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Wednesday, 15 July 2015 00:00

Regulations raise alarms

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Balfours letting agent, Charlotte George MARLA, is issuing free smoke alarms as a result of new fire regulations. The offer to new clients throughout July comes on the back of changes in legislation to be introduced in October this year.

Charlotte explains: “Landlords have been subjected to many new regulations in recent times, so we want to ensure they remain within the law by giving alarms to all of our new clients during July. It is also important to look after the safety of tenants and we are welcoming this change in legislation.”

The latest figures show that people are at least four times more likely to die in a fire in a home if there’s no working smoke alarm. A simple alarm not only saves lives, it can also save thousands of pounds of damage to a property, plus it is unlikely to earn rent until repairs are completed.

She adds: “The new regulations require landlords to fit a smoke alarm on every floor and a carbon monoxide alarm in rooms where a solid fuel heating system is installed. We can advise on good practice and are encouraging our landlords to prepare now for the new regulations.” 

Figures revealing the average price of a home in the Shrewsbury and Atcham area has increased by five per cent last year, according to the Office for National Statistics, have been endorsed and welcomed by Balfours Property professionals, Shrewsbury town sales manager, Alistair Hilton.

According to Alistair the latest figures reflect Balfours town sales during 2015 to-date. He explains: “We operate across the whole residential market spectrum, with particularly strength in the mid to high end homes.  Without doubt a number of very positive factors are making a difference in the market and more sales are being achieved as a result.

“One of the first green shoots was the stamp duty reform just before Christmas, properties held back by previous thresholds have sold, with purchasers utilising the savings made towards a deposit and increased mortgage. Since then the election has put real certainty and confidence back into the market, this is particularly the case for buy to let properties, on which Labour were proposing draconian legislation.”

In the meantime local commerce is growing, leading to more jobs, salary increases and less unemployment; while inflation has remained low. This greater financial strength and stability has given home owners the confidence to extend and make improvements to their homes; alternatively to take the next step on the property ladder, all of which further feed the local economy.

According to Alistair these factors have contributed to the five per cent growth, which is sustainable. He reflects: “Property owners in the Midlands should not compare themselves with the overheated London market which has leapt 30% in places. While this has been fantastic for London home owners it is not sustainable. The green shoots we are seeing and achieving at 5% is both sustainable and very encouraging for Shrewsbury’s home owners.

“At Balfours the town market is important to us, the figures issued by the Office for National Statistics should be considered as a green light to a market home owners can have confidence to trade in.”



Monday, 29 June 2015 00:00

Arts and Crafts in North Shropshire

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A classic and stunning 1920s arts and crafts country house, with large garden and paddocks extending to six acres has been launched to the market.

Shepherds Top sits in an elevated position near Wem in north Shropshire, with its wonderful views maximised by classic bays and a stunning reception hall cornering two elevations.  The main house offers good sized rooms with three reception rooms each having wonderful bay windows, there is also a large kitchen, utility, and cloakroom. A one bedroom annex joins the  property with a large kitchen sitting room an additional study and large hall.

Shepherds Top provides four bedrooms with two bathrooms while the annex has a bedroom, large landing and separate bathroom all of which could run with the main house if required.

Clemmie Radcliffe comments: “This is a fabulous family home with distinctive and pleasing arts and crafts design and features. There is an excellent range of schools, both in private and public sector nearby, with Wem just two miles and Shrewsbury nine miles.” Shepherds Top is marketed with a guide price of £750,000. For more information call Clemmie on 01743 353511 or visit

Monday, 29 June 2015 00:00

Spectacular river town combination

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A spectacular vista to the River Severn is maximised at 75 Underdale Road, Shrewsbury a property which offers a prime location within easy walking distance of Shrewsbury town centre.

Recently redesigned maximising the flow of rooms, with a magnificent kitchen breakfast room at the heart, other ground floor rooms include a lounge, study, utility large pantry.  The master bedroom suite, incorporating dressing room and granite wet-room lies to the north end of the ground floor. There are a further five or six bedrooms on the first floor with one en-suite and a family bathroom; the sixth bedroom is currently used as a kitchenette.  

Agent, Alistair Hilton of Balfours property professionals says, “Externally this property is a gem too, with mooring and fishing rights on the river, integral garage, off street parking and two parallel decked terraces at house and river levels with a west facing mature garden. Between the two, there is also a walled and gravelled front garden with vegetable beds and greenhouse.”

Number 75 Underdale Road is marketed with a guide price of £675,000. For more information call Alistair Hilton on 01743 353511 or visit

Twenty six acres with a stunning 18th century stone farm house, with annex, has been launched to the market by Balfours Property Professionals.

Weachley Farm House is found at the end of a half mile stone track, sitting centrally to its own land and with masterful views over West Shropshire and into the Welsh borders.  Its location in the hamlet of Bromlow is three miles from Worthen, five from Minsterley and 15 from Shrewsbury.

Tim Main, head of sales at Balfours, explains: “This is a superb property for anyone seeking their own very special enclave; the land comprises of eight fields, plus the garden and a pretty pond near to the farmhouse. There is a useful mix of outbuildings including a double garage, workshops and agricultural shed and loose boxes.”

The main farmhouse offers two reception rooms plus a good sized kitchen breakfast room. There are five bedrooms, including the master-room with en-suite facilities. All is well maintained and presented. Weachley Farm House is marketed with a guide price of £875,000. For more information call Tim Main on 01743 353511 or visit

Thursday, 25 June 2015 00:00

Tap into house overlooking countryside

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A pretty four bedroom cottage located in north Shropshire countryside has been launched to the market.

White House Cottage is located in the hamlet of Osbaston, one mile from the local facilities of Knockin, six miles to Oswestry, 13 to Shrewsbury; with good access to the North and the Midlands.

