Connect with us

Current

Harworth secures planning for industrial scheme at Chatterley Valley (GB)

Harworth Group has secured detailed planning consent from Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council to commence the delivery of 1.2 million ft² of industrial & logistics space at its site in Chatterley Valley, Staffordshire. The 106-acre Chatterley Valley site is adjacent to the A500, in close proximity to Junction 16 of the M6. It forms part of the wider Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone, which was established in 2016 to drive economic growth in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, and reinforce the area’s reputation as a centre of manufacturing excellence. 

 

Once completed, the development is expected to support 1,700 jobs, providing a significant boost to economic activity, skills and job density in the local area, which is amongst the UK’s 10 fastest growing economies outside of London. All buildings are to be developed to a high environmental specification, meeting a minimum of BREEAM Very Good standard and EPC Rating A, while maximising opportunities for the buildings to be Net Zero Carbon in operation.

 

This consent will allow for the formation of development platforms, and the provision of an access road, accompanying infrastructure and ecological enhancements, which will unlock the first phase of development. Harworth expects to start construction on site later this year, with the first units available to the market by the end of 2023.

 

Andrew Blackshaw, Chief Operating Officer at Harworth, commented: “Increasing our direct development and building a Grade A Investment Portfolio are key tenets of Harworth’s growth strategy. The Chatterley Valley site is a great example of how we will achieve these, delivering high specification, future-proofed industrial & logistics space in a highly sought-after area.”

 

Steven Knowles, Regional Director for the North West at Harworth, added: “Our Chatterley Valley development, located in the heart of the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone, will meet growing occupier demand in Staffordshire, supporting new jobs and investment in the area. We look forward to working with local stakeholders to progress this exciting new development.”

Source link

Current

Owner of Adele’s old country mansion gives up trying to sell it after 13 years – saying the singer scared off interested buyers when she told Anderson Cooper it was haunted on US TV

The owner of Adele‘s former country mansion has given up trying to sell it, claiming she put off potential buyers when she once claimed it was haunted.

The singer rented Lock House in Partridge Green, Sussex, for six months back in 2012 but famously told a US TV host during a tour that it ‘gives me the creeps.’

Her comments have now been blamed for it not selling despite being on the market for 13 years – with multiple price reductions.

Nicholas Sutton, who has owned the property since 2003, has now applied for permission to redevelop the main home into five houses.

If given the go-ahead the garage and flat would be converted into a new home with another seven properties also built on the site.

Mr Sutton said in his application that the high profile comments made by Adele had made it difficult to sell the home.

The owner of a mansion once rented by singer Adele has given up trying to sell it after 13 years, and has instead applied for permission to divide it up into five homes

The owner of a mansion once rented by singer Adele has given up trying to sell it after 13 years, and has instead applied for permission to divide it up into five homes

Adele told US 60 Minutes host Anderson Cooper that Lock House 'gives me the creeps', a comment the current owner Nicholas Sutton blames putting off potential buyers

Adele told US 60 Minutes host Anderson Cooper that Lock House ‘gives me the creeps’, a comment the current owner Nicholas Sutton blames putting off potential buyers

During the tour Adele told 60 Minutes presenter Anderson Cooper that one corridor in particular was ‘quite scary really’.

She also claimed to have heard strange noises in part of the building which used to be a convent – so she reportedly paid a bodyguard £100,000 to stay with her in the listed building.

She said: ‘I’m not rattling around here on my own. It gives me the creeps.’

A planning statement submitted as part of the application has now detailed the troubled 12 years the property has had since those comments.

The statement read: ‘The applicant then rented the property to the singer Adele on a six month contract.

‘Unfortunately, Adele made comments on CBS that Lock House was haunted which has upset the marketing of the property to this day.

‘Following Adele vacating the property it was placed on the market through Savills.

‘They marketed the property for a year in 2012/13 and no offers were received.’

It has been listed several times for sale since – with the price constantly slashed.

The home has also had a number of difficult tenants, including a ‘high net worth’ individual from Monaco who stopped paying rent.

The opulent dining room with grand dining table, rug and curtains. Adele reportedly paid a bodyguard £100k to stay with her in the home

The opulent dining room with grand dining table, rug and curtains. Adele reportedly paid a bodyguard £100k to stay with her in the home

The hallway has an elegant dark wood staircase and fireplace. Mr Sutton wrote that the property had had no viewings in nine months

The hallway has an elegant dark wood staircase and fireplace. Mr Sutton wrote that the property had had no viewings in nine months

The statement added: ‘The property was then rented through Savills to an individual that Savills credit checked as a high net worth person from Monaco.

