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Marlborough News January 2014 The Case of the Redoubtable Dwelling Photos courtesy of David Austin & Associates and aerial photography by Les Wilson

What would make you pay more for your dream house?

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Last Sunday’s finale of the current BBC

series Sherlock stunned viewers and not just because Moriarty, his mortal enemy, will be returning, like Lazarus, from the dead! The stunning house featured in the programme turned out to be a real life home at nearby Charfield, Gloucestershire and had been designed by noted architects, David Austin & Associates of Nailsworth near Stroud. Apart from the amazing design elements, of equal interest is its ecological credentials. The house is

almost entirely energy self-sufficient. Being extremely well insulated it is heated by passive solar gains, with excess heat moved around the building or stored in the lakes by the driveway. The house is well lit and electricity is supplied by a hydroelectric plant on the estate. Water is collected and held in the lakes, and waste water is treated on site. A large glazed winter garden helps maintain indoor air quality. The house is testament to the ideas and technology at the forefront of ecological design.

Smiths Gore Shoot Survey

Rent

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We will be running our industry-

leading shoot benchmarking exercise again at the end of this shooting season. This allows shoots to compare themselves with others in terms of income and expenditure and make important management decisions. If, either as a private or commercial shoot, you would like to take part please e-mail your details to: David Steel Head of Sporting, Smiths Gore e: david.steel@smithsgore.co.uk

challenge for any client that lets accommodation to benefit claimants is the introduction of the Universal Credit, which wraps up six existing benefit entitlements into

Farmland still on the up

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he demand for farmland still outstrips supply in England and Scotland. Consequently, values continue to rise to around £9,500 per acre in England and £6,500 - 7,000 for Scotland. The key driver for the market has been good quality bare land allowing those with existing farming operations to expand or investors to acquire without the smithsgore.co.uk

recent survey by Rightmove and the RSPB has revealed that seven out of 10 people in the UK would consider paying more for a property that has a wildlife-friendly garden. In answer to the question ‘would you pay more for a house with a wildlife friendly garden?’ 14% of people surveyed answered ‘yes, definitely’, another 14% answered ‘probably’ and 39% said ‘maybe’. If this ticks your box, just simply providing bird feeders or a rotting wood pile for insect homes is a good start. See the RSPB website for more information.

a single monthly payment, which will be paid direct to claimants. The current common practice where local authorities pay housing benefit to landlords will disappear and responsibility will transfer to claimants to manage their budget and pay the rent due to their landlord. Most will manage this but for some it will lead to rent arrears. Although initially introduced in some areas, notably Bath, the full roll-out will start in April 2014 to be completed by 2017.

burden of maintaining buildings and fixed equipment. The price differential between the very best land and average land has grown further this year.


Property of the month It’s delightful, it’s delicious, it’s delovely

19 Jarvis Street, Upavon This beautiful thatched cottage combines contemporary style and period character. The Cole Porter classic could equally be applied to this end terrace thatched cottage in Upavon. Fresh to the market and sitting pretty along a quiet lane of this busy little village, 19 Jarvis Street has charm in abundance with elegance and simplicity thrown in for good measure. This beautifully presented three-bedroom thatched cottage combines contemporary style with period character. Both the sitting room and dining room enjoy feature fireplaces with wood burners, the kitchen is modern, a lovely sized family bathroom with shower, the cloakroom also provides a useful utility space. The garden is a particularly delightful being good-sized, south-facing and private. A home studio/ office completes this prime property. Guide Price £395,000

Telecoms signals improvements

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n an effort to improve mobile phone coverage across the country, the Government has appointed Arqiva. Arqiva will find sites and get planning permission for new masts by 2015. As for all mast sites, the key criteria are: •

Accessibility

Proximity to a power source

Connection back to the mobile operators’ networks

Potential to reach sufficient numbers of people

We recommend that landowners take professional advice to ensure that they get the best possible deal from Arqiva or their agents for sites. For more information call Kay Paton on 01387 274394.

We are more than just the largest rur al property managers

From the Papers £50m mansion on the market An eight-bedroom property in Hampstead, north London, built in 1896 for the MP Russell Rea, a Victorian shipping magnate, has been put on the market for £50m. The sale price is 300 times the average UK selling price of £165,000. The Daily Telegraph

Smiths Gore Going from Strength to Strength

We are delighted to announce that the

firm has merged with the Wooler office of respected Sale & Partners, Northumbrian estate agents and chartered surveyors, from 1 January 2014. The merger recognises the many similarities between Smiths Gore and Sale & Partners in respect of the type of work and clients and their shared values. Together, we are now strategically positioned to provide land and property owners with greater resources at national, regional and local level. This provides us with an excellent opportunity to expand our growing business in the North and the Scottish Borders.

Help To Buy At Work To request a free market appraisal click here.

Public to blame for poor architecture? Alain de Botton, a philosopher who is one of 11 experts on the Farrell Review, has said that the British public is partly to blame for the poor quality of much new architecture because our “indifference to design” encourages developers to build uninspiring homes. Mr de Botton said: “We need a Jamie Oliver of architecture because architecture is now where food was 20 years ago: in desperate need of improvement, which will happen when people grow fussier about being served substandard stuff.” The Independent

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lmost 750 homes have been bought via the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme, Downing Street has said. Since

smithsgore.co.uk

the inception of the scheme specifically for new builds through to the widening of the initiative to include older properties up to £600,000 to mid-December, the government says almost 750 homes have been bought and about 6,000 people have made offers on properties.


Marlborough Newsletter January issue 2014