Summer Journal 2015



So how is the market? With £41,000,000 of property launched since the end of February, we have been rather busy!

At the beginning of spring we certainly felt the effects of pre-election nerves from purchasers and vendors alike. With excellent mortgage rates and a change in Stamp Duty – making the amount payable less for the majority of purchasers – we could feel the atmosphere of the property market begin to change.

Since the Conservative majority government (a surprise to some!) we have felt an increase in confidence through all price ranges. When looking at our Rightmove enquiries, it is clear to see a distinct increase in the level of buyer interest since last year – an impressive 40% rise in email enquiries alone when comparing April 2014 to April 2015. Since the end of February we have agreed £23,500,000 sales and the number of instructions are also increasing.

So, is now a good time to sell? I would say so.

It has been some time since we have been involved in new build sites, but with more planning consents being granted, we have received a number of instructions to sell new- build homes and all are receiving good levels of interest.

Our key new-build sites are in Treales, Forton (pictured above), Freckleton, Croston and Chorley although we are now also receiving instructions to sell sites that have the benefit of planning consent, ranging from individual plots, (ideal for those looking to build their dream home), to larger sites that suit developer purchasers.

The Armitstead Barnett team is highly skilled at sensibly pricing and presenting properties to the market to make the most of their qualities.

We also work hard to ensure that we get to the right markets to gain an optimum number of viewings. If you have been waiting until the market improves to think about marketing your property – it is time to spy your chance. Stand out from the crowd – call our offices to book an appointment.


New schemes to provide incentives for land managers to manage land in line with environmental and diversity targets are being introduced under the Countryside Stewardship (CS) scheme as part of CAP reforms and will contribute an estimated £900 million to rural businesses.

CS operates in line with the national targeting framework and the new schemes will be open to eligible farmers, woodland owners, foresters and other land managers through a competitive application process. It’s important to note this will replace existing schemes.

CS is designed to enable the government to ensure Stewardship is ‘good value for tax payers’ money’. The main priority for CS is to protect and enhance the natural environment, to include the diversity of wildlife and water quality.

The tiered scheme will comprise Mid-Tier, Higher-Tier and Capital Grants. Not everyone who applies will be successful. Targeting and scoring will encourage applicants to choose options that help achieve the environmental priorities in their local area. Capital agreements will be available for:

  • Hedgerows and boundaries 
  • Woodland management plans 
  • Woodland tree health – restoration and improvement 
  • Woodland improvement capital 
  • Woodland improvement – infrastructure 
  • Woodland creation 
  • Water capital 
  • Feasibility studies and implementation plans.

The application window is from July 1st 2015 to September 30th 2015. Applications for CS will be validated in November and start on January 1st 2016. Hedgerows and Boundary grants will be available from early 2016 onwards and will be paid for small-scale restoration of boundary features, like hedgerows and stone walls up to a maximum of £5,000.

Further information on this will be available later in 2015. Applications for this year can only be made by Agreement Holders with agreements expiring in 2015 or individuals that are not currently within any stewardship schemes. For individuals with existing agreements, these will carry on until the specified end date.

For further information please contact Emma Hodkinson (née Lowis) BSc (Hons) MRICS FAAV, Surveyor 01995 603 180


When you buy land or property you would be forgiven in thinking you become the owner of everything above and below the ground, but sadly we are often mistaken – and now is the time to ensure you know your rights.

The proposed shale gas exploration in Lancashire has brought land ownership issues to the fore for some land owners, so if this is likely to affect you it is essential you know your rights and seek professional advice if you are unsure.

Observers to the proposed exploration have already noticed that the rights to the shale gas, not to mention their huge financial value, are reserved in favour of the Crown, but what about other rights?

Sometimes when land is sold the sale does not include the minerals (commonly called mines and mineral rights) present underneath it.

In reality this means there could be separate owners of the surface and what lies beneath. These arrangements often continue for generations without causing any practical issues or problems because the minerals are financially not worth mining.

Now however, with renewed activity in development, the minerals rights issue does raise problems. Generally when the surface land is being developed, the owner of the mineral rights may view it as trespass and seek damages or even use the mining and mineral rights as a ransom strip leading to a potentially lengthy and costly dispute.

Some developers will be tempted to agree a one-off payment to the mineral owner or, in the absence of any contact with the mineral owner, they will take out an indemnity insurance. But as mineral disputes become more frequent the insurance premiums will undoubtedly increase. All this means is the bottom line payment to the surface owner may be affected.

It is good practice to try to establish your full legal ownership rights before entering any legal agreement for developing your land thereby avoiding any last minute financial pitfalls.

For further information please contact:Richard D Furnival BSc (Hons) MRICS FAAV, Partner 01995 603 180


Am I eligible?

The entitlement to claim only lies with those who have a wayleave and not an easement. If you are receiving an annual payment then it is likely that you have a wayleave. An easement on the other hand is a permanent right which the utility company acquired by deed (detailed as a charge in your land registration) and a compensation figure would be paid to you or a previous owner at the time of execution. This permanent right would pass with the land and is not something that disappears on the change of hands of property.

What compensation can I expect?

The compensation payable is dependent upon a number of factors including the nature of the apparatus and of course its proximity to your residential property. Apparatus up to 150m away from your residential property is considered to be significant. The compensation is usually applied on a percentage of the property value.

What happens once I’ve received compensation?

The compensation payable provides the utility company with a permanent right in lieu of this sum, therefore it is important to take advice as this may ultimately impact upon future plans for your holding whether it be a diversification enterprise or a development opportunity.

Where do I go from here?

The Armitstead Barnett team has many years’ experience in these matters so is well placed to offer advice and negotiate with the utility company on your behalf. It’s important to note that generally the utility company is responsible for paying reasonable agent’s fees – not you!

For more information and a no-obligation discussion please contact Jack Sharpe BSc (Hons) MRICS, FAAV Surveyor 01704 895 995


Congratulations to Assistant Surveyor Jack Sharpe on passing his RICS exams. He is now a fully qualified Chartered Surveyor and will be continuing his work with the team at the Burscough Office.


We are delighted to announce the appointment of Nicola Morris as Sales Negotiator. Nicola will be working alongside Debbie, Natalie and Jane in our Burscough office


Members of staff from both our offices are currently in training for a charity bike ride which will see them cycle approximately 120 miles the length of Lancashire – passing through many of the villages where our clients are located. Why not come and join us for either the whole or part of the ride, it will be taking place on 4th and 5th September. If you are interested in taking part or would like to sponsor us please contact Tracey Whalley

All monies raised will go to our two chosen charities this year, Fylde Coast Trinity Hospice and The Legacy Rainbow House in Mawdesley.


Stunning weather throughout the week and torrential rain during the weekend can mean only one thing – the British summer has arrived! As the supermarkets stock up on BBQ essentials here at Armitstead Barnett we’re planning our summer outings and activities too and preparations are underway to attend three local shows:


Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th July 2015


Saturday 1st August 2015


Saturday 22nd August 2015 We will be sharing the stand with our colleagues at Brock Auction and would be delighted to see clients old and new for light refreshments throughout the day at these events championing the UK countryside and British Agriculture.

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