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Kineton Cards Made By Community Enterprise ‘Eco-Workshop’

Sheldon Bosley Knight has partnered with local community enterprise, Eco-Workshop. The Stratford-upon-Avon based initiative supports adults with learning disabilities and autism, to increase physical and mental wellbeing.

Eco-Workshop was established in 2013 by Catherine Adams and Suzanne Morrison, who are parents of young adults with learning disabilities and autism. The scheme aims to fill the post-education gap for those with additional needs; ensuring their lives are purposeful, stimulating and active. The regular workshops involve work-based activities such as light assembly work for local businesses, collecting and sorting recyclables, or making crafts for sale – developing vital work, social and life skills. The sessions are designed with sensitivity to participants’ needs, providing opportunities to achieve personal goals and ambitions

The collaboration was established by Kathy Molan, who recently joined Sheldon Bosley Knight’s new Kineton branch as a Sales Negotiator. Kathy previously bought Christmas cards from Eco-Workshop and was eager to find a way to support the project as a business, so attended their community coffee morning this week to see their handmade crafts. Participants at the workshop have made personalised cards for us, which our Kineton branch will send to customers as a congratulations on completion of house purchases. The handmade cards are environmentally friendly and sustainable, using recycled teabags to create unique house designs for us.

Although this is our first step partnering with Eco-Workshop, we hope to continue supporting each other on future projects. Thank you to everyone involved in creating the lovely cards, which we know our customers will be pleased to receive.

Read more about Eco-Workshop here.

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Countryside Stewardship – Funding Guarantee & Scheme Administration Update

Countryside Stewardship - field planted with saplings

HM Treasury confirmed last year on 24th July 2018 that, even in a ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario, funding is guaranteed for Countryside Stewardship (CS) agreements signed by 31st December 2020 for the life of the agreement, provided they offer ‘good value for money’ and are ‘in line with domestic strategic priorities.’

Delivery of CS (and Environmental Stewardship) was subsequently transferred to the Rural Payments Agency effective 1st October 2018.

The remaining deadline for this year’s submissions is 31st July 2019 for Offers and Mid Tier Schemes, and our Rural Team are busy finalising submissions on behalf of our clients.

Future of Farming Payments
BPS and CS will phase out and be replaced by ELM (Environmental Land Management), which will be rolled out nationally 2025-2027.

Between 2021 and 2027 it is expected that BPS will be decreased each year but as yet the structure of the annual decrease has not been confirmed.

Countryside Stewardship funding

As can be seen from the above infographic originally sourced from the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV), it is only a matter of time before farmers will be paid “public money for public goods”.

We therefore strongly advise that you consider an environmental scheme on your holding, not only to guarantee a source of income throughout the inevitable turbulence of Brexit but also to ensure that you are “ahead of the game” from 2025.

For further information and assistance please call our Rural Team on 01608 661666.

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Sheldon Bosley Knight Supports Shipston Primary School

Sheldon Bosley Knight Sponsors Shipston Primary School T-shirts

Sheldon Bosley Knight are keen to support the local community given our strong roots in Shipston going back literally over 100 years.

During the year we support a number of the Shipston Primary School activities:

Book of the Month

For each month of the school term, a chapter book and a picture book are selected by the school as ‘Book of the Month’ for the pupils of the Stour Valley Federation (Shipston Primary, Brailes Primary and Acorns Long Compton).

This is the third year we have funded the books.

Football Tournament

The annual football tournament takes place towards the end of the summer term and we are pleased to sponsor some of the t-shirts for the Shipston Primary School team.

Easter Egg Raffle

Always one of our favourites, we donate a chocolate Easter Egg for the Primary School’s annual chocolate tombola.

Sheldon Bosley Knight in the Community

Sheldon Bosley Knight are keen to support the local community.

For further information about Sheldon Bosley Knight’s community activities or sponsorship opportunities please call 01608 661666.

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Lucy Pierce Joins Our Award Winning Planning & Architecture Team

Lucy Pierce, Town Planner, Sheldon Bosley Knight

Sheldon Bosley Knight are delighted to welcome Lucy Pierce who joins the Planning & Architecture Team as Town Planner.

