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Landowners urged to put rural buildings to good use

By James Pugh | Farming | Published:

Landowners need to act now to capitalise on the rural property boom as people look to head to the countryside in record numbers, according to a chartered surveyor.

The coronavirus pandemic has seen a huge increase in demand for rural properties following lockdown, with a 60 per cent increase in homebuyer enquiries as people look to swap their city lives for a rural idyll.

Paul Madeley, of Much Wenlock based Madeleys Chartered Surveyors, who has been working in the industry for more than 20 years, said that this has been the busiest increase in rural home interest he had seen.

“People are no longer looking to live close to the big cities,” he said. “They want to be in the countryside with big gardens and more land.

“Which presents the perfect opportunity for landowners in Shropshire.”

Paul is encouraging those who are interested in converting buildings or barns to act now in order to secure planning permission.

“If you’ve got a building or barn on your land that you don’t use, why not think about converting it into something completely different,” he said.

“Whether it’s residential, commercial or industrial, there are lots of options to explore.

“But now is the time to act. Securing planning permissions and development rights can take a couple of months so if you’re thinking about it, get in touch now and we can help.”

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Caroline Eaton, director of Berriman Eaton, which works alongside Madeleys, said the firm’s website usually gets 25,000 visitors every month but since lockdown she has seen this go up to more than 40,000.

“It’s been such a busy few months for the team,” she said. “Lockdown has enabled people to really slow down and reflect on what they want out of life.

“We’re getting so many enquiries through from people looking for larger gardens, more land, accommodation for relatives and homes big enough for an office space.”

Caroline said one of the most asked questions is what the broadband speed is like.

“But at the moment the housing supply does not meet the current demand, which is why anyone who has a barn or building they can convert into housing would be in a really favourable position.”

James Pugh

By James Pugh

Shropshire Star Business and Farming Editor.

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