It's a good time for county farmers to develop their land

Hereford Times: Ben Corbett - now's the time to release sites for development. Ben Corbett - now's the time to release sites for development.

A HEREFORDSHIRE chartered surveyor says it is a good time for farmers and property owners in the county to source and release sites for development.

Ben Corbett, who has an office at Newchurch Farm in Kinnersley, says the residential property market has turned the corner with prices being fuelled by increased demand.

“Agents are reporting fewer new properties coming onto their books so we are urging farmers and property owners with potential development sites to get them on the market now,” said Mr Corbett of Berrys.

“The residential market is picking up rapidly and developers have seen the signs and are back looking for sites to develop in the future.

“Some property owners have obtained planning consent in the past but have been sitting on their sites, holding them over until the market picks up.

“The planning permission only lasts for three years before work is started so we are recommending that they sell now while the market is buoyant rather than hang on and have to renew the planning permission.”

Herefordshire has a shortage of housing so there is more scope for property owners to get planning consent for greenfield sites as well as redundant farm buildings, he said.

New build sites are the most desirable but barn conversions are coming back into vogue again.

“Although many barns have already been developed in the county there are still some that have great potential for residential use and with the government looking at relaxing permitted development rights it may become easier to get residential planning consent for these buildings,” Ben said.

Agents at Berrys’ five offices across the Midlands and North West are reporting a lot more enquiries from potential residential buyers and also from property developers looking for sites.

The Royal institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) predicts house prices in the UK increasing by eight per cent over the course of 2014 driven by the acute imbalance between demand and sluggish supply.

“As a diversified practice incorporating surveyors, planners and designers we have all services under one roof meaning that we can easily and quickly process a planning project and we have a high success rate,” said Mr Corbett.

“When it comes to marketing a site we have excellent relationships with local developers who are looking for sites and we have the contacts to do a private deal if this is required.”

“We offer a free land and property appraisal so please contact us so we can help you make the most of your property assets and optimise the market conditions.”

A Herefordshire farmer’s son, Ben graduated from Wye College London University in 1998 with a degree in Agricultural Business Management.

He then joined Velcourt where he was responsible for the implementation of agricultural trials across England (and occasionally places such as Zambia) and then production manager at a wholesale Tree Nursery in Shropshire.

He then took a Masters in Rural Estate Management at the Royal Agricultural College before joining Savills where he qualified as a Chartered Surveyor in 2006.

He joined the company in October 2013 to open and oversee Berrys’ new Herefordshire office located at Newchurch Farm, Kinnersley, Hereford.

For further information or to book a free appraisal contact Ben Corbett at Berrys on 01544 598080 or email


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