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The Times Bricks and Mortar - 6 April 2018

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Mind the gap
pages 8-9
The rise of agritecture page 6
Go wild with colour in your garden page 9
2 Bricks & Mortar
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Friday April 6 2018 | the times
A Georgian pile
in leafy Bucks
This house, close to good schools, is perfect
for families leaving the city, says Anna Temkin
ormer rectories have
much to commend them
to buyers ? high ceilings,
impressive entrance halls
and period details. Many
have been lovingly
restored to make them
more convenient for
modern life. The Old Rectory in
Ludgershall ? a village and civil parish
in Buckinghamshire, near the boundary
with Oxfordshire ? has all of these
traits. Built in the mid to late-18th
century, it is a grade II listed
five-bedroom home on sale through
Strutt & Parker for �95 million.
?The owners have lived there since
1999 and it has been a much-loved
family home,? says Giles Lawton, the
head of Strutt & Parker Oxford. ?There
are the original Georgian reception
rooms at the front of the house; the
back was extended by the Church in
the 1950s, which the owners decided to
rebuild, so there is a big open-plan
kitchen and family room [with
an Aga and orangery].?
One can see that the Old Rectory will
be at its most mesmerising in the spring.
The landscaped gardens, carefully
curated and maintained by the owners,
include a swimming pond, paddocks and
a kitchen garden. ?There are two
three-bay garages, which would be
perfect for someone who wants to keep
old cars or any kind of machinery. One
has a small one-bedroom flat above it,?
says Lawton. ?The outbuildings [which
include the original coach house, stables
and tack room] are ripe for someone
who wants to change them, subject to
the necessary consent.?
According to Lawton, the Old
Rectory is ?a classic change-in-lifestyle
purchase?. Trains to London from
Haddenham and Thame Parkway and
Bicester Village railway stations take
about 45 minutes. ?It would appeal
especially to people who want to send
their kids to Oxford schools,? he says.
Independent and state schools in
Oxford, as well as Ashfold preparatory
school and the grammar schools in
Aylesbury, are all accessible.
The Old Rectory
in Ludgershall,
has five bedrooms
and is on the
market for
�95 million
through Strutt
& Parker
Prime properties
Former rectory
Barn conversion
Epperstone, Nottinghamshire
Swineford, Gloucestershire
WHAT YOU GET Set in an acre of
mature grounds, this grade II listed
former rectory has eclectic decor, along
with nine bedrooms, two bathrooms,
a drawing room, two living rooms, a
kitchen, storage rooms and an attached
garage. The side, rear and front gardens
have lawns, a tennis court and fruit trees.
WHERE IS IT? In a village between
Nottingham and Newark-on-Trent.
The village of Lowdham (2 miles away)
has a railway station with services to
Nottingham that take 14 minutes.
UPSIDE Bohemian charm meets grand
living spaces.
DOWNSIDE There is no bathroom on
the second floor.
PRICE �5,000
CONTACT Humberts, 0115 9505 444,
WHAT YOU GET Converted from a
grade II listed barn, this property has
four bedrooms, three bathrooms, two
attic rooms, a double-height entrance
hall/dining room, sitting room, kitchen,
utility room and an attached double
garage. There is also an oak staircase
and a pantile roof. To the front and side
of the house are lawn gardens.
WHERE IS IT? In a hamlet seven miles
east of Bristol. Swineford lies on the edge
of the Cotswolds area of outstanding
natural beauty.
UPSIDE The entrance hall makes the
most of the building?s open layout.
DOWNSIDE Two bedrooms are on the
ground floor.
PRICE Offers in excess of �0,000
CONTACT Hunters, 0117 932 5686,
the times | Friday April 6 2018
Bricks & Mortar 3
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Homes with an
ornamental garden
Peppard Common, Oxfordshire
Comprised of three connected rectangular boxes with full-length
glazing, this five-bedroom contemporary home has beech woodland
as its backdrop and looks across its landscaped gardens and
sweeping lawns. The property?s garden pod is in a tranquil spot
by a pond and can rotate to face the sun.
This five-bedroom grade I
listed moated hall with
9.5 acres was described
by Nikolaus Pevsner as
?one of the most
interesting 15th and early
16th-century houses in
Suffolk?. The grounds
have a labyrinth, orchard
and a host of interesting
horticultural features.
�5 million,
Bishop?s Frome,
Featuring four acres of
pastureland, a further
three acres and stables,
this five-bedroom
Victorian red-brick house
has the facilities to keep
horses, while its extensive
landscaped gardens are a
haven for wildlife, with an
ornamental pool, lavender
beds and wildflowers.
�475 million,
Rhoscolyn, Anglesey
WHAT YOU GET This 1,660 sq ft
period house is in need of renovation.
The property has charm and period
features, including four fireplaces, as well
as five bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen/
dining room with quarry floor tiles, a
utility room, drawing room, living room
and two store rooms. A run-down
outbuilding with a workshop and two
pig pens are in the grounds.
WHERE IS IT? In a rural spot on Holy
Island off the Isle of Anglesey. The
nearby Anglesey Coastal Path is great
for walking. Chester is 82 miles away.
UPSIDE High ceilings and rural views.
DOWNSIDE Its energy rating is G.
PRICE �5,000
CONTACT Strutt & Parker,
01244 354880,
Claire Carponen
The grounds of this
five-bedroom house with
an elevated pool and
outdoor dining area have
a Mediterranean feel.
They aren?t overlooked by
neighbouring homes, with
hedges forming screens
that don?t block the light.
�5 million,
Claire Carponen
4 Bricks & Mortar
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Friday April 6 2018 | the times
A twist in the plot of the north-south divide
Anne Ashworth
Property and Personal
Finance Editor
he heartwarming real
estate news of the week
was the tale of Hopwood
Hall, a 15th-century
house rescued by a
Hollywood name.
