Conservationist and heritage groups have combined to oppose measures outlined by Chancellor George Osborne to remove VAT relief on changes to properties which are protected under the listed building status. Properties which have been renovated but would be taxed under the proposals include Aberdeen’s 19th-century Marischal College building, Kelburn Castle in North Ayrshire, and Edinburgh’s Royal Commonwealth Pool.
Under new plans, 20% VAT will be charged on alterations to a listed building, which will leave conversions of old and culturally valuable buildings requiring a far bigger outlay than in the past.
The National Trust for Scotland says the removal of tax relief outlined in the last Budget is ill-thought out and comparable to the fiasco over the much-derided “pasty tax”. The Scottish Government has joined widespread criticism of the proposal with Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop claiming the tax will have economic consequences for the building trade.
Archaeology Scotland, the Architectural Heritage Society for Scotland, the Institute for Archaeologists, the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Scotland and the Scottish Civic Trust have united in criticism of these changes . Cliff Hague, chairman of the Built Environment Forum Scotland lobby group, said many smaller-scale projects could be hit hard. He added: “The current fiscal arrangements incentivise sympathetic alteration of these buildings to enable their long-term survival through continued use.
“This Budget proposal will impact most significantly on small charities and private individuals involved in taking on these buildings, not only for themselves but for the benefit of everyone, now and in the future.
“The financial viability of these special and often complex projects means that the current VAT relief can make the difference between a project stacking up or not.”
Under the current scheme, VAT is charged on repairs and maintenance to listed properties but not on alterations, such as installing new window
Downton Abbey is one of the most successful British television dramas of the year. Fans now have the chance to live out their dreams of the high life in a historic property coming up for sale.
Apethorpe Hall, a British manor with no less than 48 rooms, has gone onto the market for a “bargain” price of 2.5 million pounds . There’s only one problem – it doesn’t have a bathroom.
The Daily Mail reports that the house was originally built between 1470 and 1480 by Sir Guy Wolston, then sold to Sir Walter Mildmay. It reportedly stayed in his family for 350 years. In more recent years, the house has been owned by the Catholic Church and Libyan millionaire Wanis Mohammed Burweila. The new owner of the house , located in Northamptonshire, England, should probably be able to afford to install a few modern amenities. However in common with any historic building, there are bound to be certain restrictions on developing a piece of property first constructed several hundred years ago.
As well as not having a bathroom, the house comes with a few other catches: an annual £100,000 maintenance bill and a requirement that the hall be open to the public for at least 28 days a year.
The government reportedly spent more than £4 million renovating the house, which had fallen into disarray over the years and was at one time “on the brink of ruin.”
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More castles have been built in the border county of Northumberland than in any other county in England because of the habit of its Scottish neighbours in times gone by to invade this most Northern part of England.
The launch of the 1,229-acre Castle Heaton and Shellacres estate at Cornhill-on-Tweed, 12 miles from the border town of Berwick-upon-Tweed, at a guide price of over £11.5 million’ through local estate agents illustrates the revival of the market by leading local landowners. In a small number of castles for sale it has a bumper asking price which , if achieved, will set a record for recent years in the North-East.Land values have never been as strong in this part of the country, and we’re seeing an increasing number of buyers moving up from the South to re-invest, and live in and enjoy all that we have to offer in this part of the world.
With its rich mix of history, heritage, sporting assets and farming know-how, Castle Heaton has much to intrigue a discerning sporting incomer. The estate, which sits either side of the River Till, a tributary of the Tweed, is being sold either as a whole, or in two lots. The main residential element, on the west bank of the Till, comprises Castle Heaton House and gardens, its adjacent Granary House and Tower, four stone cottages, an arable and grassland farm, a pheasant shoot and a very private beat of salmon and sea-trout fishing-638 acres in all-and is on offer at a guide price of ‘excess £6.15m’.
Castle Heaton House is a substantial 19th-century stone and slate building-extensively refurbished and upgraded in 1992-with three reception rooms, a large kitchen/breakfast room, a nursery, six bedrooms and four bathrooms. The Granary House, on the west side of the gardens, was partially demolished and converted in 1998 to create an annexe to the main house, with one main reception room, a kitchen, four bedrooms and two bathrooms. It is attached to a castellated tower currently being modernised to provide a large, open-plan reception room with a high vaulted roof, an en-suite double bedroom and kitchen area.