Director Daniel Jackson said,  “We’re really pleased to announce the addition of Lucy Pierce to the team. Lucy joins us following stints with a number of Local Planning Authorities in the area including, Stratford, Warwick, South Northants and Redditch/Bromsgrove. Prior to that, Lucy spent 5 years in the private sector.  We are excited to bolster the team here at Stratford and have the benefit of Lucy’s knowledge and experience”.

Whilst undertaking her Geography studies at St Mary’s University in Twickenham, Lucy undertook a work placement at Richmond Council and discovered her vocation.  She says “I’m very excited to be joining the Planning and Architecture team in Stratford.  Returning to the private sector will give me the opportunity to work with clients and see their sites before the planning ball starts rolling, in turn offering advice and input to their desired scheme resulting in a positive outcome with a great scheme.”

She continued, “I decided on the move to Sheldon Bosley Knight as I will be involved in some really interesting projects that are well designed and thought out to suit and enhance the environment they will potentially be within.”

Sheldon Bosley Knight Planning and Architecture LogoThe Sheldon Bosley Knight Planning & Architecture team are skilled and experienced professionals in projects of all sizes and types; we can assist you whatever your needs.  From initial, informal planning advice, through to the preparation, submission and monitoring of planning applications and appeals, we are here to guide you through the ever more complicated world of planning. Often we can give you a ‘yes or no’ steer on the merits of a project in a matter of minutes.

If you have a planning query please contact the team on (01789) 292310 or planning@sheldonbosleyknight.co.uk

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Is Your Property Adequately Insured?

Warning Traffic Sign On Flooded Road

This month we’ve had no sign of a ‘flaming June’ but more ‘raining June’ as many parts of the UK have suffered extensive rainfall and unseasonably low temperatures. The weather has served as a timely reminder of the importance of reviewing your insurance policy to ensure it includes the necessary assets and provides sufficient cover.

Many people simply pay their renewal year after year and do not think about the consequences of being under insured.

It is important to have your residential, commercial and agricultural property valued regularly to ensure that should the worst happen, you have sufficient cover for the value of your assets. An insurance valuation is the inspection and assessment of a building in order to calculate the re-instatement cost, i.e. how much it would cost to rebuild the building. Each building is different and it is important to assess factors such as size, construction, age, floor to ceiling height, location and access.

      Matthew Payne

If your home has been extended or extensively refurbished, is Listed, or constructed in materials other than brick, then it is likely that the buildings insurance valuation is too low; extensive outbuildings, walls and hard landscaping are often forgotten.

At Sheldon Bosley Knight we have the expertise to provide accurate buildings insurance valuations that eliminate this risk so that your buildings are fully insured.

If you require further information or advice then please contact Matthew Payne MRICS on 01386 444900.

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Richard Connolly Achieves MRICS Status

Richard Connolly RICS, with Mark Treadwell, Commercial Property, Sheldon Bosley Knight

Richard Connolly RICS, with Mark Treadwell, Commercial Property, Sheldon Bosley KnightSheldon Bosley Knight is pleased to announce that Richard Connolly from our Commercial department is now a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).  Richard recently took the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence and passed with flying colours.  In addition to his fifteen years’ experience Richard now has a worldwide industry leading qualification with which to help our clients.

In recognition of Richard’s hard work he is pictured here receiving a bottle of champagne on behalf of Sheldon Bosley Knight from Mark Treadwell, the Associate Director of the Commercial department.

The Sheldon Bosley Knight Commercial department offer a comprehensive range of commercial property services including property management, valuations and surveys, sales and lettings, rent reviews and lease renewals, business rates, architectural and planning services and advice and assistance with investment, development and acquisition.

For further information and assistance please contact the team.

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Nikki Evis Completes the London Marathon

Since late 2018 we have been following the progress of Nikki Evis, Property Manager at our Stratford office, who has been training and fundraising for her first London Marathon.

Nikki gained a gold band place to run for St Richard’s Hospice in Worcester and has been training and fundraising furiously in preparation for the big day.

She held a number of fundraisers including a Christmas hamper raffle, a draw for a homemade Christmas cake and bottle of champagne, an Easter bake sale and a ceilidh in a bid to reach her target of £2,500.

