What price Your Rural Haven?

Yorkshire is blessed with a great wealth and variety of rural properties, be it in the Pennines, the Dales or on its picturesque coastline. Whilst finding the ideal property to buy may take many months of searching on the Internet and through estate agents, be warned, that is just the start! 

The very essence of what you are trying to achieve may be destroyed if you and your property lawyer do not carry out the required research into, not only what you intend to buy, but also its immediate locality and how that may quickly change.

You have no legal right to a view 

How can you find out whether the view you so longingly look forward to will be lost by the construction of new buildings, roads, railway lines and wind turbines?  Could a fracking plant, with its additional traffic, disturb the peace and tranquillity of your proposed idyll? Further searches may, therefore, be required.  For example, a Search Plan Plus provides planning, neighbourhood and local amenity information, which includes details of all planning permissions granted for adjoining properties and an Energy and Infrastructure Search provides information about any gas and oil drilling, wind and solar farms, together with the proposed high speed rail development HS2 for Yorkshire and Humber.  Depending on what you discover you may have to take a pragmatic approach - enjoy the view and the peace while it lasts, but accept that it may not be forever.

What about the property itself? Does it have private access, a private water supply and sewage disposal system? Your property lawyer will advise on the rights for use and responsibility for maintenance but not necessarily on the potential future costs of maintenance and replacement. These can be substantial if the current arrangements do not comply with today’s statutory standards or those to be implemented in the future.

Others may have access

Another potentially tricky issue for rural properties is others right of access, including public rights – ‘a right to roam’ under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. What about shooting or fishing rights, which may be exclusive to an individual, a syndicate or club, which could actually preclude you exercising the rights yourself?   Is the property in a conservation area, a National Park or is it listed?  Special rules apply to these, which may prevent its alteration, extension or conversion.

The issues raised in this article are not exhaustive. Every property is different and only by working with an experienced property lawyer and surveyor can you identify whether your chosen property can indeed become your rural haven.  Good Luck in your search! 

If you would to speak to Barbara about one of her articles, or are looking for advice on the sale or purchase of a property, please feel free to call us.