Sussex Cattle in a barn
Photographer – Simon Wright, Romney Marsh
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How I nearly made a pig's ear of selling my own house
Have you ever asked for advice and then ignored it? I guess we all have. Hobbs Parker was founded by my great-great-great-grandfather in 1850. My Dad worked here for 42 years and I’ve been working […]Find out more
Post Stamp Duty Holiday: What next for the property market?
When Rishi Sunak announced a temporary Stamp Duty holiday on July 8th 2020 to counter the effects of the Pandemic, homebuyers celebrated the chance to save on buying costs. Was he right to do it? […]Find out more
Sustainable Farming Incentive
The first phase is due to be rolled out to all BPS claimants from mid-2022 with a full launch in 2024. Payments will be in addition to the Basic Payment Scheme and the SFI is […]Find out more
DEFRA have brought in a reverse auction system whereby landowners seeking to create woodland in England over the next 30 years can bid to secure government issued carbon credits, through competitive bidding to establish a […]Find out more
Rewilding in Agricultural Tenancies
Most existing agricultural tenancies will not properly capture these opportunities so it is important for landlords and tenants to discuss and agree who might ultimately benefit from any new arrangements relating to biodiversity gain, nutrient […]Find out more
New grant scheme targets AONBs and National Parks
The scheme is for one-off projects which: support nature recovery mitigate the impacts of climate change provide opportunities for people to discover, enjoy and understand the landscape and its cultural heritage support nature-friendly, sustainable farm […]Find out more
Biodiversity Net Gain - what we know so far
The Environment Bill of 2018 contained a proposal by the Government to make this a mandate to be demonstrated by all development proposals in order to obtain planning permission. It is now identified as policy […]Find out more
Jaguar F-TYPE, E-TYPE, I-PACE or trusty Ford S-Max?
I was incredibly fortunate to be sponsored by Jaguar Cars whilst studying Mechanical Engineering at Loughborough University from 1982 to 1986. Some of my happiest memories are from my time working on the factory floor […]Find out more
Wye - Kent's Super Village
So what is it about the village of Wye that creates it’s extraordinary reputation? Unlike many villages in my part of Kent that are equally as pretty and have local facilities, it has a selection […]Find out more
Millie Green - A Review of Ashford
The Kentish town of Ashford is known for many things: the International Station, the Designer Outlet and a plethora of secondary schools. These are all great assets to the town, but at Hobbs Parker we […]Find out more
Rights of Way
As England entered Lockdown 3.0, despite the weather, the ‘daily walk’ once again came to the fore as a valuable source of respite. While it’s great to see people enjoying the countryside, the flip-side for […]Find out more
Rent review - Is now the time?
Tenants are reluctant to seek a rent review for fear of upsetting a longstanding relationship with their landlord, and many landlords want to agree a compromise to maintain a sustainable relationship going forward. Rent formulas […]Find out more
More powers to tenants
Years of lobbying by the Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) has finally resulted in successful amendments to The Agriculture Act to make retirement and succession under old farming tenancies easier. Here’s a few areas that have […]Find out more
The Importance of Place Making – Will A National Design Code Assist?
The main criticism of new development is that it does not create the quality of environment that we like. We all have our favourite places to visit, the place where the mix of buildings and […]Find out more
Stamp Duty Savings - are you buying a house with an Annexe?
“We sell many homes with accommodation that is separate to the principal home but very few buyers are aware of the Stamp Duty savings they may be entitled to.” Alex DaviesFind out more
Very small ski chalet for sale!
It's tempting to take snowing photos of your home when selling it. But is this a good idea?Find out more
Grants and Subsidies
Through the agricultural transition plan, the Government sets out its vision. It’s a useful starting point, although currently it does not provide all the answers and we await detailed, costed guidance. WHAT IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE? […]Find out more
How many Ashfords are there in the UK?
Our website contains a database of all the villages, towns and cities in the UK. We combined this data with Google Maps to created this interactive map of all the Ashfords in the UK.Find out more
The 50 Most Popular Villages
Our website is very busy — every day up to 6,000 people visit our website. Many are researching the ideal location for their next home and spend some time reading about the towns and villages […]Find out more
Tips to help you establish a great Wild Garden
If you’ve been watching TV nature and gardening programmes lately, you’ll have seen a lot of interest in wild gardens. There are many advantages to wild gardens: they cover the ground in a beautiful mix […]Find out more
Is your business ready for the Agriculture Bill?
