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Inside Bath flat used by Queen Charlotte for sale for £1.25million 

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Royal fans are being offered a chance to see what it was like to live like a queen in the past, as part of the Bath home of King George III’s wife, Charlotte, has come onto the market.

The building at 93 Sydney Place was where Queen Charlotte stayed when she spent time in Bath in 1817, and she used a section of the first floor as a ballroom.

Today, the entire first floor has been transformed into a stunning flat, which is currently for sale with a price tag of £1.25million. Period features that have been brought back to life in the renovated flat include a large curved door, ornate cornicing and a magnificent sun room.

Royal connections: The building at 93 Sydney Place was where King George III's wife, Charlotte, stayed when she spent time in Bath in 1817

Royal connections: The building at 93 Sydney Place was where King George III’s wife, Charlotte, stayed when she spent time in Bath in 1817

Alistair Heather, of Strutt & Parker – the estate agent handling the sale – said: ‘Queen Charlotte, consort to George III, lived at 93 Sydney Place in 1817, commemorated by a plaque on the exterior of the building, and is believed to have used the first floor as a ballroom during her stay.’

He added: ‘Bath has a great lineage of royal visitors over the years and it was very fashionable at the time of Queen Charlotte to come and stay in the city to use the Bath Spa.’

The first floor of 93 Sydney Place has been converted into a flat, which is on the market, via estate agents Strutt & Parker with an asking price  of £1.25million

The first floor of 93 Sydney Place has been converted into a flat, which is on the market, via estate agents Strutt & Parker with an asking price  of £1.25million

A decorative plaque on the exterior of the building highlights how Queen Charlotte stayed at the property during her time in the city

A decorative plaque on the exterior of the building highlights how Queen Charlotte stayed at the property during her time in the city

In times past (pictured): King George III and his wife, with his consort Charlotte Sophia, and some of their family

In times past (pictured): King George III and his wife, with his consort Charlotte Sophia, and some of their family

The space at the front of the converted first floor flat includes large doors that open out  onto a wide balcony overlooking Sydney Gardens

The space at the front of the converted first floor flat includes large doors that open out  onto a wide balcony overlooking Sydney Gardens

The flat has two bedrooms with double doors from the former ballroom leading to the largest bedroom that also contains a bath in the window

The flat has two bedrooms with double doors from the former ballroom leading to the largest bedroom that also contains a bath in the window

The flat boasts a range of features, from a sun room to 10 foot high wedding doors, which connect the main living room with the main bedroom. The doors can still be opened fully to create a dramatic front-to-back aspect through the property. 

There are also three bespoke chandeliers, which help to draw the eye to the ornate cornicing throughout the flat.

During our exclusive tour of the flat, Mr Heather explained: ‘The property is Grade I listed and recently renovated. The decorators only had to remove two layers of paint. The ceiling and cornice work is so fine.’

There are now two-bedrooms in the newly renovated flat, one behind the 10 ft wedding doors and the other in what used to be a kitchen. That room now has a mezzanine with space for a bed on the upper level and a fully-fitted shower room below.

The newly installed designer kitchen has a pop-up extractor fan set in the centre of the hob on the kitchen island and brushed brass accessories

The newly installed designer kitchen has a pop-up extractor fan set in the centre of the hob on the kitchen island and brushed brass accessories 

The balcony spans the width of the living room and enjoys views of Sydney Gardens, which is a landscaped park with a canal

The balcony spans the width of the living room and enjoys views of Sydney Gardens, which is a landscaped park with a canal

The careful renovation includes three bespoke chandeliers, other modern lighting touches, and some freshly painted ornate cornicing

The careful renovation includes three bespoke chandeliers, other modern lighting touches, and some freshly painted ornate cornicing

This Georgian shoe was found in the flat - they were  often left in buildings as a piece of history and as a mark of craftsmanship

This Georgian shoe was found in the flat – they were  often left in buildings as a piece of history and as a mark of craftsmanship

The new kitchen is now part of the main living area, which includes a large fireplace, a balcony with views across Sydney Gardens and new lighting.

Mr Heather said: ‘Due to the historical status of the building being Grade I listed, rewiring the property was very tricky.

‘The electrician used a rather ingenious way of running the wires from the switches to the chandeliers by tying the electrical wire to the end of a ferret’s tail. They then sent the ferret through into the wall using bait through the ceiling to bring it back through. In doing so, it brought the wires through.

‘While they were doing this work in the ‘ballroom’, the ferret emerged with a bit of bonus – a Georgian shoe found between the joists.

‘Georgian shoes were often left in a building like this as a piece of history and as a mark of craftsmanship.’

