Evictions likely as tax bill forces homes sale

THE pace of life in one of Yorkshire’s remotest but most popular dales has been seemingly unchanged for centuries.

Farndale in North Yorkshire
Farndale in North Yorkshire

But now it faces among the biggest upheavals in its history as local estate owners plan to put a series of properties on the market.

Thirteen households in Farndale in the North York Moors are affected by the decision by David Barratt to sell the cottages to pay a hefty inheritance tax bill following the death last year of his father, the housebuilding magnate Sir Lawrie Barratt.

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The cottages are believed to be scattered across the dale, which has barely 200 inhabitants and is famed for its dramatic display of daffodils, and includes properties in its main hamlets of Low Mill and Church Houses.

None of the properties is believed to include farms from the estate which Sir Lawrie purchased in 1981.

The founder of the housebuilding empire Barratt Homes died last December and is believed to have left a total estate to his sons Peter and David worth £43m.

Some of those affected have lived in the area for a number of years but the news their homes were for sale came out of the blue when they received letters last week. Some have been told they could buy their properties in advance of the open market sales.

Others have been they will have to vacate the premises by October and to open their homes for viewings by potential buyers.

A statement estate agent Strutt & Parker’s Northallerton office said: “After the death last December of Sir Lawrence Barratt, his family have been faced with an inheritance tax liability on Farndale Estate which requires David Barratt to sell some of the properties on the estate. This is something he would not have wished to do, but has been forced on him by the circumstances.”

Details of which properties are for sale are yet to be made public but they are expected to attract considerable interest.