The time immortal words of Mark Twain continue to strike a chord as Britain’s second agricultural revolution starts to take shape. We now know BPS is going, and much faster than expected. The first £30,000 […]Find out more
Five Predictions for the Local Property Market in 2021
2020 was a tumultuous year for Hobbs Parker with our estate agency business up by 25% breaking all previous records. Despite the gloomy start to 2021, with further lockdown measures introduced, I anticipate sustained activity […]Find out more
Tips for buyers and sellers when dealing with properties from a bygone era
The first clue upon arrival is the general look of neglect. Tired net curtains hanging at the windows, peeling paintwork, stains from a leaking gutter, a rusty gate opening on to an entrance path overgrown […]Find out more
The Agricultural Transition Plan – Is your business prepared?
Plans to deliver a fairer farming system were set out by the government on the 30th October with the release of the “Agricultural Transition Plan”. The plan will transform the way farmers are supported from […]Find out more
The 'Race for Space' and house price inflation in 2020
Are rising house prices about more than just the normal supply and demand? With so much talk of the Covid crisis, it’s almost possible to forget about the numerous economic hurdles that affect house prices. […]Find out more
What a year!
We have continued to support and advise our clients, whether this is in the livestock market, selling property, or undertaking professional work. We have a great team of professionals and they have worked hard to […]Find out more
Stour Catchment Planning Update
In July 2020, Natural England issued water quality advice that had an immediate impact on planning applications for new homes located within the Stour Catchment, although it took until late September for Local Authorities to […]Find out more
All change for the land market?
In a past and present of uncertainty and volatility; and with increasingly negative media speculation in relation to the future economy, perhaps now is the time to sell up and move on? We have been […]Find out more
Public money for public goods
Currently applications for Countryside Stewardship will remain open until 2023. After which it is mooted that a Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) may be introduced to bridge the gap between the end of the Basic Payment […]Find out more
Why Rishi cannot claim all the credit!
What a strange world we live in when sales of houses are going through the roof against a background of a global pandemic. Whilst the Stamp Duty holiday is welcome, this was happening before the […]Find out more
Stamp Duty cut has immediate impact!
The temporary cut is with immediate effect and therefore reduces the cost of a property purchase straight away saving an average of £4,500 for residential property buyers providing they take advantage of it before the holiday comes […]Find out more
Kent and East Sussex - Local Plan Updates and DEADLINES
Local plans are important planning policy documents which are used to guide development to certain areas. These plans take a long time in the making, which means that there are only certain times in perhaps […]Find out more
Will Netflix and Amazon affect property prices in Ashford?
There has been talk of an Ashford metamorphosis for almost as long as I can remember. The opening of the ‘Missing Link’ of the M20 motorway between Ashford and Maidstone in 1991 would surely bring […]Find out more
Might Estate Agents open first to help rebuild the economy?
A recommendation is reported to have been made in a report written for the Government by Conservative peer Lord Gadhia and Sir Jonathan Symonds, chairman of GlaxoSmithKline. Along with coffee shops and restaurants, Estate Agents […]Find out more
Do virtual tours and viewings work?
While lockdown and movement restrictions mean that buyers are prevented from physically viewing homes for sale, evidence suggests that many buyers are spending more time on property websites and portals to pass the time and […]Find out more
Post-Coronavirus property market predictions
Savills research team recently offered some interesting analysis of what a UK property market recovery could look like post-Coronavirus predicting transaction volumes could be down by up to 45% for 2020 with the greatest impact […]Find out more
Have your say now on the new Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS)
As part of this, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has opened a public consultation on the proposed new Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS). This will be DEFRA’s cornerstone agricultural policy paying […]Find out more
Land and property market has woken up
The Friday after the General Election, when we woke up to an 80-seat majority for the Conservatives, three and a half years of weak government came to an end. And with it a large dose […]Find out more
Delinking could drive diversification and land sales
Delinking looks set to be a major change of the Agriculture Bill as payments to current recipients will no longer be conditional on remaining in farming. Consultation on this issue is expected later this year, […]Find out more
What's the future for the Basic Payment Scheme?