Sydney Place was designed and built by the architect John Pinch The Elder, and was considered the centre of fashionable life in Bath

 Sydney Place was designed and built by the architect John Pinch The Elder, and was considered the centre of fashionable life in Bath

The sun room sits above the main entrance to the block and is the perfect spot to enjoy the summer sunshine

The sun room sits above the main entrance to the block and is the perfect spot to enjoy the summer sunshine

Sydney Place was designed and built by the architect John Pinch The Elder, and was considered the centre of fashionable life in Bath.

It was home in the 19th Century to Jane Austen, who lived at number 4, and King William IV had a home at 103 Sydney Place.

More recently, the location has found fame in the Netflix series Bridgerton, which was mainly filmed in Bath, and one of the key locations is across the street – the Holburne Museum. 

Sydney Place has good access to public transport, being a short walk to Bath Spa station, which has mainline railway services to London Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads.

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Cladding-hit flat owner to send repair bills to developer after floor collapses

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‘I’ll be sending the bill to the chief executive’: Cladding-hit flat owner hits out at developer after his floor collapses in latest building fiasco

  • Homeowner sees floor at his London flat collapse in latest building fiasco
  • We exclusively reveal the full extent of the damage – a hole that is 40cm by 30cm
  • The damage is the latest question about building work in flats across Britain
  • Many flats have already been hit by the cladding crisis and face huge repair bills 










A leaseholder who is already having to deal with expensive cladding issues has hit out at poor craftsmanship after the floor of his flat collapsed beneath his feet.

Liam Spender explained that he was at home at the weekend when he felt the floor give way.

‘I felt the floor go and moved quickly out of the way. I turned back and there was a dip in the carpet. I nearly fell through the floor,’ he said.

Leaseholder Liam Spender (pictured) has hit out at poor craftsmanship at his London home in Canary Wharf

Leaseholder Liam Spender (pictured) has hit out at poor craftsmanship at his London home in Canary Wharf

Mr Spender lifted the carpet at his London flat near Canary Wharf to reveal the full extent of the damage – a hole that is approximately 40cm by 30cm.

He explained that his flat is across two levels, meaning that the floor between is allowed to be made as it is – with chipboard and wooden joists – and does not need to include concrete. 

However, Mr Spender claimed that the sheets of chipboard were not adequately supported by the floor joists. 

The damaged floor is on a gallery above his bedroom. ‘It could have been a lot worse and I could have gone straight through,’ he said.

Taking to Twitter, Mr Spender explained how the floor was not adequate, saying: ‘There is only air between the floor boards and the room underneath.’

Mr Spender claimed that the chipboard floor was not adequately supported by the floor joists

Mr Spender claimed that the chipboard floor was not adequately supported by the floor joists

The flat owner revealed the full extent of the damage - a hole that is approximately 40cm by 30cm

The flat owner revealed the full extent of the damage – a hole that is approximately 40cm by 30cm

It is the latest challenge Mr Spender has at his building, as he already faces a bill for remediation works due to cladding issues.

‘I’m going to get the bill for fixing the mess on cladding. The broken floor is literally a step too far. 

He said: ‘I’m going to get the bill for fixing the mess on cladding. The broken floor is literally a step too far.

‘I have not had my bill for the cladding issues yet. But I’ll be sending the bill for the floor and the cladding – when it comes – marked for the attention of the chief executive and chairman of Berkeley homes.’

Since the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017, concerns about cladding have become a national issue.

Lenders have refused to provide finance on some types of cladding, leaving some flat owners trapped in unsafe homes that they are unable to sell.

Berkeley Group was approached for comment, but declined to comment. 

Mr Spender said the broken floor was 'a step too far' as he was already expecting a repair bill for cladding issues at his building

Mr Spender said the broken floor was ‘a step too far’ as he was already expecting a repair bill for cladding issues at his building

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How do you feel about the new carbon budgets?

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We want to hear your views on the proposed new carbon budgets which, the Government says, will change how people live and work. The proposed budgets, published by the Climate Change Advisory Council, will apply to every sector of the economy and will outline a limit for total emissions that can be released.

The first carbon budget, which will run from 2021 to 2025, will see emissions reduce by 4.8 per cent on average each year for five years. The second budget, which will run from 2026 to 2030, will see emissions reduce by 8.3 per cent on average each year for five years. The council says the budgets will require “transformational changes for society” but that failing to act would have “grave consequences”. Environmental campaigners say the budgets will provide a cleaner, healthier and safer future but some rural groups such as the Irish Farmers’ Association say they will have “serious repercussions”.

How do you feel about the new carbon budgets?

Now we’d like to hear your views: Do you support the budgets or are you against them; do they go too far or not far enough?

We will publish a selection of your responses online (If you are reading this on the Irish Times app, click here to access the form for submissions).

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House sales shoot up a THIRD in September amid fears of mortgage rate hike

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The number of homes bought and sold in Britain rose by two thirds in September compared to August, with experts believing buyers are seeking to get ahead of a potential rise in mortgage rates. 

There were nearly 161,000 property transactions in September on a seasonally-adjusted basis, a 67.5 per cent increase on the previous month, according to latest figures from HMRC. 

