9 September 2012

Utilities & The Nil-Bill

The Old Pump House (c) 2012 Comyn & James

Part of last week’s edition had a Grand Design, and we were looking through the television programme schedule for another one rumoured to be for sale when we cam across this wonderful water works – technically a water pumping station. Not quite from the Grand Design production company, but one of the alternates – the newer Restoration home series.

This structure may look fairly utilitarian, but what was so striking, and may be relevant to every one of our readers is the transformation from utter debris strewn redundant wreck, to what, by any standards is a building many people would be delighted to call their unusual style of home.

On so many levels. Not just the large opens spaces to live in – our favourite are the multitude of books, one of the downfalls we suffer from. Nutbourne Pumping Station has a vast area for keeping books.

Then there is a really neat phrase to crop up: A “nil-bill” home. An expression we had never heard of. The phrase “nil-bill” should catch on. Especially with the inexorable rise in utility bills we all suffer from in one way or another. If you get a chance to watch the BBC2 programme featuring this Pumping Station conversion, check out the cheeky grin on the owner’s face when he advises about a £120 odd bill coming through the letterbox, and in the same post a cheque for over £1,000 electricity rebate for the electricity the house has generated and fed back into the national grid.

We shall be exploring the concept and wonder of a “nil-bill” feature for future homes in a future feature of the Unique Property Bulletin.

In the meantime if you cannot manage to download the online BBC2 Restoration Home episode via ..


…. or tape record it off of one of the digital channels, just click on the estate agency detail link below. They have a fantastic array of photographs that do justice to this special unique home.

General Details …..

A remarkable, award winning ‘eco’ home of almost 5,000 sq ft – converted from a former water pumping station. A five bedroom eco-home of almost in a pleasant and highly regarded setting off a private no-through lane.

Impressive 46ft (14.6m) Drawing Room

Superb 45ft (13.8m) Open Plan Kitchen / Dining Room

Principal Bedroom Suite / 4 Further Bedrooms

3 Bathrooms/Shower Rooms

Basement Rooms with wonderful potential

Ground source heat pump

Photovotaic array

Award winning design

Potential for a swimming pool

Location: The Old Pump House, Nutbourne, Pulborough, West Sussex, RH20 2HB.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £1,700,000.

Contact Comyn & James Agencies Tel : 01798 888111.

Online Brochure ….



The White House

The Original 17th Century White House (c) 2012 Knight Frank

Today, a sunny 9th September 2012 the television, internet and radio is full of the American Presidential Election across the Atlantic. A chance web link from all this United States razzamatazz brought us to the White House. However, other than name there is no direct connection between our modest offerring and the big place in Washington. We include the Anstruther White House for two reasons. Firstly it is a little unusual and has a wonderful setting. The second is serendipity. The majority of readers who email us asking for certain types of building to feature in the Bulletin include in their list of desires some water frontage or a seaview. Maybe this will be the one for someone reading this.

The Original 17th Century White House (c) 2012 Knight Frank

So here we have a delightful waterfront White House, and instead of the 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue address which is almost an obscure street number somewhere over the Atlantic, we have a more exclusive sounding “1 Shore, Anstruther, Kingdom of Fife” to go on your Christmas Cards and related mail.

The White House in Anstruther is a beautifully presented circa 1760 building steeped in history – we are advised it was built for Sir Harry Erskine, and predates the 1792 American one of a similar name. The house pictured above is situated right on the seafront in the village of Anstruther. There are magnificent views over the Firth of Forth from almost every window.

The property has tremendous character with many interesting features, including Adam style fireplaces, Delft tiling & original panelled walls. The property has also undergone a programme of upgrading to create a very comfortable family home.

The Original 17th Century White House (c) 2012 Knight Frank

The accommodation is spilt over many levels and comprises: 3 public rooms, 5 bedrooms, breakfast/kitchen, bathroom, shower room, W.C, reception hall and utility room.

Studio Flat: The lower level is a self contained flat with separate access & a connecting door to the utility area of the main house. The accommodation includes bedroom, shower room & sitting room with kitchen area. Currently provides an extra source of income ….


along with some helpful links on things to do, including a unique gem in there ..


Please remember it isn’t just an absolute in unusual or unique properties we are aiming for here, it is also a unique style of life. That includes a nil-bill ideal, where all costs of living are covered and you can fulfil your dream vocation whatever that may be. With the extra income generating part that this White House has, it may assist in helping you towards a unique style of life.

General Summary:

5 Bedrooms

3 Reception Rooms

2 Bathrooms

Coastal Locations & Immaculate Sea Views.



