Journal Issue 101 2017

Introducing Land and New Homes

Armitstead Barnett is pleased to announce a new arm to the agency specialising in the development of land and new homes.

For some considerable time now we have been providing advice on development opportunities – both on sites that already have planning permission or working with developers to achieve and promote it. These deals are often complex and require great skill and attention to detail to consider and move forward. We have also sold several new home sites and can assist developers in seeking an appealing site. We understand the need for creative marketing to push developments forward.

With the skills and experience of our team we can be involved in everything from looking at the potential end values, specifications and fitments, assisting with producing marketing material, brochures, internet listings and news publications/magazines. The new-build market is expanding which requires developers to incentivise buyers to move. We have links with third party part-exchange providers ensuring that small – medium – sized developers can compete with larger developers. An open house is also important to remain competitive, and we have put together regular open viewings during weekends.

“The image, profile and reputation of Armitstead Barnett coupled with the motivation of the team matched what we were looking for in an Estate Agent. We worked closely with Armitstead Barnett on two recent projects, most recently our development at Carter Croft. Armitstead Barnett’s input on the design of the houses, the execution of the sales and marketing strategy and then managing the individual house sales through to completion were fundamental to the successful delivery of this project. We would recommend Armitstead Barnett without hesitation and we look forward to working with the Armitstead Barnett team again in the near future.” Jeremy Whittle, MD, RP Tyson Construction Ltd

For further information contact Hannah Towers, Agency Partner on 01995 603180 or email 

What’s Lurking In Your Garden?

An innocent looking plant in your garden could be responsible for difficulty selling your home, cause a drop in its value and leave you facing a fine of up to £5,000.

Recent years have seen a massive increase of noxious weeds in our region and they can have a devastating effect not just on your garden but also on your home. The major offenders are Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Balsam and Giant Hogweed – all of which should be treated with extreme caution. Japanese Knotweed is classified as a noxious weed under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and while is it not illegal to have it on your land, it is an offence to allow it to spread on to others land and can result in a £5000 fine.

In order to control it, specialist firms can either dig it out and tip it in landfill sites or, more commonly, treat repeatedly with a special herbicide, then provide a ten-year guarantee ,for the work. Japanese Knotweed can grow up to four metres in a season and the roots have been known to crack concrete foundations as well as causing heave of foundations, roadways and paving. Its leaves are broad heart shaped and the flowers are white or cream and drop downward very much like a weeping willow.

It has a hollow red stem which in winter dies back to nothing but a small circular hole in the ground. More than once we identified knotweed in a home condition report inspection which resulted in further investigations to ensure the foundations had not been compromised and the renegotiation of the purchase price to take account of the works required. Others to watch out for include Himalayan Balsam which grows predominately along river banks and during summer gives off a sweet sickly smell.

Giant Hogweed is arguably the worst offender. It looks like a large rhubarb stalk and has a highly toxic sap which burns skin and can continue to burn even after healing when the affected area is exposed to sunshine. All of these plants require specialist treatment and it can be expensive!

If you are buying a property, it is worth checking this out. James Fish, Valuations Partner – 07855 409 452 or 01995 603180


Exciting developments at Armitstead Barnett means the agency can now offer a bespoke property search and purchase service rivalling any other in the UK Separately branded, AcQuire is an independent buying consultancy working exclusively with Armitstead Barnett. The service was originally offered in Cumbria but is now being rolled out through the entire North West region. AcQuire is headed up by Phil Martin, formerly with Garrington and Phil Spencer of Location, Location, Location fame, who brings 20 years of experience with him.

Team Active

To keep the Armitstead Barnett team fit throughout the winter, Armitstead Barnett team members have been setting their own individual office challenges.

Our South Lancashire team have enjoyed a desk-based Yoga course in order that they could try to relieve the physical stresses of being desk based for the majority of the day. Michelle from Studio One Yoga in Standish has provided four individual sessions to the team in Burscough.

North Lancashire teams took up Nordic walking which is walking with poles to give an overall body workout both from a cardio vascular and muscular perspective and is great at improving posture after a day at the office. Matthew Gibbs from Nordic Walking, Preston, provided two superb walks including training and walking by torch light. (

New Association Confirmed

AcQuire – an independent buying consultancy operating in association with Armitstead Barnett Phil, who has already started his first two searches, said: “Our service is very much tailored to individual client needs. It can be very labour intensive and not only includes creation of a detailed and written ‘search brief but provides a very thorough and extensive search process. Up to 60% of purchase properties we discover have not been displayed on the open market.”

Senior Armitstead Barnett Partner David Cowburn said: ‘This is a superb service. We first became aware of Phil Martin around four years ago and could see the sheer quality of the service he was providing. This working association is exclusive to Armitstead Barnett and allows us to provide the full range of rural property consultancy services on a regional basis, competing with services nationalfirms can offer.”

On a cold yet clear November Sunday morning the team from the Kendal office walked the Kentmere. This six-mile route took in the beauty of the remote Kentmere valley and of course, as all walks should be, it was completed with a pub lunch in the Eagle and Child at Staveley. The ten humans and six dogs that participated had a thoroughly good time.

BPS Update

The payment rate is set at a combined rate for entitlements and greening of £215.61 (non-SDA) with the exchange rate of being £0.85228. This is a welcomed increase from the previous year. Claim statements relating to any payments made will be issued from February 2017.

Mapping updates are scheduled to take place in January 2017 however there will be no notification of these changes and nor will you receive any paper maps. It is therefore essential that all on-line maps are checked prior to submitting your claim.

The usual cross-compliance will apply throughout the year. Some changes are proposed but the scheme will broadly remain the same. From early 2017 land and entitlements can be transferred on-line in preparation for your next claim.

Our Agricultural team can assist you with any entitlement trading, land transfers or applications.

For further information please contact Richard Furnival, Agricultural Partner – 07967 647 378 or 01995 603180 and Emma Hodkinson, Associate Partner – 07912 480536 or 01539 751993

Official Opening of Kendal Office

Thursday 2nd February saw the official opening of our Kendal office. The opening was held at the impressive Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal, featuring the George Shaw – Back to Nature collection. With over 80 people attending the evening was a huge success; celebrated with many familiar faces and lots of new acquaintances.



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