We are delighted to say that Nikki successfully completed the marathon in 4 hours, 40 minutes, an incredible achievement in itself, but she also exceeded her target and raised a total of £3,245.84. A fantastic result and we are all very proud of her.

Nikki said afterwards, “I am very pleased with my time considering I had a slight pull in my calf muscle the week before. I was struggling around the 16 mile point but seeing my family cheering me along the route spurred me on to the end.

I am thrilled to have hit my target and more, and would like to thank everyone for their generous support and donations.”

Nikki won’t be hanging up her running shoes any time soon, a little bird tells us that she is considering applying for next year. Watch this space!

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The Evesham Regatta 2019

Sheldon Bosley Knight were delighted to sponsor the 2019 Evesham Regatta which took place on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th May. The annual event organised by Evesham Rowing Club has been held every year since 1864 and attracts competitors from clubs as far away as Poole, Northampton, Cardiff  and Huntingdon. This year over 400 crews took part, ranging in age from young teenagers to adults in their 70s.

The regatta was a great success and despite the chilly wind, the weather remained dry and provided great entertainment for both competitors and spectators alike, with the occasional mishap and capsize into the water to add to the drama and excitement.

Tony Rowland accepting his prizeSheldon Bosley Knight sponsored 4 races during the course of the weekend. Tony Rowland from our Evesham office who is a keen rower himself, and a member of the rowing club committee, won a coveted ‘Evesham Pot’ in one of the races, which he promptly filled with beer to celebrate!

The Regatta is supported by many local businesses and volunteers and all funds raised are ploughed back into the Club, some of which is used to fund their ‘Learn to Row’ programmes for juniors and adults to learn the basic skills of rowing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Pitfalls of a Beautiful Modern Bathroom

modern bathroom

modern bathroomMost of you reading this article will be here because you are flicking through the property pages or related web sites.  Your interest might be casual, an idle curiosity, or you might be seriously looking with a view to either moving up or down the housing ladder.  All sales particulars will describe the ablutions rooms, whether they are the family bathroom, the cloakroom, or the en-suite.  They all have something in common; they have the same sanitary ware. There are variations on a theme, there may be a bidet, a shower, or even a shower mounted over the bath, with the usually ineffectual shower curtain that is cold and slimy to touch, while helping to spread the water round the bathroom. But in essence the equipment is the same, a toilet, bath and hand wash basin.

Designs of bathrooms are becoming more adventurous as time marches on, there might be a wet room, where the shower and bath are mounted in the middle of the room.  The floor and walls are tiled, and the assumption is that water will go everywhere, water draining from the room via a centrally constructed drain.   Space is important for the room to be really useful.  If the bath is central to the room, parents can wash children from both sides.  If the shower is mounted on a separate pipe, there can be an adequate gap between the walls and the shower curtain, preventing that intimate contact with the wet clammy shower curtain.

shower headBathrooms are fast becoming the province of the interior designer; a well-designed and finished bathroom can add value to the house as a whole.  In the past the surfaces were finished with ceramic tiles, now you might see limestone used instead, as a chic wall tile.  There is a problem however, with doing this, because limestone is a porous material. Modern showers, with pressurised systems use a lot of water.  During use water will splash over the walls, and run down the walls as it wends it’s way to the drain outlet.

I draw your attention to this because chic may not always be functional.  Whether you are designing your own shower room, or are paying a designer to do it, be aware of the pitfalls for using a modern stone tile. In the past, wall tiles were mostly glazed ceramic tiles, and the grout was a specialist water resistant type, capable of shedding the water rather than soaking it up.  Under British Standards the ceramic wall tiles were tested for their porosity, usually being under 0.05% porous as a material.

These days the swish tiles on display at the DIY shops or even at the tile merchants, don’t always indicate what the porosity of the individual tiles might be. Many of the limestone tiles have porosity levels of between 5-6%, which is at least 30 times the level of a glazed ceramic tile. Almost like blotting paper in comparison.  Choice of grout is also essential.  Ensure that waterproof gout is used, with a fungicidal additive added.  This will prevent the dreaded black mould from growing, whilst making routine cleaning easier.  The waterproof grout will also prevent water from soaking into the walls of the house, sealing the tile joints effectively, and preventing a damp problem from occurring at a future date.

grey bathroomLocation of the bathroom is also important.  By being en-suite, it is highly likely that the bathroom will be situated on the first floor adjacent to the bedroom.  In most instances, the bathroom will be constructed on a wooden joisted floor.  By it’s very design, and the choice of material, the floor will flex and move as it experiences temperature and moisture fluctuations. Putting a tiled surface directly onto a wooden surface is asking for trouble.  As the floor moves, the tiles will move, and it is highly likely that hairline cracks will develop. A lot of water can pass through a hairline crack, and if it lands on a wooden joist, the ideal recipe for soft wood rots, or even worse the dreaded dry rot to grow.

