One fam­ily’s jour­ney from a year in a car­a­van to coun­try home

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

man­aged the scheme but first, he and Ruth stripped the house back to its bones ready for con­trac­tors.

It was then they dis­cov­ered pe­riod fire­places that had been bricked up and hid­den by fifties ver­sions. They also found the re­cesses and orig­i­nal holes for the wooden bar used to “bar the door” and keep out in­trud­ers.

“They were used be­fore locks were in­vented and I imag­ine they were just as ef­fec­tive,” says David.

The cou­ple also tack­led point­ing, lime plas­ter­ing and the dec­o­rat­ing, though most week­ends and evenings were spent out­side re-lay­ing flagged ar­eas, re-build­ing dry stonewalls and re­in­stat­ing stone gateposts.

Ruth, who runs her own prop­erty man­age­ment and gar­den­ing busi­ness, New­garth Prop­er­ties, trans­formed the ne­glected garden into a pri­vate, fam­ily friendly area with pa­tio and bar­be­cue area and an en­closed garden laid to lawn.

The fam­ily moved into the farm­house four years ago and later broke through into the byre to com­plete the project.

The prop­erty now has an en­trance hall, liv­ing kitchen with four-oven Aga, din­ing area, boot

Nidderdale is an Area of Out­stand­ing Nat­u­ral Beauty (AONB) cov­er­ing 233 square miles of the York­shire Dales, though it is not part of the Dales Na­tional Park.

Its cen­tral fea­ture is the long, ma­jes­tic dale of the River Nidd that runs from the fells around Great Wh­ern­side. On the west­ern side, there is a re­mote and wild grit­stone land­scape room, util­ity room, sit­ting room with wood burn­ing stove and a ground-floor bed­room/study with door pro­vid­ing in­de­pen­dent ac­cess and a shower room.

On the first floor, there is a master bed­room suite with a dress­ing room and en-suite, three fur­ther bed­rooms and a house with heather moor­land that is in­ter­na­tion­ally im­por­tant for wildlife. The east­ern side is more pas­toral with rolling farm­land, shel­tered river val­leys and pic­turesque towns and vil­lages.

The only town in the dale is Pate­ley Bridge. Other set­tle­ments in­clude Wath, Rams­gill, Loft­house, and Mid­dlesmoor. bath­room. Out­side, there is park­ing, gar­dens with panoramic views and four acres of land.

Although they’ve en­joyed the last five years, the Leem­ing-Sykes are plan­ning to leave their idyl­lic coun­try home to be closer to their new busi­ness com­mit­ments in Har­ro­gate.

They have, how­ever, left the new own­ers with a po­ten­tial project of their own, should they wish to em­bark on it.

David and Ruth have se­cured plan­ning per­mis­sion on one of the two barns at Mid­dle Woodale, pro­vid­ing buy­ers with a range of op­tions.

One barn ad­joins the main farm­house so there is the op­tion to break through and cre­ate one large house or to con­vert the build­ing into two cot­tages.

There is also an­other de­tached barn that pro­vides the po­ten­tial for con­ver­sion into a hol­i­day let.

“We will miss this house. The lo­ca­tion is very tran­quil and the wildlife is amaz­ing. We’ll be leav­ing with great mem­o­ries of a very spe­cial time in our lives,” says David.

“We de­cided to sell Mid­dle Woodale to buy a prop­erty closer to our new busi­ness. Given that the next part of the project is to de­velop the barns, it seems a nat­u­ral break point for us and will al­low any fu­ture owner to de­velop them to their own re­quire­ment and taste.

“For­tu­nately, the farm­house is al­ready com­pleted so there will be no ques­tion of them liv­ing in a car­a­van while they’re do­ing the work.”

Mid­dle Woodale Farm, Loft­house, near Pate­ley Bridge, is on the mar­ket for £650,000 with Dacre Son and Hart­ley, tel: 01423 711010, www.dacres. co.uk FRANCE re­mains the num­ber one coun­try for Bri­tons look­ing to buy abroad, fol­lowed closely by Spain, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est HiFX Prop­erty Hotspots Report.

Al­most a quar­ter of po­ten­tial buy­ers said that they would most like to buy in France, while 20% are search­ing in Spain.

Mark Bodega, Di­rec­tor at HiFX, says: “France re­mains a safe bet for Brits. It goes with­out say­ing that the sun and life­style are a big pull but buy­ers can now get bet­ter value for their money and take ad­van­tage of the weak­en­ing euro.

“Spain is still pop­u­lar with Brits who are hop­ing to take ad­van­tage of lower prop­erty prices. The av­er­age prop­erty price in the coun­try is down al­most 13 per cent in the last year alone.” THE av­er­age price of a new home in Oc­to­ber was £231,049, down 3.3 per cent over the month, ac­cord­ing to Smart­NewHomes.

Steven Lees, Di­rec­tor of Smart­NewHomes, says: “New home prices eased back in Oc­to­ber fol­low­ing a wave of pre­vi­ously pent up buyer de­mand in Septem­ber.

“We ex­pect to see an­nual price growth of 3 per cent this year, with this strong price per­for­mance bol­stered by grow­ing con­sumer con­fi­dence and the mount­ing im­bal­ance be­tween de­mand and sup­ply.

“As NewBuy cel­e­brates reach­ing 2,000 reser­va­tions and the Welsh government an­nounces plans to in­tro­duce a sim­i­lar shared eq­uity scheme, we need to en­sure that new homes are read­ily avail­able and kept at af­ford­able lev­els.”

HOME COM­FORTS: Mid­dle Woodale is now a des res af­ter David and Ruth Leem­ing-Sykes ren­o­vated it and ex­tended the liv­ing space into an ad­join­ing cow byre. David and Ruth have se­cured plan­ning per­mis­sion on one of the two barns, pro­vid­ing buy­ers with a range of op­tions to fur­ther de­velop the prop­erty, in­clud­ing turn­ing it into a hol­i­day let.

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