Hopwood DePree XIV,
a film director from Los
Angeles, learnt that Hopwood Hall in
Rochdale, the home of his ancestors,
had become derelict. He acquired the
property and has embarked on a
restoration that may cost � million.
The story provoked a warm glow and
there have also been a few knowing
looks among those property aficionados
who view Greater Manchester,
Lancashire and other northern locations
as the best place to invest, although
perhaps not in a crumbling pile. As we
report on pages 8-9, more forecasters
this week tipped the north and Scotland
to be the best price performers this year.
Not so long ago, a prediction that
the north-south divide would narrow
would have seemed a plot twist almost
as unbelievable as Californian
actor-cum-director falls for a Rochdale
fixer-upper. Yet the latest data from
Nationwide and others attests to the
continuing weakness of London and
commuter towns in the south, and the
rebound of the north, Scotland
and the Midlands. In the first three
months of this year, the north recorded
its strongest growth rate since 2014.
However, the surprise that has
surrounded the closing of the gulf
between the north and south risks
overstating the phenomenon, as Robert
Gardner, Nationwide?s chief economist,
points out. There is no sign yet of a
significant price correction: the average
value of a property in the north is still
�3,138, half of that in the south, where
the average is �1,047. Asking prices
may have fallen in 42 per cent of the
capital?s postcodes, but the average
London price is still more than
�0,000, which is about 60 per cent
above its 2007 level.
When the slowdown began in London
some members of Generation Rent
hoped for a severe decline making
homes more affordable, but this would
be a Hollywood outcome. The average
level of equity enjoyed by Londoners
with a mortgage, about 40 per cent,
means that most are sitting comfortably.
They may mind that the gap is
somewhat smaller than it was, but,
slowly, they are realising that this change
in fortune was always inevitable.
Statistic of the Week
What price do you place on anonymity
in an age when Facebook knows and
shares its users? deepest secrets? The
answer is less than before, or so a
Statistic of the Week contender suggests.
If you have bought a country mansion
or Mayfair flat, but wish to keep your
identity confidential, you can place the
property in a company, turning it into
an ?enveloped dwelling? and avoiding
the publicity that may arise from a Land
Registry listing.
However, the government has made
this procedure more difficult. Owners
of enveloped dwellings pay 15 per cent
stamp duty on the purchase price and
are liable for the annual tax on
enveloped dwellings (Ated). The Ated
bill on a � million residence will be
�6,950 in this tax year.
The increased fiscal burden is forcing
the wealthy to reconsider, although the
taxman is losing out, as an analysis from
London Central Portfolio (LCP), the
investment group, reveals. Ated revenues
for 2016-17 ? the latest available figures
? were �5 million, down from
�8 million in the year before. The
taxman expected to collect as much as
� million from homes of �0,000 to
�million, but received � million.
This trend is continuing, according to
LCP. Suddenly more upscale properties
are appearing on the Land Registry.
Inheritance tax changes for individuals
who are not domiciled in the UK, and
plans to publish a list of the owners of
companies containing enveloped
dwellings will encourage more of the
loaded classes to realise that privacy may
be prohibitively expensive.
The dip in Ated takings means that
the government must trust that another
controversial tax reform will yield
dividends. A year ago cuts to landlords?
mortgage tax relief began to bite. As a
result, 64 per cent of buy-to-let investors
surveyed by Property Partner, the
investment group, said their finances
had been adversely affected.
We selected this as our Statistic of the
Week, since these investors are paying
more income tax. They are also boosting
capital gains tax receipts, because 35 per
cent are selling all or some of their
homes. Another 37 per cent propose
increasing rents. This strategy, however,
may not be successful. Why? Because it
is no secret that rents tend to be set by
local conditions, not by landlords who
need to supplement their income.
Forever Scandi
One of the most frequently posed
questions in my line of work at this time
of year is: ?What are the big new
interiors trends? I?m planning a spring
refresh.? I suggest that people study the
looks of show apartments in upscale
developments, which this spring indicate
that smoky neutrals are still a thing, and
that blue, black and green are the key
?colour accents?. But there is another key
style: the sheepskin rug, fake or real,
thrown casually over the back of a chair,
as pictured below. Such Scandi-type
pieces used to be associated with winter,
but they have become a year-round
indication of cool.
The interior of No 3 apartment in Greenwich Peninsula?s Upper Riverside
development in southeast London, designed by Sophie Ashby of Studio Ashby
6 Bricks & Mortar
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Friday April 6 2018 | the times
The stealthy ascent of agritecture
Simplicity and
restraint are the key
features of these rural
new-builds, reports
Gabriella Bennett
gritecture is the
portmanteau word
you need to know
this year. It means
architecture inspired
by agricultural
buildings ? and it?s
coming to a rural
location near you.
Architects are not only converting
period barns; they are being asked to
design contemporary homes that echo
grain silos and storage units clad in
undulating tin. The rise of agritecture
can be attributed to a rebellion against
showy homes. While much of the
architecture world wants to go bigger,
shinier and more tricksy, some practices
are heading in the other direction, where
restraint and modesty lead to a home
blending in with its location. Clients
want a level of invisibility, but also
liveable, beautiful properties. Simple
steading-like structures are popping
up in Angus, Aberdeenshire; Hawick in
the Scottish Borders; and Lewis in the
Outer Hebrides.
What?s more, agritecture may have
social benefits. When the architect Mary
Arnold-Forster was asked to create a
single-storey residence in the Skye
crofting community of Heaste for clients
who were not from the local area, the
brief was far removed from that of many
new homes built on the island.
The clients ? a rabbi and an academic
? were not interested in glazed gable
ends or floor-to-ceiling windows. ?They
wanted something very anonymous,? the
architect says. ?You can drive past it and
not know it is a house. The clients
settled into the village really quickly
because they did not build a big home
that frightened everyone off. It is a
modern crofting village.?
