An outstanding view features on most property wish-lists and this home has England’s finest. Sharon Dale reports
The nation’s most famous vet, James Herriot, aka Alf Wight, proclaimed that the view from the slopes of Sutton Bank was “the finest in England”, and now there’s a chance to “own” it.
Nestled on the slopes of the Hambleton Hills, Sutton Bank Farm, near Thirsk, enjoys that sensational outlook. The property, which has four bedrooms, outbuildings, grassland and woodland, is on the market for £750,000 with Robin Jessop.
The panoramic vista stretches across Lake Gormire, over to the Vale of York and Mowbray and gives glimpses of the mighty Pennines. The view, along with Alf Wight’s words, were broadcast to the nation on BBC1’s Secret Britain recently. The small screen revealed the breathtaking splendour and made the decision to leave it behind a little harder for Joe Welburn and his wife Marion.
They bought the farm nine years ago after falling for its unrivalled position and proximity to the A1.
“Alf Wight had his surgery in Thirsk and did a lot of his business round here. He would often stop off at the top of Sutton Bank and admire this view,” says Joe.
“It is incredible. You also see the gliders from the Yorkshire Gliding Club flying overhead like birds.”
He and Marion have updated the property and installed a handmade kitchen from Treske and new windows. They have also acquired planning permission to create a two bedroom bungalow.
“We are sad to be leaving as it has been a wonderful place to live. It is private but very accessible. The grandchildren, in particular, have enjoyed playing in the fields and the woods,” says Joe.
The Housing Futures report by Strutt and Parker revealed that an outstanding view ranked number one for buyers when it came to “outdoor amenities”.
Estate agent Robin Jessop agrees: “Views are really important to buyers because they are what you wake up to every day and come home to every night. That’s why, when it comes to making lifestyle choices, so many buyers count a view as one of the top criteria.
“It will always be a major bonus because discerning buyers realise that if they appreciate the view then the chances are soneone else will whenn they come to sell.”
There is no legal right to a view in planning terms. So unless you own the land you overlook, the beautiful fields could be carpeted with identikit “executive houses” and the hillsides covered with wind turbines. One way round this is to own your view, says Tim Blenkin, of Blenkin and Co.
“I know a farmer who is about to cover ten acres with glass panels to create solar energy. It’s his land but it is someone else’s view. Owning your view adds value because what you own no-one else can spoil.”
He also suggests buying in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or a National Park, which are governed by stricter planning rules that ensure that the character of the landscape remains intact.
Another fairly safe bet is a sea view. A prime example is on the market with Carter Jonas. Seascape on King Street sits just above the sea walls at Robin Hood’s Bay. The traditional stone cottage has exceptional views across the bay and is on the market for £499,999.
“Beautiful views are what most people will only have as a picture hanging on their wall. If you are able to look out on them from your own property, then that’s amazing,” says Robin Jessop.