CPOs, issues with non-existent boundary fencing, planning verdict nerves and escaped chickens. It’s all par for the course in a week at Baileys & Partners.
No two weeks are ever the same for our team – it’s just one of the great bonuses of working in this multi-disciplined, ever-evolving professional services sector. We challenged Ed Bailey, founding partner at Baileys and Partners, to chalk it all up and share his diary for the week.
As the week gets underway, we’re nearing completion for a significant estate in mid Wales. The process has been slightly complicated by the lack of boundary fencing around the property, something which has made the prospective buyers nervous. They are concerned about the potential for a boundary dispute down the line.
We get in touch to assure them that the land is registered with the Land Registry, which soothes nerves and allows the sale to proceed. We update the vendors, who sound genuinely pleased that they acted on our advice to register their freehold interest in the estate, prior to marketing it for sale.
The rest of the day is taken up by following leads on another country estate which we are selling on behalf of another client, this time with fantastic leisure and glamping potential. It’s striking how much extra interest there has been in these types of property since the Snowdonia National Park published its draft planning policy on “glamping”. Lots of good investment opportunities out there.
Today we’re meeting with two significant landowners in North Wales. We are tasked with mediating an agreement between a farm and a leisure park owner over a new access road. The new road would serve the needs of an expanding leisure site, poorly served by its current access arrangements. Despite the very different needs and interests of rural and leisure estates, we’re hopeful we can help facilitate a swift resolution.
End the afternoon on the knotty subject of Japanese knotweed. Draft a letter for another client to send to a neighbouring landowner regarding the encroachment of the herbaceous pest. Japanese knotweed was originally introduced by the Victorians as an ornamental plant and even been used as cattle feed. Nowadays its destructive nature means it has become a real nuisance and a potential expense to landowners. It has also become a major concern for mortgage lenders too.
It’s judgement day for a great client of ours. We advised them on their planning application to the Snowdonia National Park – they want to develop offices and a workshop with an integrated biomass and photovoltaic system. The development would create five new jobs. But the proposed site in the national park means it is a sensitive proposition.
Today is the long-awaited planning committee meeting and a decision will be made. Will the committee members share our view that the development warrants special merit given its specialist, environmentally-sensitive offering and job creation, or will they share the planning officer’s opinion of it being ‘over development’ in the national park, and in contravention of its policy?
Result: Almost unanimous member support for the development, which is passed with conditions. Our clients are delighted and relieved, the community is thrilled, and all is celebrated with tea and cake – with, no doubt, something stronger tucked away for the weekend. Caution is now needed for the wording of the planning conditions. The planning committee’s decision goes to show that as well as being places of beauty, our national parks are also open for business. That’s good news.
Parachuted (ok, not literally) into a farm in North Wales to meet a representative of the Valuation Office who was following up on a referred inheritance tax valuation that we had submitted on the client’s behalf. A real of exemplar of how meetings should be conducted – ‘can do’ clients mixing with a ‘can do’ district valuer and – of course – complemented by a ‘can do’ member of Baileys and Partners!
The valuation demonstrated how important it is to reflect the reality of operations and ownership divisions on the ground, as well as the need for solid evidence to support them. Let’s hope it all goes through without a problem, as it should.
Thursday draws to a close with a somewhat energetic school run. The chickens which live next door to the primary school have somehow escaped their run and got into the school yard. Theses are no ordinary birds – they belong to Amy, our office manager, and I know she loves her chucks! A rescue mission gets underway. I end the day with one angry bird under my arm, chasing four fleet-footed friends around the school yard, much to the delight / embarrassment of my kids. Amy is delighted to hear they all make safely back into the coup. We must review her security arrangements!
First to a site meeting to get an update on a compulsory purchase order. It’s the start of a highway development which, for the landowning clients, will not be easy. We talk about the importance for them to keep a record of dates, times, phone calls – in short, all the hours spent on matters which – if it wasn’t for the highway – they wouldn’t normally have to do.
Friday concludes with a viewing organised at one of our premier country estates which has just come onto the market. It’s a great viewing, and a real privilege to meet an innovative individual with impressive ideas for what he thinks might be possible for the estate if he is lucky enough to purchase it. Notes made to follow this one up early next week.
A six-pm finish and it feels like it’s about time to toast Wednesday’s planning decision. Bottoms up!
If you would like to find out more about our approach to land and property sales and professional services, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our door is open 9-5.30pm Monday to Friday or you can email to book an appointment with one of our team on firstname.lastname@example.org.