Agritectural homes do allow the
chance to experiment indoors. In the
case of Arnold-Forster?s Black Shed, the
corrugated aluminium shell is forgotten
once you step through the front door.
The interior is a glowing jewel-box of
Douglas fir. Pocket doors have smooth
cavities that act as handles and a bed has
been built into a nook in the study wall
that is reminiscent of the traditional
box-bed architecture of Skye
blackhouses; low-lying homes built in
the Highlands in the 19th and 20th
centuries. The property exemplifies the
overlap between agritecture and
vernacular architecture, where buildings
are designed using local reference points
to influence looks and materials.
The cost of an agritectural build will
depend on the specification, plot and
size;, in Scotland expect to pay from
about �0,000 for a two-bedroom
detached home with high-end interiors,
a garage/workshop and a degree of
Top and above: the
Black Shed, designed
by the architect Mary
Arnold-Forster, features
elements reminiscent of
a Highlands blackhouse.
Right: Humpty House,
a new-build above Loch
of Lintrathen in Angus,
is the home of the
architects Rosemary and
Ben Scrimgeour, who
own Building Workshop,
an architectural practice
landscaping. Architects say that the
beauty of working with ruined farm
buildings is that each one has a distinct
character. It is a case of patching up the
fabric of the building and coaxing out
its idiosyncrasies before adding your
stamp inside.
Designers suggest taking inspiration
from the colour palettes of stone and
other local materials for paint tones.
Farrow & Ball?s Railings, Little Greene?s
Dash of Soot and Sanderson?s
Mistflower are good
matches for Scottish
slate and flagstone.
Many double-height
homes have
further rustic
ideas. On staircases,
agricultural-wireinspired balustrades
with aluminium
treads in the same
colour as light fittings
and kitchen fixtures help
details to blend into the
background and open up the room.
?At first glance a dirty cow shed might
not look beautiful, but when you look at
the individual components there are old
cattle troughs and machinery that can
be inspirational,? says Rosemary
Scrimgeour, who owns Building
Workshop with her husband, Ben.
The couple have overhauled
farmhouses and steadings for clients in
Perthshire, Angus and Oxfordshire since
they launched their practice in 2010.
They say that clients looking for
agritectural homes want to feel in tune
with their surroundings. ?In the
countryside a simple form looks better
and more appropriate, but they can still
be interesting,? Scrimgeour says. ?In
these kinds of open-plan buildings you
can look out in many directions and feel
part of the landscape.?
One of their most recent projects is
Humpty House, a new-build in a
woodland site above Loch of Lintrathen
in Angus, in which they live with their
children. Its form takes inspiration from
simple agricultural architecture. It has a
steep pitched slate roof with zinc bridges,
timber cladding similar to a barn?s
painted wooden doors adds a tactile
layer, and the floor plan has been kept
undeveloped to encourage flexibility.
?To begin with it was like a big empty
shed, and in some ways it still is,?
Scrimgeour says. ?It can be adapted to
suit whatever is going on at the time,
rather than having set rooms.?
Appropriation of rural designs is likely
to increase. Many architects are being
employed to overhaul one-room stone
buildings such as bothies. Originally
built as homes for single farm
workers, they are becoming
retreats and studios with
cosy insides. ?We are
working on a number
of stone bothies to
turn them into
places where
people want to go
and relax, with
log-burning stoves
and sheepskins,?
Scrimgeour says.
If you don?t have a
bothy to renovate, there is
always a ready-made option.
Heb Homes?s Airigh cabins are a
modern interpretation of the shielings
found in the Scottish Highlands. These
period stone structures scattered high on
mountainsides were home to farming
families during the summer while their
livestock grazed the land.
While most original shielings are
ruined, the Airigh offers an alternative.
High-quality panels are slotted together
to form studios, often in off-grid
locations. A 365 sq ft model costs from
�,800 and can be built without the
help of professionals in a matter of days.
Lock House, UK
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8 Bricks & Mortar
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Friday April 6 2018 | the times
Mind the
gap because
the north is
on the rise
The divide between London and the rest is
narrowing. Anna Temkin explains what this
means for you and the value of your home
apping the UK?s
property wealth
used to be fairly
? a divide
between north
and south ? but
the line is no
longer so easy to draw. In recent years
the landscape has changed, prompted by
political and economic upheaval. The
growth of house prices in many cities in
the south has slowed as affordability
bites, and southern investors have
started snapping up
properties in the north.
Significant growth in
parts of the east of
England over recent
years has even
prompted talk of
an east-west divide.
We take a
closer look.
What is the
big picture?
Research compiled by
Hamptons International
shows that annual house
price growth was highest in the
East and West Midlands last year, but
the northwest is expected to overtake
them in 2018.
?Between 2016 and 2017 we saw a
shift in price growth from south to
north, with most regions in the
Midlands and north overtaking those
in the south,? says Aneisha Beveridge,
a research analyst at Hamptons.
?That has been buoyed by price
growth in the east, where people have
been pushed out of London because of
affordability pressures.?
Although the north-south gap is
closing, the north still has a lot of
catching up to do, says Oliver Knight,
an associate at Knight Frank
Residential Research. ?In London,
for example, the average house price
is more than �0,000, which is about
60 per cent above the pre-crash peak.
In the northeast prices are about
�5,000, or about 9 per cent below
pre-crash levels.?
According to Hamptons? research,
In Mears Ashby, Northamptonshire, this Georgian manor house has seven bedrooms and an ornamental pond. It is o
14 of the top 15 UK local authorities for
price growth in 2014 were in London,
but that has changed significantly, with
Cambridge, Swale in Kent, and Forest
Heath in Suffolk taking the three top
spots last year.
How is London faring?