An entrance porch leads through to the hall and staircase, with access to the sitting room and dining room. The kitchen is found to the rear, with access to both reception rooms, also to the garden and to two very useful storage pantries.

Agent, Clemmie Radcliffe, of Balfours Property Professionals, says: “This is a well presented cottage with enhanced character in each of the rooms, including feature fireplaces and beams.  Four bedrooms have the benefit of a family bathroom and a shower room.

White House Cottage is enhanced with gravel frontage, gardens with lawns and shrubs, plus a decked terrace. It also benefits from a double garage with workshop and store. Balfours are marketing White House Cottage with a guide price of £385,000. For more information call Clemmie Radcliffe on 01743 353511 or visit

Tuesday, 16 June 2015 00:00

Two bedroom bungalow

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A newly fitted kitchen is part of the package at Eirianfa, a two bedroom bungalow, at Edgebolton, near Shawbury.

To be found in a quiet, yet accessible location, with garden and garage. The bungalow currently comprises of an open plan kitchen and sitting room, two bedrooms and a bathroom, each access of the entrance hall; plus utility off the kitchen.

Agent, Clemmie Radcliffe of Balfours Property Professionals, says: “The bungalow has great potential and indeed had planning permission for an extension which has lapsed. The space is well presented and the sitting room has a log burner offering very comfortable accommodation.

Eirianfa is marketed with a guide price of £190,000, for more information call Clemmie Radcliffe on 01743 353511 or visit

An Open House Day will reveal six barns recently converted to residential homes launched to the letting market. The Open House Day is on Saturday, June 20 from 10am until 2pm, at Edstaston Barns, near Wem, hosted by agents, Balfours Property Professionals.

Balfours letting agent, Charlotte George MARLA comments: “These are fabulous two and three bedroom barn conversions which offer individual layouts of semi-open plan ground floor space, with names reflecting their preceding life, including The Hopper, The Granary and The Dairy. The barns have under floor heating with the efficiency of green renewable biomass energy and one property offers single storey accommodation.

Each property has a small lawn, patio, shed and parking. The Barns in Edstaston are located less than two miles north of Wem and seven miles south of Whitchurch; Shrewsbury and Chester are easily accessible too. Rental prices range from £650 pcm to £795 pcm; for more information or to register for an appointment on the Open House Day call Charlotte George MARLA on 01743 277069.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015 00:00

Farming talk: Acute Oak Decline, by Charlotte Adkin

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Woodlands, particularly ancient broadleaf plantations, are a highly treasured asset of farms and estates from the perspective of aesthetics, recreation and amenity value. However, sadly, they are often undermanaged or overlooked due to the high cost of maintenance and the inevitably long term nature of any economic return (with the exception of shooting estates).

In recent history, the most well publicised threat to our broadleaf woodlands was (and remains) Ash Dieback (Chalara fraxinea now known as Hymenoscyphus fraxineus); which although first spotted in the UK in woods in Buckinghamshire as late as February 2012; soon became a widespread problem, affecting woodlands across the country.

This year, sadly, there appears to be another disease threatening our ancient oak woodlands: Acute Oak Decline (commonly known as AOD). This is particularly pertinent to farmers, land agents and estate owners in the county as it is most prevalent in the Midlands and is visible in our woodlands in Shropshire.

As is common with recently discovered diseases; much remains unknown about AOD; in particular the cause and the way it is spread. However the Forestry Commission, namely Dr Sandra Denman and her team are doing invaluable research on the condition in Shropshire and other parts of the country in order to increase our knowledge. This will consequently guide woodland management and disease prevention for the future.

Suffice it to say, even with the basic knowledge we have at present; it is prudent that those working on or for farms and estates should be able to recognise cases of Acute Oak Decline (AOD) and monitor and record infected trees; particularly roadside trees or trees that, if weakened by AOD, may pose a threat to the public.

Therefore, here is some advice on how one can identify AOD in oaks on farms and estates:

•    Trees aged 50 years + . AOD most commonly affects mature oak trees, fifty years or older; although, recent evidence has shown younger trees displaying symptoms of the disease.
•    Evidence of stem bleeds. Look for vertical weeping fissures that seep black fluid down the trunk.
•    Splits in the bark of the tree: Look for longitudinal splits forming in the cracks between the bark plates of five to 10cm long.
•    Evidence of crown dieback. Thinning of the canopy is apparent as the tree draws near to its death.
•    Evidence of Agrilus Beetle Holes. Approximately one third of AOD cases display ‘D’ shaped exit holes in the trunk created by the Agrilus Beetle. It is not yet known whether the Agrilus beetle plays a part in the spread or severity of the condition.

It is worthy of note that AOD effects trees much more quickly than ‘Chronic Oak Decline’ and that infected oak trees can die as quickly as four years after the onset of the symptoms described above.

For more detailed information visit:

Thursday, 14 May 2015 00:00

New shirts spur St George’s School

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New shirts have been presented to Shrewsbury’s St George’s Primary School, with players having lots to celebrate. Balfours Property Professionals has sponsored St George’s Primary School football shirts –spurring the teams on to greater success this spring.

Ultimately the girls under 10 years took top honours winning the county cup; while the under 10 boys were pipped at the post on penalties. According to Head of PE, Gareth Jones every team entered by the school has progressed to at least the semi-finals.

He says: “The shirts are a real boost to the children’s’ moral it has given them a real buzz to wear shirts they can be proud of and we are most grateful to Balfours for their sponsorship. Alistair Hilton of Balfours adds: “As a local property agent it is good to be involved with a local project and we are delighted the children appreciate presentation can help them achieve.”

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