A range of traditional 16th- and 17th-century stone farm buildings beside the main house includes a much earlier buttressed stone barn, listed Grade II*, which contains the remains of the original late-medieval Heaton Castle, built in 1415-possibly by Sir Thomas Grey-and destroyed in 1496 by the Scots and James IV. In the 1580s, a dispute arose between the Grey family and the Crown as to who should bear the cost of repairing the castle, as a result of which nothing at all was done.
On the east side of the river, 590-acre Shellacres is a first-class farming estate in an area renowned for its arable farming, and holds the Guinness World Record for the most wheat harvested in eight hours-551.6 tons. The estate agent for this property has been inundated with enquiries
Crantzdorf Castle, the 20,000-square-foot property owned by local auto dealer Steve Grindstaff, will not go to auction today as originally planned. Instead, an offer for the castle “is on the table and being negotiated,” according to Kari Neering, associate vice president for Rubenstein Public Relations. “The seller has elected to focus on negotiating a deal rather than go to auction.” Originally priced at $28.5 million, the property is currently listed for sale at $19.5 million with its agency, Mountain Sotheby’s International Realty. The 13-acre spread, located at 191 Degrasse Drive, sits on the shores of Boone Lake. The castle, which is reportedly modeled after the Palacio de la Magdalena in Spain, boasts nine bedrooms, eight bathrooms, and four half-baths
Taransay island, which featured in the BBC’s Castaway, has been sold .It had an asking price of £2m or above. Selling agents CKD Galbraith have not named the new owners but said they already owned property on Harris. Ben Fogle, one of a group of people who lived on the island for Castaway in 2000, had been leading a bid to buy Taransay. CKD Galbraith said the island’s owners knew the purchasers and the island was passing into “safe hands”. The firm’s John Bound added: “There will no doubt be a number of disappointed parties who would have liked to bid but it is fitting that Taransay is now in the new ownership of somebody closely acquainted to the area who will preserve the current management of the island.” Taransay offers trout and sea fishing and deer stalking. The island also has a sheep farm. The island is said to be home of Celtic pagans in 300AD and was the site of several fierce battles, such as the Massacre
A new database allows searchers to look for castles by postcode in England . Details of England’s national heritage from protected shipwrecks to listed lamp-posts are being made easily available to the public for the first time with a new online database.
English Heritage has launched the National Heritage List for England which it claimed was “a significant milestone towards achieving better understanding and protection for heritage in this country”.
It lists all 400,000 listed buildings, parks, gardens, battlefields, shipwrecks and scheduled monuments. And for the first time, the public will be able to search by postcode, by age or by categories from coal-mines to castles.
The database launch came as English Heritage came as it announced priorities from now until 2015 in the light of a 32 per cent cut in its Government grant.
Work still going ahead include vital repairs to Kenwood House in north London and a major advice service to councils who are selling off public buildings such as town halls and libraries because of their own budget cuts.
Last month’s Royal wedding dominated the world’s media in way that only a Royal romance can . Now newly marrieds the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are honeymooning in the Seychelles. Despite attempts by the Palace to keep it secret , news has come out that Princess Diana’s son Prince William and Kate are in the Seychelles . They spent a week in the Indian Ocean archipelago, on the island of Desroches, in August 2007. William is reported to have told islanders that the trip was the best holiday he had had. Desroches is the main island of the Amirantes group, an exclusive setting well beyond the reach of most honeymoon couples. The archipelago boasts 115 islands. This might show William and Kate’s relationship is on a more equal footing than his parents’. Charles and Diana’s post-wedding travels in 1981 – Broadlands in Hampshire, family home of the Mountbattens, followed by a Mediterranean cruise on the royal yacht, then on to Balmoral with his family – smacked of a husband calling the shots. Whether the Amirantes will be such an aphrodisiac is another question. William was born in 1982, eight months after the couple returned.
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Co Galway, Ireland
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Sandpiper Cottage is but a short drive from Clifden or