The latest UK Cities House Price
Index by Hometrack, the housing
analyst, reveals that 42 per cent of
London postcodes registered
year-on-year price falls. The headline
rate of house price growth across
London has slowed to 1 per
cent, down from 4.3 per
cent a year ago, the
lowest it has been
in seven years.
?The weakness
in London?s housing
market has been
building since
2015 on the back
of numerous tax
changes aimed at
overseas and UK
investors, and growing
affordability pressures
facing homeowners,?
says Richard Donnell, Hometrack?s
insight director. ?Sales volumes are first
to be hit when demand weakens, and
housing turnover across London is
down 17 per cent since 2014.?
How are the different
regions performing?
House price growth remains robust
in regional cities. Donnell says: ?If
you go to places such as Birmingham,
Manchester or Glasgow, prices are
up between 20 and 25 per cent. The
farther away you get from London,
the more affordable the housing
market is.
?These other big cities have for the
past 18 months put in strong and
consistent growth, because the dynamics
of demand are different. You haven?t got
the overseas investment that you have in
London, where 40 per cent of propertyhunters in recent years have not been
buying a place to live in. The majority of
the market in these other cities is driven
by domestic buyers. It is effectively
Isabella House in Richmond, London,
has five bedrooms is available to rent for
�,000 a month (Featherstone Leigh)
catch-up growth, and there is 20 to
30 per cent growth still to come in
these cities between the next three
to five years.?
According to the UK house price
index, average prices in the East
Midlands and Scotland are rising at
an annual rate of 7.3 per cent. Tim
Simmons, the head of sales at
Humberts, says: ?The East Midlands is
a real hotspot. Areas such as
Nottingham, Oakham and Stamford
are experiencing impressive value
increases due to the growing popularity
of the area with London commuters.?
He cites the quick rail links into the
capital from Newark and Grantham,
and infrastructure upgrades such as
Tramlink in Nottingham as factors.
In prime markets, figures from Knight
Frank for the first quarter of this year
Clarghyll Hall in Alston,
Cumbria, has nine
bedrooms and is on the
market for �25 million
through Jackson-Stops.
Inset left: This
five-bedroom house
in Kensington, west
London, is �95 million
through Russell Simpson
On the cover Burton
Hall in Cheshire is
worth �725 million,
but is reportedly being
raffled for �a ticket
In Martyr Worthy, Hampshire, this eight-bedroom house, with a
pool and tennis court, is on the market for �5 million with Savills
show that Yorkshire and the Humber,
the northwest, Wales and the West
Midlands experienced increases in the
level of �million-plus sales of more
than 20 per cent.
Meanwhile, price growth in the east
of England has been substantial as more
people have moved out of London.
However, there are signs of this slowing
down. Cambridge has recorded the
biggest price rise of any UK city over the
past decade, with its average property
rising from �8,403 in 2007 to �2,589
in 2017. Yet the latest figures for
Hometrack show prices in the city have
fallen by 1.5 per cent ? indicating it is
performing like an extension of the
London housing market.
Moreover, data from Savills in January
this year showed that price growth in
Edinburgh had eclipsed Cambridge.
Peter Lyell, the director of Savills
Edinburgh, says: ?There is a lack of
supply in the city, especially at the
lower end of the market, so it is very
competitive. First-time buyers and
young professionals are still having
to compete against investors and
perhaps wealthy parents buying for
their kids at university. The education
and schooling is a big draw.?
the times | Friday April 6 2018
Bricks & Mortar 9
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Trend alert
Outside colour
W Palm leaf
cushion, �
The Jambi weave occasional chair, �5, Inset below: Palermo
coffee table, �9, and chaise longue, �9,
U Garden
parasol by
East London
Company, �5
on tthe market for �5 million through Jackson-Stops
A manor for �Not everyone is benefiting from the
boom in the northwest of England. One
family in Cheshire is raffling its Burton
Hall, grade II* listed five-bedroom
home ? meaning that a �725 million
country mansion could be yours for �? the price of a ticket.
To avoid falling foul of lottery laws,
entrants are asked to spot the ball in a
picture of a polo match. The family
hopes to sell 379,000 tickets by next
April, which would help to cover the
legal fees and a bonus �,000 cash
prize for the winner.
The Elizabethan hall, which features
a music room and two kitchens, comes
with 1.5 acres. It is also being marketed
by the estate agency Jackson-Stops.
A home
with a
What do the experts forecast?
Analysts agree that growth in London
and the commuter belt will remain
sluggish. Most forecasts point towards
the north continuing to outperform
London, with the northwest in particular
experiencing strong house price growth
over the next five years.
?House prices sit at a modest multiple
of average incomes: 5.6 times in the
northwest, compared with 12.9 times
in London,? says Lawrence Bowles, a
research analyst at Savills. Stamp duty
costs are also significantly lower.
?Manchester is an ambitious and
growing hub and will attract more
investment,? Bowles says. ?As yields
tighten there, investment is likely to
spill into other northern cities, such as
Leeds and Liverpool. Cheshire offers
large, prime properties at a steep
discount to the home counties, and so
could attract upsizers.?
While the northwest closes in on the
south, affordability issues will continue
to hit areas in the east of England.
?Like London, it is getting too
expensive for people,? says Beveridge.
?There will be some price moderation.
We are predicting 0 per cent growth in
the east next year.?
X Berghoff
mini ceramic
oven charcoal
barbecue, �9
W Outdoor
hanging pot,
Ltd via
W Elephant
plant pot, �
X Botanical director?s
chairs, � for two
by Carol
It?s a jungle out there:
be bold in the garden
pring may not have exactly
sprung yet this year, but soon
we will be spending more time
in our gardens. For anyone
thinking about giving their
garden furniture an overhaul, there are
two ways you can go: the adult choice
or the party route.
The adult choice is to buy outdoor
furniture that looks as though it belongs
indoors, accessorised with rugs, lanterns
and battery-operated outdoor lights.