‘A two year tenancy agreement was signed. The tenant only ever paid the 1st quarters rent and thereafter it took three years for the applicant to regain possession following the Tenant seeking postponement for their gender re-alignment surgery.’

Formerly a convent, the Grade II listed Victorian property has ten bedrooms, an indoor and outdoor pool and a helicopter pad.

After failing to attract interest from buyers despite slashing the price, the owner decided that the only way to sell Lock House was to refurbish the house again, move back in and present it as a loved family home.

But the owner wrote: ‘Not only has there been no offers but there has been only one viewing in 9 months.

‘The property has been marketed for £500,000 less than the latest Red Book Valuation on the property of £6.75m dated 3 October 2022.’

Mr Sutton said capital costs of £1,835,715 were also needed to repair the existing heritage asset.

He added in his statement: ‘Lock House has been actively marketed now for 13 years with no buyers coming forward.

A living room at the Grade II listed home. Capital costs of £1,835,715 are needed to repair the existing heritage asset, which was marketed at £6.75m, Mr Sutton wrote

A living room at the Grade II listed home. Capital costs of £1,835,715 are needed to repair the existing heritage asset, which was marketed at £6.75m, Mr Sutton wrote

‘The only offer ever received in the whole period was in August 2020, but the purchaser quickly withdrew when they considered the house was haunted as stated by Adele when she was a tenant. ‘

He added: ‘The application seeks to sensitively convert Lock House to five dwellings together with the enabling development of seven dwellings by the existing tennis court in a period style coach house and the replacement of the existing garage block with flat over with a new Gothic style cottage.

‘The proposals will secure the long-term future of this Grade II listed building, ensuring the preservation into perpetuity and overall, the proposals result in heritage benefits.

‘Overall, the proposals will result in significant benefits in planning terms, and not least the delivery of much needed new housing within the local area.’

A decision will be made on the application by the council at a future date.

Source link

Continue Reading

Current

We want to tear up the garden in our new home and replace it with artificial lawn – is it a good idea?

We’ve just bought our first home and it comes with a compact 20ft garden.

However, it’s quite overgrown and we’re not all that green-fingered.

We want to put down an artificial lawn so we don’t have the upkeep of constantly cutting grass and de-weeding.

Is it a good idea? How much would it cost, does it add value to a home and what is the best quality artificial lawn on the market?

Are there any other factors we need to consider before taking the plunge?

Sacrilege? A This is Money reader wants to rip up their lawn and replace it with artificial lawn

Sacrilege? A This is Money reader wants to rip up their lawn and replace it with artificial lawn

Jane Denton replies: I understand you aren’t keen on the idea of maintaining a real lawn, but would urge you to think twice before ripping it up and replacing it with an artificial one. 

It’s not a decision to take lightly. They’re bad for wildlife, and can often look rather naff.  

Artificial grass is often, but not always, made of virgin plastic and typically lasts between 10 to 15 years, according to consumer group Which?

That said, I fully appreciate that artificial lawns can be very useful, particularly for those without the time, inclination, mobility or means to maintain a natural lawn.

If you sell your property in future, the question of whether artificial grass would have an impact on the value of your home boils down to the personal tastes of prospective buyers. 

There are different types of artificial grass on the market, including nylon, polyethylene and polypropylene. 

The costs involved will depend on the quality of artificial lawn purchased, the amount of space being covered and labour costs, which can vary a lot depending on where you live. 

Artificial grass can cost anything from around £15 per square metre, which would make it on a par with carpet. However, premium-quality artificial grass, designed to look and feel like the real deal, can cost as much as £60 per square metre, according to Which?

If you decide to get artificial grass, do your homework beforehand. Compare the different types available and check how easy they are to install, whether or not they look natural and if they are easy to clean. 

Even artificial lawns require some maintenance to keep them in mint condition. 

Property prowess: Estate agent Liam Gretton

Property prowess: Estate agent Liam Gretton

Liam Gretton, owner of Liam Gretton Bespoke Estate Agent, on Wirral Peninsula, says: As an estate agent and homeowner, I understand that maintaining a garden can be daunting. 

Over the years, artificial lawns have increased in popularity as they can be a practical solution for those looking to enjoy their garden without having to mow a lawn.

For homeowners who aren’t particularly green-fingered, it’s an alternative to natural grass. 

An artificial lawn eliminates the need for mowing, watering, and weeding, which can save both time and effort. 

Additionally, it’s durable and can withstand heavy foot traffic, making it ideal for families with children and pets. 