They also increased by 68 per cent compared to September 2020, and 63 per cent compared to the ‘normal’ market average in September 2017 to 2019.

The cost of a mortgage could be set to increase, if the Bank of England base rate rises

The cost of a mortgage could be set to increase, if the Bank of England base rate rises

Experts say the sharp rise was only partly a result of the Government’s stamp duty holiday, which has fuelled price growth of around £25,000 in the last year but finally ended on 30 September. 

It initially allowed buyers to save up to £15,000 in taxes as they did not need to pay stamp duty on the portion of their property purchase under £500,000. 

But in September, the tax break would have had a more subdued effect.

In England and Northern Ireland, it was tapered down between July and September so that buyers could only save £2,500.

And the holiday had already expired in Scotland and Wales, on 31 March and 30 June respectively. 

Given that the impact of the stamp duty holiday was lessening, some suggest that other factors have become more important in maintaining high levels of activity in the housing market. 

There are a number of things at play, according to Lawrence Bowles, senior research analyst at Savills.

‘There’s more to this activity than a stamp duty holiday: record-low mortgage rates, desire for more space, and a core of unmet pent up demand all continue to push up transaction volumes,’ he says. 

Although it is one of several reasons why the housing market remains hot, the desire for a cheap mortgage has become more of a pressing issue for buyers in recent days and weeks. 

This is because speculation about a rise in the Bank of England’s base rate has threatened an increase in the current super-low rates.

At the moment, rates are available as low as 0.89 per cent – but they are already rising. At its lowest, the cheapest fixed rate on the market was 0.84 per cent.

Major lenders including NatWest, HSBC and Barclays have all moved to increase rates on some mortgages, after months of sustained falls. 

With a base rate rise being predicted by some for December, experts are suggesting that the threat of mortgage rates going up is the ‘new stamp duty holiday’ and that the rush to complete sales before rates rise is now keeping the housing market buoyant.

Simon Bath, chief executive of technology company iPlace Global which created the property advice app Moveable, says: ‘We have reached another crossroads in which following the stamp duty holiday, there is another potential deadline for Brits to prepare for.

‘It seems likely that house prices will continue to rise before demand slows down, as Brits race to obtain lower mortgage rates.’

Rising costs: Those buying homes have seen the typical sale price increase by £5,000 in the last month alone, according to data from the property platform Rightmove

Rising costs: Those buying homes have seen the typical sale price increase by £5,000 in the last month alone, according to data from the property platform Rightmove 

Early statistics back his price rise theory up. According to Rightmove’s latest house price index, which covers the first half of October, the average house price jumped £5,000 compared to the previous month. 

In addition, every UK region broke asking price records for the first time since March 2007.

The property portal noted in its report: ‘The continued fast turnover of property for sale and a window of opportunity to buy before a potential interest rate rise seem to have overcome the final expiry of all stamp duty incentives and are keeping activity robust.’

This trend is keeping the market buoyant for now, but could it really lead to another buying frenzy? Iain McKenzie, chief executive of The Guild of Property Professionals, says so. 

‘With demand for properties still high, and a potential mortgage rate rise on the horizon, this could be the perfect storm to see another frenzy to buy, so long as the shortage of stock doesn’t continue,’ he says. 

There is also the simple fact that people who were trying to meet the September stamp duty deadline, but failed, are unlikely to abandon their purchases, and will continue to add to the totals over the coming months. 

But others are less sure about talk of another buying boom. With the base rate rise only tipped to be from 0.1 per cent to 0.25 per cent, the difference in people’s mortgage payments may only be a few pounds per month. 

For example, for someone with a £120,000, two-year fixed rate mortgage on a £200,000 home, the difference between a 0.89 per cent rate and a 1.04 per cent rate would be just over £8 a month, or just under £200 across the fixed period. 

Office for National Statistics data showing house price increases over the past 15 years

Office for National Statistics data showing house price increases over the past 15 years

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, says: ‘People will still move without stamp duty holidays and will continue to refinance their homes, whether mortgage rates are below 1 per cent or around 2 per cent.

‘Borrowers are keen to secure these historically-low mortgage rates but if the right property comes along, they are still likely to buy even if they have to pay say 15 basis points more and won’t qualify for a stamp duty holiday.’

But as the stamp duty holiday proved, the psychological impact of thinking you are saving money can be powerful, even when the actual cash saving is negligible. 

While buyers did indeed ‘save’ up to £15,000 in tax, house price rises during the stamp duty holiday were upwards of £20,000, eclipsing the actual saving.   

The true impact that the mooted rise in mortgage rates will have depends on myraid factors, including whether there is further clarity on if and when the base rate change might actually happen, and how mortgage lenders continue to respond to the situation. 

All eyes will be on the October transaction statistics and house price indices to see whether the market is remaining buoyant. 

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