The party route will lead you to the
rattan tiki bar, sold through John Lewis
for �5. This bar, with two stools and
two chairs, which can be broken down
and stored in winter, is where your
friends can prop themselves as you
make cocktails and pretend you are on
holiday in Polynesia. The bar can be
accessorised with bunting and a fake
parrot on the roof.
John Lewis and Marks & Spencer
report that people are spending more
on their outdoor furniture than they
did five years ago, because gardens are
considered an extension of our homes.
This could be down to the demise of
the dining room, hotter summers,
or because families are living
in smaller spaces.
?It is an area for
relaxing, cooking and
entertaining,? says
Karen Thomas, the
head of design for
Marks & Spencer
Home. ?Customers
want the styles they
have in their home
to continue outside,
and people are
prepared to invest in
it as they would any
other room in the house.?
While some people like formal
entertaining, others may prefer a
laid-back approach. Moroso, the
furniture maker, which sells daybeds
and sofas, reports that ?nesting? and
?cocooning? in the garden is a big trend,
sparked by the mindfulness movement.
It?s about turning your garden into a
retreat, where you can lie in a hammock
and listen to meditation mantras and
let your worries slip away.
Wicker rattan tiki bar with two stools
and two chairs, �5,
The other key trend in garden
furniture is colour. Grey may be popular
for indoors, but people are becoming
more adventurous outside. John Lewis
has launched a Salsa Garden range,
which features woven rattan-style chairs
and sofas in bright orange, green and
yellow. ?Customers are braver in their
choices and looking to make a bit of
a statement in their garden,?
says Vicky Angell, the
outdoor-living buyer
for John Lewis. She
says that the design
brief for the Salsa
collection was to
look at Miami a
few years ago ?
a ?cool retro vibe
reimagined and
made to feel more
Woven chairs are
big this year and can be
seen in most of the large
retailers? summer collections.
Katie Edmundson, a buyer of outdoor
furniture at Habitat, says that customers
like them because they don?t block the
view of the garden. ?These barely there
designs help to give the appearance that
your garden is larger,? she says.?If you?re
not confident about experimenting with
colour in the home, the garden gives you
an ideal opportunity to go for it.?
Jessie Hewitson
12 Bricks & Mortar
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Friday April 6 2018 | the times
lowers are the new art. So says
the luxury interior designer
Charu Gandhi, founder of the
interior design studio Elicyon.
Gandhi has designed, among
many international projects, 14 of the
85 apartments at one of London?s most
expensive addresses, One Hyde Park.
Forget original Hirsts on the wall,
the super-wealthy want whimsical
arrangements of seasonal blooms in
artisanal vessels; succulents in the
kitchen, greenery in the bathroom, bowls
of petals on coffee tables. Even artificial
flowers are popular, especially those that
are fragranced. Many are so realistic that
it is hard to tell whether or not they were
once growing in the ground.
?We find more clients are happy to
invest in the cost of regular floral
arrangements, sitting down with us to
talk through a ?floral strategy? for their
home,? says Gandhi. Many are inspired
by flowers that they have seen in a
particularly beautiful hotel room. ?And
their requests are becoming more
detailed, ranging from very structured
monochromatic arrangements to
informal, almost magical, combinations
that make visitors look closer, asking,
?What variety of flower is that?? ?
For one of her Hyde Park clients
Gandhi created a ?post-completion
floral arrangement service?, which is
split into three categories: platinum,
gold and silver. Platinum is for elaborate
arrangements, while silver involves
more low-key flowers for day-to-day life.
She keeps a calendar of when her clients
will be in residence, on which dates they
will be hosting friends, family or business
associates, have an official event or are
throwing a party, and agrees what level
of service is needed for each month.
Artificial flowers are placed in four
wall-hung, hand-blown glass vases
when residents are not at home, and
fresh arrangements are made in a
downstairs storage unit and brought up
in a special trolley that fits the
vases to avoid mess when
they are swapped over.
For another client, who
owns homes in
London, New York
and Los Angeles,
Elicyon created a
bespoke floral
style, consistent
across all the
which focused on
arrangements at the
entrance of the home.
?For our nomadic clients, a
beautiful floral artwork is
their ?welcome home?,? she says.
?Flowers are ephemeral, delicate objects,
but they are strong indicators
of style when placed within a space. We
use them to convey everything from a
corporate brand to a statement on how
someone lives.?
Lucy Currell, an interior designer at
Studio Iro, likes to incorporate vases of
eucalyptus in her projects. ?It smells
amazing, looks beautifully grey-green
House-hunters will
pay a premium to be
close to the theatre
scene. Carol Lewis
looks at the hotspots
Freddie Garland of Freddie?s Flowers, which delivers seasonal blooms to your door
Forget Hirst. Flowers
are the new artworks
and it lasts because it dries well and stays
in its form. I also like monstera leaves in
vases; it adds height and a minimal
design aesthetic.?
Natalia Miyar, whose interior design
atelier spans London and Miami, thinks
flowers help to create a ?happy space? in
certain rooms ? on a bedside table, say,
where she always has roses, ?so classic
and romantic that you can?t go wrong?.
She also loves peonies and
flowering branches. ?Peonies?
papery quality is such a
gorgeous texture and
can look delicate or
beautifully blousy.
From soft shades
of whitish pink
through to hot pink,
they work well
anywhere in the
house. Flowering
branches always
remind me of the first
signs of spring. I put
them in very tall vases to
complement rooms with high
ceilings and particularly like to have a
pair of tall vases on a dining table.?
When using florals to enhance an
interior, consider what to put them in.