The phasing out of the Basic Payments Scheme (BPS) will be one of the biggest challenges for farmers and landowners when the Agricultural Bill is introduced. Nothing major will change for 2020 as payments will […]Find out more
Agricultural Property Relief - Don’t let the taxman harvest more than his due
The first-tier tribunal decision in Charnely vs HMRC centred on to what extent a 79-year-old Lancashire farmer could be considered to have been actively farming at the time of his death. Broadly, HMRC argued he […]Find out more
Agriculture Bill - What could it mean for landowners and farmers?
Our attention must be on the Agriculture Bill, which the Government hopes to have in place by the spring to allow the country to develop its own agricultural policy. Change is the only certainty; the […]Find out more
Wanting to plough your grassland?
The Environmental Impact Assessment (Agriculture) (EIA) Regulations came into force in 2006 with the aim of protecting environmentally significant areas from being damaged by agricultural works. Broadly speaking, where agricultural land has not been physically […]Find out more
Rural Funding Opportunities
Defra has confirmed £35 million of funding will be made available to rural businesses under the RDPE Growth Programme. A share of the Rural Development Programme money – minimum level £20,000 – is available to […]Find out more
Agricultural Occupancy Condition
Family decisions from days gone by can have a lasting impact on farms today, as has recently been discovered by a number of families who have found reason to ask Hobbs Parker Property Consultants for […]Find out more
Inheritance Tax Review
While the government continues to muddle through Brexit, and the opposition is busy publishing “Land for the Many” suggesting much wider and more radical reforms, in the background the Civil Service continues to quietly review […]Find out more
How to protect your land from the creation of new rights of way
While everyone should be able to appreciate and enjoy the British countryside, public access causes a range of issues and it is in landowners’ interest to prevent new routes being created. Increasing levels of dog […]Find out more
Bucking the national property 'downturn'
It is true that we agreed 35 sales during October which we think are good results by anyone’s standards but I can tell you it doesn’t come easily and not without a lot of hard […]Find out more
Planning regime changes to allow more flexible use of buildings
The Government initially implemented Permitted Development Rights (PDR) to make it relatively simple to convert office space into residential accommodation, and now it has made further changes which allow premises used as shops, for financial […]Find out more
Assets for sale? Take time to qualify for relief
Under this relief, qualifying assets result in a reduced rate of Capital Gains Tax of 10% on the value of the sale, with a limit of up to £10 million during your lifetime. Compared against […]Find out more
Otties Farm - New Dairy for yoghurt and cheese making
Three generations have worked the land at Ottinge since the turn of last century. The rolling green hills of the Elham Valley make for perfect dairy country and so the cows arrived to the pastures […]Find out more
The farming voice must be heard for a Green Brexit
The beginning of May sees the deadline for Kent landowners and farmers to give their views on DEFRA’s ‘Health & Harmony: The Future for Food, Farming and the Environment in a Green Brexit’. If adopted, […]Find out more
Planning permission granted for 14 homes in Whitfield
Proposals to build 14 high quality homes at Whitfield have been given the go-ahead by Dover District Council. Permissions for the new four and five bed properties was secured by Hobbs Parker Property Consultants, with […]Find out more
How to make the best of a Compulsory Purchase Order
As a result there is likely to be an ongoing demand to use compulsory purchase powers (CPOs) to make it all happen – and that can often be difficult for the landowner unless they’ve got […]Find out more
Permitted development in town centres
Potential planning changes could have implications for our town centres, which is timely given the ongoing crop of high profile retail administrations. The Government consultation on Permitted Developments Rights covering the upward extensions of buildings […]Find out more
Tenancy planning for landowners
As politicians continue to wrestle with Brexit, there is obviously significant uncertainty. What we do know is that Brexit – if it happens – will bring changes, and landlords and tenants alike should be prepared. There could be changes to financial […]Find out more
Netflix linked with move to Ashford?