Unfortunately quite often this type of problem is not recognised for months, the first sign of a problem will be the brown stains on the ceiling below.  It is far better to use a man made material in this location, which is flexible and durable.  There are many examples of modern laminate materials easily available for use in a domestic home.  Investigate companies such as Karndean on Vale Park, Evesham, and see what is available.

If you are thinking of creating a new bathroom/ wet room, think about the possibility of incorporating a heated floor. This can either be by hot water, or by an electric system. Electric systems are far easier to install in existing properties, but hot water pipes also have many merits. Again, seek advice from a plumber before finalising the design.  One of the main advantages of a heated floor is that excess moisture is evaporated from the room quickly, keeping the atmosphere dry.  Ventilation is also critical for removal of moisture from the room, hopefully to the exterior of the building. This can be natural ventilation, i.e. opening a window, or by use of an extractor fan. These are usually noisy when operating, and of course consume energy while operating.

Care should be taken when designing a bathroom. To me, they are probably the most important rooms in the house.  A good spacious bathroom / wet room can make a good house into a superb house.  Copious amounts of hot water, in a warm surrounding can make bath time a pleasurable experience.  A well thought out design will maximise the use of space, in a room which often becomes the focal point for family life.  Proper design, choice of finishing materials, and layout will enhance the use of the room, and increase the value of the property. So if you are contemplating changing a bathroom, take care to get the design and construction right first time.

Tony Rowland SBK TLG

 

 

Tony Rowland BSc(Hons) MSc MRICS

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Town Centre premises for local Hospice Shop

The Commercial team of Sheldon Bosley Knight has completed a letting of a retail premises on Wood Street in Stratford-upon-Avon. Myton Hospice have taken a double unit on the busy and popular Wood Street to open a new 961 sq ft retail offering.  Having targeted Stratford Town Centre as a location for their 27th site for some time, they were waiting for the right property in the right location and this fits the bill perfectly.

Myton Hospice Wood St

 

Opening today, it is a great opportunity for this wonderful local charity to raise the awareness of The Myton Hospices in Stratford.    Myton’s work centres on enhancing their patient’s lives and involving them in decisions about their care.  They aim to give patients more quality time with their families and loved ones.

 

 

 

Mark Treadwell of Sheldon Bosley Knight negotiated the terms of the new twelve-year lease.  “Myton are an excellent local organisation who will be a superb occupier and this will hopefully be the beginning of a long relationship between them and the owner”.

Sheldon Bosley Knight Commercial Property

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Diversification via Development Seminar

Diversification via Development Seminar - Sheldon Bosley Knight

Diversification via Development Seminar - Sheldon Bosley Knight Sheldon Bosley Knight were delighted to sponsor the recent Diversification via Development Seminar hosted by Warwickshire Rural Hub on Tuesday 30th April.

The  Seminar provided an opportunity for farmers and landowners to learn more about the options available to them for converting farm buildings to residential use. Daniel Jackson, Director of Sheldon Bosley Knight and an Associate of the Royal Town Planning Institute, was joined by two other local experts who between them covered the planning, finance and tax implications of rural diversification.

Daniel explained the Class Q Permitted Development rights that were introduced in 2014 and which apply to buildings that were in agricultural use on 20th March 2013.

Diversification via Development Seminar - Sheldon Bosley Knight He gave some examples of Class Q applications and discussed the common pitfalls to be aware of including the maximum floor space that can be developed, the number of dwellings allowed and the deadline for completion of the building.

Daniel and his planning team have worked on a number of successful Class Q applications and he emphasised the importance of seeking professional advice for anybody considering Class Q development given the strict criteria that applies.