Miyar brings character to a space with
texture, and uses a variety of vases. ?I
particularly like textured ceramic or
ceramics with rich glazes that are very
beautiful with soft-coloured peonies,? she
says. ?I don?t use glass vases as I prefer
not to see the stem. I love the way that a
Interior designer Natalia Miyar says that peonies work well anywhere in the house
An apartment in the Burlington Gate
development and, inset left, One Hyde
Park, with interiors by Elicyon
vase made from a heavy material, such as
concrete, works as an anchor and reveals
only the top of the flowering beauty.?
Gandhi likes low bowls for coffee
and sidetables, and mix-and-match
arrangements using a variety of vases of
different heights. Mid-century modern
studio pottery is also on trend.
While floral arrangements are cheaper
than an original artwork, you need an
Elton John-sized budget to employ a
floral arranger full-time. Gandhi?s clients
want their flowers checked, changed and
spritzed at least once a week.
Alternatively, you could sign up to a
flower-subscription service. Freddie?s
Flowers was set up by the appropriately
named Freddie Garland, who used to
work for the veg box delivery company
Abel & Cole. For � a week, Freddie?s
Flowers delivers fresh seasonal flowers
to your door, along with advice on vases
and tips for arranging them, to help you
to make the most of your blooms.
Alice Strange, meanwhile, combines
floristry and interior design. You order
one of four styles of arrangement
depending on your decor ? Manhattan,
Soho, Scandinavian or Traditional. She
delivers a hand-tied bouquet weekly, and
can arrange them in your home.
Laura Whateley
he key advantage of
living in a city is access
to first-rate amenities,
and buyers in London
are willing to pay a
premium for homes
close to hotels,
department stores,
restaurants, theatres and museums.
According to research by CBRE, the
real estate company, buyers in central
London are willing to pay 37 per cent
more than average borough house
prices to live within 500m of a theatre
(see panel, below). The city?s theatre
scene is changing, though, with new
venues opening and several dance
companies relocating away from the
centre. We take a look at the best
locations for culture vultures.
London?s theatre district is based in the
West End, mainly Shaftesbury Avenue
and Covent Garden, which has enjoyed
a revival in recent years with Capital and
Counties Properties (Capco) converting
several office buildings into prime
residential. The company?s latest
project is Floral Court, a mixed-use
development that includes 55 luxury
apartments (prices yet to be released),
eight shops and several restaurants ?
Petersham Nurseries plans to open two
restaurants and a bar this spring.
Luke Mills, the head of residential
sales at CBRE, says: ?Covent Garden is
an area that is popular with downsizers
moving back to the city, attracted by the
theatres and restaurants. It also draws
wealthy international students studying
at the LSE and King?s College near by.
There are no large developments
though, which means there is still
[property] price growth in the area
[79 per cent over the past five years]
because of low supply and high demand.?
A short walk away, Centre Point, the
brutalist high-rise that is being given
a new lease of life by Almacantar, the
developer, and Conran + Partners, the
architecture firm, is ideally placed for
the West End?s theatres (premium flats
start at �5 million). Nimax, the theatre
group, is to open a 350-seat theatre in
2020 on the site of the Astoria, a music
venue on Charing Cross Road, close to
Centre Point, that was knocked down to
make way for Crossrail.
?It?s the first new West End theatre
for more than 30 years, and being near
the Dominion and the Shaftesbury
[theatres], it will create another mini
theatre hub in the city,? says a
spokesman for,
the arts website.
On Bedford
Homes in
One Casson
Square, in
cost from
�18 million
Proximity premium
The percentage that
people will pay above
the average house price
to be near a:
0 University: 25 per cent
0 Museum: 37 per cent
0 Theatre: 37 per cent
0 Restaurant: 72 per cent
0 Department store:
83 per cent
0 Hotel: 85 per cent
Source: CBRE
the times | Friday April 6 2018
Bricks & Mortar 13
1G P
In partnership with
areas taking centre stage
Street in Covent Garden, this three-bedroom apartment is for sale through CBRE for �95 million
View the UK?s most
luxurious residential
In partnership with
New acts
The Astoria isn?t the only new
theatre in town. Nick Starr, a
former executive director at
the National Theatre, and
Nicholas Hytner, a former
artistic director at the same
theatre, recently opened
the first large-scale
commercial theatre outside
the West End. The Bridge
Theatre is nestled beneath
One Tower Bridge, a Berkeley
Group development, between
City Hall and Tower Bridge. All
the apartments are under offer,
although resales are available, including
a one-bedroom apartment in Balmoral
House on the market with Vantage
Properties for �7 million. Many of the
apartments have fantastic views of
the City and the Tower of London
opposite, as well as the bridge. The
development is also home to several
upmarket restaurants, including the Ivy,
the Coal Shed and, coming soon, By
Chloe, the celebrity vegan favourite.
Homes will
open the
Stage in
next year
Across the river in Shoreditch,
east London, the remains of
Shakespeare?s Curtain Theatre
? where Romeo and Juliet
and Henry V are thought to
have first been performed
? have been unearthed.
The excavations are to
be showcased in a public
square in the centre
of a mixed-use
development called
The Stage. The developer
Galliard Homes plans to build
a heritage centre where visitors
can walk on a glass platform above
the theatre ruins, view objects from the
dig and watch computer-augmented
scenes from Shakespeare?s plays. There
will also be a 200-seat sunken
The development, which is due to be
completed next year, features a 37-storey
residential tower housing 412 flats
(three-bedroom apartments from
�35 million), including four duplex
penthouses (prices yet to be released).
Dance moves
It appears that almost every dance
company in London is on the move.
Sadler?s Wells is opening a new space at
Olympicopolis, the �3 billion cultural
quarter at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic
Park in Stratford, east London. When
it opens in 2020-21, neighbours of
Sadler?s Wells will include the V&A
Museum, the Smithsonian and the
London College of Fashion. The ballet
company is planning a 550-seat dance
theatre, a choreography school and a
hip-hop academy. The complex also
includes two residential towers,
originally planned to be about 40 to 50
storeys high, although a dispute over the
impact on the skyline means this is being
revised, with new plans expected soon.