The possible plans for a European filming hub presented recently to Ashford Borough Council could transform the long-abandoned Newtown railway works into seven state-of-the-art film studios. If the project goes ahead, the studios could sit […]Find out more
Thinking local is the answer when planning to develop
Successful development is often about having the right land in the right place, but when it comes to the right timing, the progress of the Local Plan process can often make or break a deal or decision. With districts […]Find out more
Housing secured in the Green Belt
A Grade II-listed oast house and associated farm buildings will be transformed into six homes after Sevenoaks District Council gave the green light for the development at Foxbury Farm, Stone Street, near Seal. Permission has been given to convert the […]Find out more
National Planning Policy Framework update
The redesign of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) has given councils greater powers to promote housing. However, the Government can now punish councils if they don’t deliver the presumption in favour of sustainable development. The reality is most authorities, cashstrapped by […]Find out more
Make the right choice for your farm dispersal sale
For them it can be a stressful event, full of important decisions and the responsibility to maximise income. Despite how it might look to anyone turning up on the day, every farm dispersal sale comes with its own list […]Find out more
Vicky Phillips returns to Hobbs Parker's Property Consultants team
Having reached the position of Partner in her previous role at a national firm, Vicky has a wealth of experience in farm, land and estate valuations in the south-east and nationally, for private client, high […]Find out more
Change of use and permitted development to support the high street
‘Planning Reform: Supporting the high street and increasing the delivery of new homes’, published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, consults on possible new permitted development (PD) rights which could make it easier to change the use of buildings […]Find out more
Hobbs Parker welcomes new Senior Planner to the team
Senior Planning Consultant Elizabeth Welch joins the team after almost a decade at Dover District Council. Prior to her local authority work, Elizabeth has worked at Bovis Homes, Barton Wilmore and Ward Homes. She is a fully qualified Chartered Town Planner […]Find out more
Inheritance tax relief for farm businesses
It is not uncommon for farm businesses to shy away from Inheritance Tax planning, as it is sometimes controversial within families, and almost always time-consuming. However, a proactive approach is vital in tax planning to ensure eligibility for relevant reliefs. Farm […]Find out more
Solar farms advice for landowners
The key advancement is the reduction of installation costs and increase in efficiency of the solar panels. The average installation is priced at around £600,000 per MW compared to £1.4m in 2011, and wholesale energy prices are still […]Find out more
Why 2019 is the right time to invest in Ashford
“If you have ever wished you’d invested somewhere that has regenerated, you will know that you are already too late.” These are the words of Alex Davies, Managing Director for Hobbs Parker Estate Agents, an […]Find out more
Green plans could mean red light for development
Ashford-based Hobbs Parker Property Consultants LLP (HPPC) is concerned that if confirmed DEFRA’s consultation about development delivering a bio-diversity net gain will introduce an additional requirement on developers that will need to be addressed from […]Find out more
Ten of the world's best selling Prius hybrid cars for sale
Today we will be selling ten of the world’s best selling hybrid cars. If you’ve been to Gatwick or Heathrow airport you will probably have seen hundreds of these dependable and economical cars ferrying passengers 24 […]Find out more
Wonderful Jaguar XJ8 For Sale
This is a wonderfully rare car from a lovely local family who purchased it new. There certainly cannot be many with this provenance. Just the one owner with only 18,000 miles. The owners, a local […]Find out more
The History of W & B Hobbs and The Hobbs Parker Group
This clip from the Kentish Gazette dated 28th August 1849 casts doubt on the firm’s long-held belief that W & B Hobbs was established in 1850. It has piqued my interest in the early years of our […]Find out more
A development opportunity half done!
Congratulations, you did it. Your local authority has granted you planning permission for development. It’s in your hand, signed. The corks are popping! Hold on just a minute, because as well as you’ve done so far, […]Find out more
How do you get the best price for your house?
How do you get the best price for your house? Answer: When you put your house on the market for the first time make sure it is at the correct market value — do not be tempted to ask for […]Find out more
Historic Property Auction Particulars -- Mersham 1878
These have been hanging on the wall in our boardroom for as long as I can remember. I recently happened to ‘bump into’ two of the current owners of the cottages when I gave a […]Find out more
19 New Development Sites for Ashford
The draft local plan was put out to consultation last year. It has been reviewed by the Council and the latest version of the plan is due to be put to the Council’s cabinet with […]Find out more
The Best Restaurants in Kent and East Sussex
The next best thing to eating good food, may be talking about it. Certainly asking in the Hobbs Parker offices about people’s favourite restaurants leads to a mouth-watering conversation about how spoilt for choice we […]Find out more
Listed Buildings Advice
The market for period property is booming and the older the house or cottage, the more likely it is to be listed. By listing a property, it celebrates a building’s special architectural and historic features […]Find out more
Outlook Summer 2017
In this edition: We look at how owners of brownfield sites looking to bring forward housing-led development could be given permission in principle (PiP) after new planning legislation came into force on 15 April, according […]Find out more
The best pubs in and around Ashford and Tenterden
When I was young going to the pub generally meant me and my siblings sitting in the beer garden squabbling over a pack of Ready Salted whilst my parents nipped in for a pint and […]Find out more
Planning to succeed
As a result, development can be difficult, especially for housebuilders, as many local communities fail to recognise the need to increase the demand of the growing population. The Government, which is publicly committed to delivering a […]Find out more
Could the latest business rates revaluation hit your pocket?
