Monthly Archives: February 2016

Richard James: 74 High Street Rushden – Then and now….

At Richard James we’re very passionate about the history of our local towns. Our new office in Rushden is at 74 High Street and we were interested to see what it used to be! Our building and the one next door, used to be the Co-Operative pharmacy spread over both 72 and 74 High Street.

Here are the photos to compare! Big thanks to the Rushden Heritage Society for having such great information and vast volumes of photographs for us to look at.


Richard James Estate Agents at 74 High Street, and next door, Thai Seasons at number 72. February 2016.

Richard James Estate Agents at 74 High Street, and next door, Thai Seasons at number 72. February 2016.



Co-Operative Pharmacy in days gone by (we believe around 1955)

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Rushden Lakes Update

Work is continuing on the much anticipated Rushden Lakes development. The scheme will bring various well-known stores including Marks and Spencer, Primark and House of Fraser to the town. The plans for a 12 screen cinema operated by a major chain have also been submitted. Building work is expected to begin by the end of summer 2016. The area surrounding the lakes has now been cleared and the first foundations have already been laid. Roadworks are to begin soon. For further details check out the Rushden Lakes website here.


2852-10-Leisure site plans

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Higher Rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on Purchases of Second (and Subsequent) Residential Properties May Impact Wider Property Market

April1-400x310[1]According to a recent estate agency survey, the proposed increase in Stamp Duty Land Tax on purchases of second and subsequent residential properties, may impact local property markets.

In a national survey conducted amongst its members, Relocation Agent Network found 74% of respondents indicated that the proposed increase in Stamp Duty on purchases of second residential properties, may impact their local property market. When asked to elaborate on what kind of impact this will have, two thirds suggested that the number of buyers entering the market may decrease. However, the government has stated that it estimates around 90% of residential property transactions in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will not pay the higher rates of SDLT.

Impact on Rentals
The national network of independent estate agents also asked its members whether they anticipate a rise in rental rates in the long term, because of the added Stamp Duty cost to landlords. Indeed, 61% said ‘yes’. The most significant trend that Relocation Agent Network members anticipate from the proposed increase in Stamp Duty rates on purchases of second properties, is the ‘decline in available rental properties’. Indeed nearly half (45%) of respondents indicated so. This would appear to be due to the increased Stamp Duty costs deterring both prospective buy-to-let investors from entering the market and current landlords from purchasing additional rental properties.

Background Information
On 28 December 2015, the government published an open consultation on higher rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on purchases of second and subsequent residential properties. This consultation closed on 1 February 2016. It is proposed that the higher rates, which will apply from 1 April 2016, will be three percentage points above the current SDLT rates and will be charged on the portion of the value of the property that falls into each band.

Although we expect these new measures will have some impact on the market, we do not think they will be too significant for the majority of buyers and sellers. If you have a property to sell, contact us today. We’re Relocation Agent Network’s appointed Local Expert for East Northants which means we have access to out of town buyers moving into the area.

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Outline plans for housing on former swimming pool site in Northamptonshire

swimming poolThe article below was published on the Chronicle & Echo website yesterday.

Outline plans to build 27 houses where a swimming pool used to be have been submitted.

The proposal is for outline planning permission with all matters reserved for a residential development on the site of the old Wellingborough swimming baths in Croyland Road, Wellingborough.

Planning permission for the pool was originally granted in 1967, but the building was eventually replaced by the Waendel Leisure Centre in Thomas Street which opened in 2007.

The swimming pool was subsequently demolished and the site, which is currently owned by Wellingborough Council, has remained undeveloped.

Half of the existing parking area is in use as parking for Croyland Park and the remainder is blocked off by concrete blocks.

If the development gets the go-ahead, documents submitted as part of the planning application say the majority of the proposed dwellings would be two-storey.

The documents also state: “The suggested lay-out of a mix of detached, semi-detached and terraced housing will offer a range of accommodation in what is a desirable residential area.”

The entrance to the site would be the same as for the former swimming pool premises.

Read more:

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Flats and new dwellings for former Rushden shoe factory


The site near the entrance to Allen Road, late January 2016

It’s now the start of February 2016 and the former Grenson’s shoe site, which was home to the shoe firm until 2013, is now rapidly changing shape due to the ongoing building works. Westleigh Developments Ltd are converting the the original Grade II listed building in to 20 one and two bedroom apartments. The 20th century extension and the north light sheds are currently being demolished and will make way for 47 new dwellings.


The Grade II listed building on the corner of Cromwell Road and Queen Street

If you’d like to read more about Rushden’s shoe trade, try checking out the link below for the Rushden Heritage website.

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Stamp Duty Surcharge Creating Pressure

images[3]The first month of the year has been one of the busiest in my career. We have received record number of enquiries from buyers registering on our mailing list, with over a 1,000 potential buyers now looking to purchase.

By far, the most popular enquiry has been from Buy To Let Investors who are keen to purchase a property before the 1st April deadline when a 3% Stamp Duty Surcharge is introduced, imposed on anyone buying a second home.

The demands of Buy To Let investors scrambling for properties has definitely pushed house prices up which has made the task for First Time Buyers even more difficult. We have seen investors outbidding each other in their quest to buy now and save Stamp Duty later.

Will the legal profession be able to cope with the demands to meet the 31st March deadline? Furthermore are vendors across the country fully aware of the risks of having a Buy To Let Investor in their chain and not being able to meet the deadline day? Should sellers avoid Investors and opt to have First Time Buyers in their chain instead, avoiding the pressure? Will chains collapse if all sellers throughout a chain don’t accommodate the demands of the Investor?

The Chancellor certainly has created an artificial frenzy by making these changes on a future date rather than announcing the change with immediate effect. However, these Stamp Duty changes are not a done deal yet as the consultation period ends today and the final details to be announced in the March budget. Could this turn out to be another red herring?

By Easter will houses prices drift as Buy To Let Investors temporarily walk away from the market leaving First Time Buyers to prop up chains? This may also result in properties being available on the market longer giving conventional home buyers more choice.

I feel we are in for an interesting February with more pressure being piled on mortgage lenders, sellers and the legal profession and hoping it won’t end in tears for some!

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