English National Ballet (ENB), the
English National Ballet School and the
London Film School will be relocating to
London City Island. The island on the
Leamouth Peninsula in east London has
two art galleries and a range of studios
and workspaces for artists and designers,
plus a range of shops and restaurants.
The ENB?s complex on the site will
include a production studio, plus space
for the ENB Philharmonic orchestra, as
well as rehabilitation and teaching
facilities. The island development by
EcoWorld Ballymore will include 1,700
homes, the first of which have recently
launched, with three-bedroom
apartments costing from �0,000.
The new headquarters of the Royal
Academy of Dance is to be located near
Clapham Junction in Battersea,
southwest London. It will be the
centrepiece of Avanton: Battersea, a
development that will include 299
homes and communal gardens. Homes
are expected to launch this year.
Avanton is also redeveloping the
academy?s present site in Battersea
Square into 34 apartments and five
family townhouses.
Musical notes
The Music Box by Taylor Wimpey
Central London is a mixed-use
development with 41 apartments,
including seven penthouses, above the
London Centre of Contemporary Music
(the London base for the National Youth
Jazz Orchestra) in Southwark, south
London. Prices start at �195 million. It is
not far from the South Bank, a cultural
hub with art galleries and theatres,
including the Globe, Tate Modern,
Hayward Gallery and National Theatre.
The final collection of apartments at
nearby One Casson Square in Braeburn
Estates?s Southbank Place development,
right next to the Southbank Centre, is
just about to be launched. Two-bedroom
apartments cost from �18 million.
There are some two-bedroom
apartments available in neighbouring
Belvedere Gardens (from �14 million).
Super stadiums
If you want to be near a large music
venue, you need to head to Greenwich
Peninsula in southeast London. Here,
seven neighbourhoods, made up of
15,000 homes, are being built alongside
the O2 arena. The Ravensbourne digital
media college is already based here with
the Brickfields Film District; there are
plans to include film stages, production
houses and music studios. Also coming
soon is a Design District with studios,
workshops and offices for artists and
creatives. The latest homes to launch to
market are in the Upper Riverside
neighbourhood, with interiors designed
by Studio Ashby; prices start at �5,000.
Kate Butler
ate Butler, 37, is the new head
of product design at Habitat,
having taken over from Polly
Dickens, the renowned
creative director, in January.
?At the moment I?m working with our
design and buying teams on curating my
first complete season,? she says. ?I?m also
working on a series of collaborative
products with a range of personalities
from the worlds of fashion, food, art
and design.?
Before joining Habitat, Butler worked
for the Conran Shop as an assistant
buyer. ?That was where I fell for the
product design side of things, being
surrounded by so many beautiful
hand-crafted products from different
parts of the world.?
W What is your biggest source of design
inspiration? Inspiration comes in many
forms, be it exhibitions, theatre,
Instagram, restaurants or street art.
W Chintz or minimalism? I opt for
?curated contemporary chintz?, which,
for me, means an edit of different
patterns, colours and styles mixed in an
eclectic yet considered manner. Not the
chintz of my childhood, which was all
clutter, frilly pelmets and floral cushions.
W What is your design essential? The
camera on my phone. I?m always taking
photos of interesting products and
patterns. I use it as a mood board.
W Your favourite interior design ?quick
fix?? Colour is the quickest and easiest
way to update a room. Choose a tonal
colour palette and layer accessories on
top. It helps to have a bold accent colour.
W Your prediction for the next big
interior design trend? Polished silver.
We are using it in unexpected ways.
The result is elegant; not the cold
chrome and balck look of the Nineties
bachelor pad.
W The design pitfall to avoid? Too much
grey. There are really lovely subtle tones
of white or warmer, more contemporary
colours, such as dusky pink or mustard
yellow, that add warmth.
W If you could live in anyone?s house
whose would it be and why? My aunt
and uncle?s house in Harare, Zimbabwe.
It?s an old colonial-style building that
they?ve extended over the years. It has
been designed to face an overgrown
garden that wraps around the house and
merges into the bushland behind it.
W When decorating what do you
splurge on? Accessories. When I
renovated my kitchen I went for
basic, white, inexpensive cabinets,
but ordered
some special
black handles
that were as
expensive as
the cabinets;
they really
elevate the
Anna Temkin
14 Bricks & Mortar
1G P
Friday April 6 2018 | the times
et to make its Olympic
debut in 2020, surfing is one
of world?s fastest-growing
sports, appealing to a range
of ages and abilities, from
Torquay to Tarifa. Buying
a home in a European
surfing destination enables
you to combine the sport with a sound
investment. Keen surfers favour autumn
and winter vacations, when the swells
are better and the beaches relatively
quiet. This leaves properties in popular
holiday spots open to good rental
income during the busy summer
months. Here is our guide to eight
destinations across four countries.
Biarritz and Lacanau
While the best beaches for surfing
are to the north and south of Biarritz,
there is a good selection of homes in
the city or in Anglet, a ten-minute drive
inland. ?Most people use these towns
as a base because the nightlife and
amenities are great,? says Henry
Sherwood, the managing director of
The Buying Agents in London. ?With
demand from holidaymakers year
round, this means that homes here
are good for short or holiday lets.?
Just back from the water to the north
of Biarritz town and a short walk from
the popular Chambre d?Amour surfing
spot, a development comprising studio,
one and two-bedroom flats has prices
from ?261,000 (�8,600) with Sunny
French Property, an estate agency.