Farm buildings and agricultural land will continue to be exempt from business rates as long as they are being used for agriculture. However, many farmers may have diversified since the last revaluation in 2010 and […]Find out more
Is now the right time to diversify?
As well as developing your business plan and securing the necessary finance, many face the challenge of avoiding lengthy and costly planning applications, especially with many farms being in the AoNB or close to SSSIs […]Find out more
Favourable exchange rate brings timely relief to farmers
Recent forecasts for net farm income for all farm types for the year to March 2016 are down by 25 per cent, equivalent to an average of £13,000. The 2016 exchange rate for this year’s […]Find out more
Will your second home also be your pension?
Recent research suggests that the level of income people aspire to retire on each year has increased from £35,000 to £42,000 yet this would require a pension pot of more than £1 million. Evidence shows […]Find out more
Will solar panels increase the value of my home?
As the weather gets colder and darker, and the heating and lights stay on longer, there’s one thing I can predict with even more certainty than the Queen’s Speech broadcasting on Christmas Day. The arrival […]Find out more
Is it time to loosen the Green Belt?
With demand for housing continuing at an unprecedented rate, despite the possible implications of Brexit, some people are asking: Is it time to review the Green Belt and its role and current size? However, Sajid […]Find out more
Plans for new home in AONB given consent
Permission has been granted to replace vacant farm buildings with a three bedroom house on farmland in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) overlooking the Pilgrims’ Way in Brabourne. Ashford Borough Councillors voted by […]Find out more
Renewable Energy – is it beginning to run on empty?
Last year didn’t end brightly, and despite what’s happening in other countries, 2016 could see the beginning of the dark ages for renewable energy projects in the UK. As if the changes in feed-in tariffs […]Find out more
Permitted Development Rights for rural buildings
The current legislation offers an excellent opportunity to farmers and landowners to quickly and cost-effectively secure planning permission for new dwellings in rural areas. It applies to buildings up to 450m2 in area and/or three […]Find out more
Agricultural Grant Scheme Launched for Hedgerows and Boundaries
The deadline for applications is 30 April. Benefits may be obtained for capital items such as hedge planting, laying and coppicing, earth bank restoration stone-faced bank repair and restoration, and stone wall restoration. A woodland […]Find out more
Our recommended golf courses in Kent and East Sussex
As a golfing destination, Kent and East Sussex has a huge amount going for it. We’re blessed with a better than average climate (compared with other parts of the UK) which means we enjoy more […]Find out more
How to gain planning permission -- a view from both sides of the fence
Having joined Hobbs Parker Property Consultants six months ago, with nearly 30 years’ planning experience gained at Canterbury City Council and local authorities, Steve Davies gives an insight into the world on both sides […]Find out more
What does Brexit mean for the whole planning system?
It’s been impossible to get away from the issue of the European Union referendum and the vote to leave. However, it’s important to consider what it might mean for the whole planning environment and how […]Find out more
The best beaches in Kent and East Sussex
We explore the best beaches in Kent and East Sussex — for your children, dogs and foodie friends — as we work our way round the South East’s beautiful coastline. It’s a funny thing that […]Find out more
Why do kitchens sell houses?
The party is in the kitchen! When we have a party at our house my wife and I spend hours making our living room look nice and then most of the evening trying to get […]Find out more
Is selling some land an option in 2016?
There appears to be very little confidence of an improvement in outlook for the agricultural sector in the short term. So, is selling an option for some in 2016? The controversial option is to sell […]Find out more
New team rising to challenge
New team rising to challenge To ensure Hobbs Parker Property Consultants respond to the need for the best possible property, land, planning and development advice, we have made a number of changes to our senior […]Find out more