Ultimately, it is your home and artificial grass has become increasingly utilised due to its low maintenance and year-round green appearance. 

However, it is also important to think about how it could affect the saleability of your home in future. 

While it may offer convenience for the moment, it may not provide the kerb appeal  or the same ecological benefits as natural grass, such as supporting local wildlife and aiding in water absorption.

With any product, you get the good, the bad, the ugly and the exceptional. Artificial grass is the same. 

The cost of installing an artificial lawn can vary widely depending on the quality of the grass, the size of the area, and the complexity of the installation. 

On average, you can expect to pay between £10 to £50 per square metre for the material itself. 

Installation costs can range from £20 to £60 per square metre. For a 20ft garden, which is roughly 18.5 square metres, the total cost could range from £555 to £1,700.

It’s advisable to get quotes from several suppliers to ensure you get the best deal, and remember the best deal isn’t always price, think about the quality of artificial grass also being used.

When it comes to quality, look for artificial grass that is UV-resistant, as it has a realistic appearance, and comes with a good warranty. 

Brands like Namgrass, Easigrass, and TigerTurf are renowned for their high-quality products. Pay attention to the pile height and density. A higher pile and denser grass tend to look more natural and feel softer underfoot. 

Artificial grass can add value to your home, but it’s important to highlight that, in some cases, it can decrease the value. 

A well-installed artificial lawn can enhance the kerb appeal of your garden, making it look neat and tidy all year round. However, some buyers may prefer natural grass for its look, environmental benefits and natural feel. 

Ultimately, it depends on the preferences of potential buyers searching for a home in your area.

Before making your decision, factors like drainage and maintenance need to be taken into account. It’s vital to ensure that the artificial grass has good drainage to prevent waterlogging. 

While minimal, artificial grass still requires some level of maintenance, such as brushing and occasional cleaning, to keep the fibres upright and in good condition. 

It is important to reflect on the environmental implications of artificial grass. Some artificial grasses are made from recyclable materials and have a lower environmental footprint.

In the know: Andrew Duff is a garden and landscape designer

In the know: Andrew Duff is a garden and landscape designer 

Andrew Duff, a garden and landscape designer and chair of the Society of Garden Designers, says: While many of us are looking for low-maintenance gardens, it is an absolute myth that artificial lawns are easier to maintain. 

They are also hot underfoot in summer, difficult to keep clean and generally are not pleasant to sit on. 

More importantly, they are also extremely damaging to the environment and their increased use in this country is now destroying our soils and natural wildlife habitats, contributing to carbon emissions, and polluting our waterways with micro-plastics.

Other than the environmental damage artificial turf causes, it can also have a detrimental effect on your property. 

In their recent Property Exchange podcast, estate agency Winkworth highlighted the damage caused by plastic grass, noting that artificial turf can impact the value of a vendor’s property, turn off prospective buyers and may even cause water damage to your property.

Send us your property question 

We’d love to hear from you if you have a property question and want to find out what the experts have to say on the matter. 

Whether you have neighbour woes, are looking to update or move home, or perhaps you can’t decide how to sort out an extension or make a room look bigger, we want to hear from you.

If you are a prospective first-time buyer or already on the housing ladder and have a property quandary, get in touch.

Email editor@thisismoney.co.uk

Please put PROPERTY in the subject line. 

I would urge you to reconsider using plastic grass in your new garden and think about a greener more sustainable alternative that can benefit wildlife, the environment and you! 

For instance, tapestry lawns combine low-growing flowering plants that are low in maintenance and high in ornamental value to create a vibrant patchwork of colours and textures. Not only are they beautiful, but they also attract wildlife, absorb rainfall twice as fast as a turf lawn and don’t need feeding.

Chamomile lawns are a good low-maintenance alternative to grass. They require no regular mowing, fertilising or watering, they help to improve the soil and they attract pollinators. 

Clover lawns are another great option. They don’t require mowing or watering and will stay green all year round, with the added benefit of a beautiful starscape of flowers during the summer.

If you would prefer a garden without a lawn, you could create a beautiful gravel garden using mediterranean plants that are great for the changing climate in the UK.

If you like, you can find a local garden designer to help you design your garden or provide a simple planting plan, as well as finding out more about alternatives to plastic grass.

We are all custodians of this wonderful planet and for those of us lucky enough to have access to a private garden we have a duty to care to enhance it for future generations and to preserve the life within it. 

That’s the life of your soil and the life of visiting birds and insects to your garden too. Real grass and plants are life-enhancing in every sense.

Tom Moss, owner of Moss Landscaping in Liverpool, says: Artificial Grass is a fantastic option for many people. It looks great aesthetically and will reduce maintenance, which is ideal for anyone with a busy life or disability. 

