Ex councillor wins boost to value of home after farming restriction lifted

EX Fenland councillor Pop Jolley has successfully applied to have an agricultural occupancy condition lifted from his luxury home that could now boost its value by up to �135,000.

Nigel Brown, Fenland Council’s development delivery manager, said the council was satisfied the condition had “outlived its usefulness”.

Mr Brown added: “As such there can be no advantage or justifiable reason to withhold consent to remove the same”.

Mr Jolley, a Manea parish councillor, built Poppyfields in Wimblington Road, Manea, in 1998 when he was still farming.

However two years later, according to his accountants Price Bailey, he quit agriculture but has continued to live in the four bedroom home, complete with 43 acres of land, to the present day.

In a lengthy report accompanying the decision, Mr Brown says the council’s policy was not to relax restrictive occupancy conditions unless they could be shown to be surplus to “the efficient management of the enterprise”. Another condition insisted upon written confirmation that the property had been marketed for at least a year “at a value that reflects the restrictive occupancy condition”.

Council officials spent weeks on a “general internet trawl” exploring property values and compared values with those of other properties in Huntingdonshire.

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Mr Brown said the council’s own valuations and estates officer said the house without restriction must be worth “in the region of �675,000 the house being worth �450,000 and the land, say 45 acres at �5,000 per acre being �225,000.” With a 20 per cent reduction that brings the value down to �540,00 “a little less than the guide price but not so much that interest might not be shown”.

However he said the assumptions made discount the entire property, including the land, whereas the reduction could only reasonably be applied to the property.

“Mindful of the length of time that Poppyfields has been marketed and the price at which it has been marketed, it is considered that the campaign undertaken reflects the agriculture tie attached to the dwelling”, said Mr Brown.

Mr Brown noted there were no objections to lifting of the restriction.

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