A little more than 130 miles north
of Biarritz and roughly an hour?s drive
from the centre of Bordeaux is the
commune of Lacanau. The area?s nine
miles of beaches can be viewed from
the esplanade at Plage Centrale, though
the better breaks can get busy during
the summer because of its proximity to
the city. Homes for sale in and around
Lacanau village, about eight miles
inland from the Plage Centrale, start
at ?130,000. A budget
of ?600,000 will get you
a large five-bedroom house,
with a pool, a short drive
from the sea.
Mundaka and
The town of
Mundaka is roughly
half an hour?s drive
from Bilbao airport
in northern Spain?s
Basque country.
Magicseaweed, the
surfing website, describes
the main break as ?a dream
left-hand barrel and possibly the
best river-mouth wave in the world?.
Idealista, the Spanish property website,
lists more than 200 homes for sale in
Mundaka and the larger neighbouring
town of Bermeo. They start at ?56,700
for a one-bedroom flat, up to ?500,000
for a four-bedroom apartment.
This five-bedroom house near Biarritz
is on sale for ?2 million (Home Hunts)
This three-bedroom villa in Essaouria is on the market for �18 million through Chic Marrakesh
Surf spots are on
the crest of a wave
manageable and there is a better
selection of homes. In Ericeira, 30 miles
north of Lisbon, new developments are
rare, but there is a decent supply of
second-hand homes (the property
portal Kyero listed 87 apartments for
sale in the area at the end of last
month). IAD, a local estate agency,
has a range of homes for sale in and
around the town, priced between
?57,000 and ?1.2 million.
Farther south, the Algarve?s best
surfing is to be found to the west of
Sagres, which, because of its location,
benefits from westerly and southerly
Essaouira and Taghazout
While not in Europe, it takes just over
three hours to fly from London to
Morocco?s west coast, which has long
been a destination for committed surfers
and has had considerable property
development. Frequent visits for
homeowners are easy, thanks to the
country?s 90-day tourist visa.
Helped by its 18th-century medina, a
Unesco world heritage site, and its long
tourist season (spring and autumn are
particularly popular), Essaouira has
good rental opportunities. Safi beach is
among the most popular surf spots in
the town; locals say the most reliable
waves when conditions are poor are
to be found to the town?s south at La
Grotte (the Cave).
Along the coast to the south, nearly as
far as the city of Agadir, the celebrated
right-hand waves at Taghazout have
made the area a popular surf destination
since the 1960s. Proimmobilier, a local
estate agency, has a number of homes
for sale in both destinations.
Buying a home in Morocco is far from
straightforward, however. Only the
priciest homes tend to make it on to
property websites, so a trip to the area is
essential. Budget roughly 15 per cent on
top of the advertised price for local sales
taxes and the finder?s fee typically
charged by local agencies. And proceed
with caution. According to the Foreign
and Commonwealth Office, hazards
include the ?seller? not owning the
property, outstanding credit on the
home and the misstating of its size.
with the fence panels or palings facing
the neighbour?s side and the boundary
running along the face of the palings.
The inference is based on the
assumption that a landowner will use his
land to the fullest extent and build his
fence right up to the boundary line with
the ?good? side facing the neighbour.
Although reservations have been
expressed about the rule, in the 2013
case of Lanfear v Chandler the Court of
Appeal concluded that where a fence
?was erected with the posts facing? one
property, this was ?conventionally an
indication that the owners of? that land
?were intended to be the owners of the
fence and to have responsibility for
maintaining it?.
The presumption can be overcome by
other evidence, such as measurements
taken from plans.
If there is no other evidence, the fence
will therefore belong to the land on the
side where the fence posts are located.
Mark Loveday
The writer is a barrister with Tanfield
Chambers. Email your question to:
Holiday-home buyers who want adventure and year-round
rental incomes should head for Europe?s coast, says Hugo Cox
In the south, Tarifa is the most
popular spot. ?Property is a fraction of
the cost of Marbella and Estepona, and
you are only about an hour?s drive from
Cadiz and Marbella,? Sherwood says.
?Move up the west coast towards Cadiz,
the less developed stretch of
coastline, and prices drop
further.? A one-bedroom
flat with a balcony near
the centre of Tarifa?s
old town will cost
about ?200,000,
he says.
Ericeira and the
To the northwest of
Lisbon the coastal
stretch stakes a good
claim to Europe?s finest
surfing. It is certainly the most
hair-raising. In November 2011 the
largest wave surfed anywhere in the
world was in Nazare, 75 miles north of
Lisbon; it measured 78ft from trough to
peak and was ridden by the American
surfer Garrett McNamara.
Mortals will focus their efforts farther
south, where the waves are more
This five-bedroom
villa in Tarifa is on sale
for �975 million
through Chestertons
swells. Local homes for sale are rare
and will probably require work, so
most buyers look to the more popular
Algarve areas to Sagres?s east, says the
committed surfer Rita Castelo Branco,
who works for Quinta Properties Savills
in Quinta do Lago.
In the south-facing Vale do Lobo, near
Quinta do Lago, new two-bedroom
apartments cost about ?500,000. The
popularity of the area with British and
foreign buyers as well as holidaymakers
means that prices have been picking up
since 2013, well ahead of much of the
rest of Portugal, Branco says.
I think the lap panel fence between
my house and the property next
door belongs to my neighbour.
He thinks it does not. Who owns
a fence between two houses?
The starting point is always to check title documents
and plans to see if they show who owns fences and
other boundary features. For example, plans may mark
boundaries with external ?T? marks (indicating that
the boundary belongs to that landowner) or ?H? marks
(showing a shared boundary). There is no rule that the
left or right-hand fence automatically
belongs to any individual property.
If the deeds do not help, you should
look at the situation on the ground to
see whether one of a number of legal
principles or presumptions takes over.
For example, longstanding acts of
ownership may indicate who owns a
boundary. Or there may be the remnants
of old walls or posts to show where the
fence is in relation to the boundary line.
A frequently cited presumption is that
the fence belongs to the person on
whose side the posts and rails are placed,
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