Thinking About Living the Rural Idyll?

What with the Stamp Duty freeze on house purchases of £500,000 and under, the move towards home working and the benefits (health and social) of living in the countryside – now may well be the perfect time to consider a move from the towns and cities to a more rural idyll. Often in film, the English countryside is

portrayed in a somewhat twee and unsophisticated light, however, what shines through in these portrayals is the beauty of the country and the range of properties that are available – particularly period properties. Many people can be put off by period properties (particularly listed ones) owing to a lack of understanding as to what you can, and cannot, do with such a property.

Just because a property is of a particular period does not mean that any special provisions apply to it in respect of planning and development rules and regulations.  Buildings with listed statuses or those in conservation areas will come with restrictions on what an owner can and cannot do in respect of investing in, refurbishing and developing such properties. However, this does not mean that if you buy a listed building you will automatically be refused permission to refurbish or enlarge it – simply that you need to be alive to the fact that securing the development opportunity you are looking for may not be as straightforward as with other properties.

According to the CPRE, Kent has more than 18,400 listed buildings – more than any other county – and several thousand unlisted, but valuable, historic buildings and structures. What this means is, if you are looking for a period property in a rural setting – look no further than Kent. You’re bound to be able to find a property that suits your needs and desires and within the stamp duty free limit.

Should you be looking at undertaking renovation work to such a property and are unsure as to what you can, or cannot do, then our planning team here at Knights can help you consider the options open to you and advise you as to the lawfulness of your proposed development and the steps you will need to take to secure the consents you require for such a project.

Should you consider that you want to proceed with your purchase – we can undertake the conveyancing work for you – with a particular eye for the quirks that sometimes arise with a purchase of a period and/or listed property. All for a competitive price.

If you are interested in finding out more about our conveyancing and planning services, please call 01832 537311 and ask for our Head of Planning - Simon Bell or our Head of Conveyancing - Peter Colman.  Or email us at 


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