The audience also heard from Daniel O’Donnell from Rosconn Strategic Land who discussed the role of Promotion Agreements and their value to the landowner, and Mark Dickin of Ellacotts explained the all important tax implications.

The seminar was very well attended with over 85 guests who enjoyed networking over hot bacon baps and the opportunity to ask questions of the speakers.

For further information and to discuss your own rural diversification plans, please get in touch with Daniel on djackson@sheldonbosleyknight.co.uk.

 

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Time for a Change? The RTPI “Chief Planner of Tomorrow” Initiative

Natasha Blackmore Da Silva - Planning Associate, Sheldon Bosley Knight
Natasha Blackmore Da Silva - Assistant Planner, Sheldon Bosley Knight
Natasha Blackmore Da Silva – Assistant Planner, Sheldon Bosley Knight

Natasha Blackmore Da Silva, Assistant Planner at Sheldon Bosley Knight, recently spent a day at Bath & North East Somerset Council (B&NES) as part of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)’s ‘Chief Planners of Tomorrow’ Initiative that provides young planners with the opportunity to experience public sector planning from a ‘behind the scenes’ perspective. In this blog, Natasha shares some thoughts and experiences about her brief time in the public sector…..


The main purpose of my day was to engage with public sector planners and gain insight into the decisions and challenges the senior management team face trying to balance public services, fiscal constraints, the expectations of stakeholders and the effects of politics.

I had the opportunity to engage not only with the planning team but also the senior management team and the directors.

Culture Change

“If you want to change the culture, you will have to start by changing the organisation.” Mary Douglas.

The way we use the planning authority is changing – more applications than ever are being submitted online, correspondence is via email, and the telephone has become the primary means of communication. It only follows that these changes should prompt planning authorities to change the way they are run.  The senior management team at B&NES call this a “Culture Change” and it is more difficult than you think to provide planning advice for a modern and ever changing world.

Maintaining its efficiency and capacity in the face of the modern world means changing the way the department is run day-to-day. The Council is increasingly encouraging employees to work from home when possible to avoid unnecessary commutes into the city and the consequential vehicular pollution.

My first meeting of the day involved reviewing the Department’s ‘Home Working’ Protocols to ensure that both employees and customers were getting the most from the exercise. This included automated responses on emails indicating alternative numbers to call, accessing emails online from home, and performance reviews. The Managers note that it has taken a while for local authorities to realise that planning agents and applicants don’t care if you’re not in the office as long as they can get hold of you.

It’s more than just determining planning applications

planning
planning

Like many private sector planners I was under the misapprehension that planners spend their whole day at their desks deciding the fate of our applications. However, I have learnt that this is far from true and there is much more to being a public sector planner than just determining applications.

Over the course of one day I was presented with only a fraction of the challenges and issues that the senior management team faces. Some are planning related, for example, new policies and information that need to be taken into consideration when determining applications; others are more administrative challenges such as confidentiality issues and website navigation problems.

It was also interesting to see how B&NES tries to engage with service users on other platforms, for instance, the Agents Forum which allows agents to provide feedback on how the planning service could be improved. .

Case Busting

The second part of my day involved a case busting session in which the whole planning team discussed recent case law and policy amendments that could affect how they interpret the wording of policy when making decisions.

We also reviewed a few recent appeal decisions that the senior managers felt were important for all team members not only to be aware of but also to understand the decision fully and use to support their future decisions.

A word with the Director

My meeting with Lisa Bartlett, Director of Development & Public Protection, offered me some final nuggets of wisdom. The main thing she wanted me to take away from the day was that ‘Communication is Key’. This is not as simple as it seems, but it is important that public sector planners try their best to communicate sufficiently due to the large number of people planning decisions can impact directly and indirectly.

Bath Spa is a truly fascinating place with a mix of listed buildings, heritage assets, and modern structures. It is only logical that the planning department would walk the fine line of protecting the past whilst also preparing Bath for a modern and more forward thinking world.

I am grateful to the RTPI for arranging this opportunity and to Lisa Bartlett and the senior managers at B&NES for sharing their time and wisdom.  It was a privilege to participate in such an incredible educational opportunity and I hope that this initiative continues to expand so that more young planners can benefit.

Natasha Blackmore Da Silva Assoc RTPI