Using artificial lawn also means children and pets can enjoy playing in the garden without the worry of being covered in mud and dirt due to heavy downpours. 

It also helps reduce the need to use a sprinkler system during the hot summer months. 

Artificial grass holds its colour due to UV stability. To my mind, it’s a fantastic investment and would increase the value of any home.  

Source link

Continue Reading

Current

Flurry of cowboy builders prompts Checkatrade to block record number of tradespeople

  • In the last six months Checkatrade turned away a record 668 tradespeople

The number of rogue traders trying and failing to sign up to Checkatrade has risen sharply in the last six months, data reveals. 

In the last six months, Checkatrade turned away a record 668 tradespeople who failed its sign-up checks, representing a 13 per cent rise year-on-year. 

Roofers comprised 19 per cent of those turned away, followed by driveway companies, at 11 per cent, and landscapers, at 7 per cent. 

Rejected: The number of rogue traders trying and failing to sign up to Checkatrade has risen sharply in the last six months

Rejected: The number of rogue traders trying and failing to sign up to Checkatrade has risen sharply in the last six months 

Of those who were rejected by Checkatrade, 31 per cent failed to provide documentation such as proof of identity and their address. 

Five per cent were rejected for having a poor trading history, while 8 per cent were turned away for having negative reviews online, Checkatrade said. 

Figures from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy published in 2022 claimed unscrupulous traders cost homeowners around £1.4billion a year. 

Separate Opinium research published in 2021 showed that over half of people are not confident they can spot a ‘cowboy’ from a verified tradesperson.  

Mathieu Proust, chief operating officer of Checkatrade, said: ‘The fact that we have had to block more trades from joining Checkatrade than ever before points to a worrying trend in the wider industry that consumers must be savvy about when planning their home projects. 

Has a cowboy builder ruined your home?

This is Money wants to hear from you if you’ve had a dire experience involving a cowboy builder. 

Please email: editor@thisismoney.co.uk

Please put PROPERTY in the subject line.  

‘High demand for tradespeople and longer-than-average wait times for jobs has placed a huge amount of pressure on the home services industry, creating the perfect environment for unscrupulous characters to step in and take advantage.’

Before a tradesperson can join Checkatrade as a member, they must pass up to 12 checks and agree to uphold the ‘Checkatrade Standard’. For households, each job is guaranteed by £1,000 for up to a year. 

Getting renovations done to a home can be extremely expensive and many homeowners are left waiting for lengthy periods to get work done. That’s if they’ve been able to find and speak to the tradesperson they are after. 

In some cases, homeowners are struggling to speak to the tradespeople they require, as requests for quotes often go unanswered. 

Last week, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) set out the principles trader recommendation sites. 

The CMA said trader recommendation websites should, among other measures, ensure that claims about services and the traders on their sites are clear and accurate, conduct appropriate checks before traders are allowed to advertise on their site and have accessible, transparent, and effective complaints processes. 

George Lusty, interim executive director for consumer protection, said: ‘More and more people are using sites and apps like these to help them find the right trader, from rewiring the kitchen to fixing a leak. 

‘But we’ve seen worrying evidence suggesting people could be misled into thinking these sites actually check traders – and will take action when things go wrong – which isn’t the case.’

Four red flags to watch out for

Checkatrade says there are four red flags to watch out for when getting a tradesperson to do a job in your home.

1. Watch out for overly cheap quotes

If the cost seems too good to be true, it most probably is. Checkatrade and other sits have costs guides which can be helpful.  Remember, cheap work can’t always be rectified. 

2. Be wary in an emergency 

If you have an emergency leak at home or your fence has blown down in extreme weather, it’s easy to just look up for the first suitable tradesperson you find and plump with them. 

However, it pays to pause for thought as some rogue traders will take advantage of busy periods or moments of crisis, such as extreme weather. Read reviews and ensure trades are vetted and qualified to undertake the requested work. 

3. Watch out for demands for full upfront payments

This is a serious red flag to watch out for. Don’t agree to making full payment in advance of work being undertaken. 

Get a detailed written quote that includes terms and conditions and states what will be covered by the quote – and what won’t. This could prove vital later down the line if the job doesn’t go to plan. 

4. Never accept work from trades who doorstep

According to Checkatrade, 44 per cent of people have been doorstepped.

However, reputable trades will never carry out this practice. 

Never be pressured into having work done by someone who knocks on your door and look out for vulnerable neighbours who may be at risk of being taken in. 

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates 
directly on your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!