room for guests.

“What makes Sutton Court stand out for guests is the fabulous setting and its proximity to Ludlow, with Much Wenlock, Shrewsbury and Leominster all highly accessible by car. Not forgetting the surrounding wonderful walking country. Of course the lets provide a meaningful income for someone seeking such an opportunity.”Sutton Court farmhouse and holiday cottages are marketed with a guide price of £895,000. For more information call Scott Kemsley on 01743 353511 or visit

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New appointment underlines growth


Balfours Property Professionals is continuing steady growth with the appointment of assistant land agent, Matthew Martin.

Matthew, who will be based at the Shrewsbury office, brings with him a practical arable experience. He graduated from the University of Leicester, before undertaking a post graduate Diploma in Rural Enterprise and Land Management at Harper Adams University.

Matthew explains: “My degree at Leicester was in classics, when I was studying at Harper Adams I also worked on a local arable farm. Since then I have worked for a national crop protection company, completing BASIS, FACTS and BETA qualifications to provide agronomy services to farmers in the county.”

Partner, Rory Galliers adds: “Matthew has a very valuable mix of qualifications, experience and positive can do attitude, all of which will stand him in good stead in his work at Balfours. We are delighted to welcome him to the team and look forward to his development within the business.”

Matthew enjoys many country pursuits, including long distance walking where he counts among his achievements the renowned 50 mile Longmynd Hike.

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Shropshire Living Pulls Another Shropshire Lad Home


Scott Kemsley has come home to sell houses and joins the country house sales team at Balfours Property Professionals.

He brings a wealth of experience gained over more than two decades in the global property profession with a Knight Frank affiliate – and now relishes the opportunity to utilise contacts and maximise sales for clients.

Scott enthuses: “I have returned because you really can’t beat Shropshire for lifestyle and of course I have family here too. I am passionate about Shropshire and what Shropshire has to offer, the contrasting landscapes across the county, the heritage – people travel from all over the world to the mediaeval towns of Shrewsbury and Ludlow.

“It is really good to be joining Balfours highly successful residential department – and to be part of a very focused team which continues to grow.   Having worked outside Shropshire for so many years, I am looking forward to drawing business to the county I consider home and of which I have a first-hand experience and knowledge.”

“We mustn’t forget that out of 70 major towns, Shrewsbury was found to be  the most healthy place to live in the UK earlier this year, according to the Royal Society for Public Health, who carried out the survey.”

Tim Main, head of sales at Balfours adds: “We are delighted to have Scott on board; he brings the strengths of experience and networking to our residential team. Scott’s attributes include negotiating consistent and significant overseas property deals; balanced with representing Ludlow on the cricket pitch.  We hope his experience, energy and enthusiasm is soon going to help South Shropshire house sellers find their buyers.”

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Unique Opportunity in Shrewsbury’s Premier Kingsland Valley


Take the best of traditional build add the best of 21st century finish and technology plus one of Shrewsbury’s most sought after locations – and you have the winning formula of 33a Kennedy Road.

The location in the Kingsland Valley ticks all the boxes, a short-walk from the centre of the county mediaeval town, easy access to road networks to the north and midlands, top private and state schools of calibre close by.

Marketed by Alistair Hilton, Balfours Property Professionals, residential town sales manager, reflects: “This is a very unique new property, effortlessly blending into and its mature surroundings, while maximising a panoramic view to the West.

“Internally 33a Kennedy Road offers 3,800 square feet of space – ensuring rooms of pleasing proportions. The entrance hall is no exception with a central flight of stairs creating a focal point. Each of the lounge, family room and breakfast/kitchen maximises the view and light with large folding doors to the terrace balcony and multi-tiered garden.  The dining room, study, utility and cloakroom complete ground floor accommodation.

There are four bedrooms on the first floor and three bathrooms. The master suite commands its supremacy with large luxury en-suite, dressing room and balcony. Two bedrooms have access to a Jack and Jill shower room, plus a further bathroom is available, also serving the fourth bedroom on the first floor. The second floor offers two additional bedrooms, plus bathroom and copious storage capacity.

Alistair adds: “Developers, Shropshire Homes, recognised the rare opportunity to build within the Kinglsand Valley and have excelled with the high level of finish, fixtures and fittings. There is a double garage and generous off road parking. The property comes with a ten year NHBC warranty too.”

Balfours are marketing 33a Kennedy Road with a guide price of £1.1million, for more information call Alistair Hilton on 01743 353511, or visit

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