Secondary Accommodation

Useful Ancillary Income Potential

Location: The White House, 1 Shore, Anstruther, Fife, KY10 3DY.

Tenure: Feuhold (Scottish Equivalent of Freehold).

Guide: £695,000.

Contact Knight Frank Agencies Tel : 0131 222 9600 – Michael Jones.

Online Brochure ….




Beautiful Brigade Building

Rochdale Fire Station (c) 2012 By Kind Permission of Mr Kevin Hale.

This is an absolutely spectacular building. A proper iconic looking fire station. If you do buy this and are a unique property enthusiast, please, please let email us. It just ticks so many boxes for us, and we would love to know how you get on.

General Description:

The property comprises a purpose built fire station with external secure yard area and additional outbuildings. The property is of traditional brick construction with a pitched slated roof. It is an attractive period building and extends to basement, ground and first floor with second floor storage. the ground floor provides fire engine bays and amenity facilities whilst the first floor comprises attractive offices with additional space.

General background of former owner (believed to be since 1933)…


Location: Rochdale Fire Station, Maclure Road, Rochdale, OL11 1DN.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £875,000.

Contact Matthews & Goodman Agencies Tel : 0151 242 8966 -Chris Hennessey.

Contact Matthews & Goodman Agencies Tel : 0161 214 4664 – David Newman.

Online Brochure ….




Golf On The Green By The Blue Light?

Former St Andrews Police Station (c) 2012 Shepherd Chartered Surveyors

Apologies to an extent for this edition of the Bulletin. We strive to have unusual property listings from ALL parts of the UK, and in ALL price ranges. However, a reader has specifically asked if we could provide a few Scottish police stations for sale in this edition. There are so many for sale we couldn’t list them all. However, we have a couple of former Old Nicks here. This does put us over are general quota of between 1 and 2 Scottish properties in any given Bulletin edition. Though the point needs to be made we eneavour to respond to all email suggestions from readers. We very much welcome your emails. Hence the Scottish police stations in this issue.

General Agency Narrative: Acting on behalf of Fife Council, Shepherd Chartered Surveyors are offering the former Fife Constabulary Police Station in St Andrews for sale, with offers.

A rare opportunity to acquire freehold premises within the centre of St Andrews, the property has potential for variety of commercial, leisure and residential uses, subject to planning.

Located on the south side of North Street, which runs adjacent to Market Street, the building is situated in a busy and attractive location adjacent to St Andrews University campus and a number of residential and commercial properties.

The mid terraced 5600 sq ft three storey building has, until recently, been the home of St Andrews Police Station and comprises a cellular layout of offices with former police flats on the top floor.

There is a large car parking area and detached garage store to the rear, accessed via a vehicular pend from North Street.

Location: St Andrews Police Station, 100 North Street St Andrews Fife KY16 9AE.

Tenure: Feuhold (Scottish Equivalent of Freehold).

Guide: £1,000,000.

Contact Shepherd chartered Surveyors Tel: 01382 878005 – Jonathan Reid.

Online Brochure ….



Priced To Cell

St Monans Police Building (c) 2012 Shepherd Chartered Surveyors.

Sorry, that was a bad heading pun, even for us. Though it was the fault of our reader. She did ask for some Scottish police stations to be listed !!

After the St Andrews police station narrated immediately above at a million pounds, we thought it might be an idea to find another candidate at the other end of the price spectrum. This is a smaller property, but in a fine seaside town and at a very reasonable price.

Described by the selling agent as a former police call point, this building is a reasonable size for the money. located in the pretty fishing village of St Monans in the North East Neuk of Fife.

The 322 sq.ft. (approx), property, at 43 Station Road, currently comprises a semi-detached cottage style building with gardens, a reception office, waiting room, former cell and WC, and offers potential for conversion into an attractive holiday cottage or office.

As for this edition of the Bulletin which has an unusually large number of buildings listed north of Hadrian’s Wall – regular readers rest reassured, next week normal service with a full UK geographic coverage will be resumed. If we don’t, it may be ourselves spending the night in the above building!

Location: Police Building, 43 Station Road, St Monans, Fife, KY10 2BP.

Tenure: Feuhold (Scottish Equivalent of Freehold).

Guide: £29,000.

Contact Shepherd Chartered Surveyors Tel : 01592 205442 – Mr John Bankhead.

Online Brochure ….



Educational Epic

Former Littlemead School, West Sussex (c) 2012 Clive Emson Auctioneers

Back to south of the border, way down south! Here is one of our favourite themes. No not schools, but to anyone who watches the coin. A property that failed to sell at auction.


(Availability Confirmation: 24 July 2012 – Lot 90 – failed to sell – still available)

This building – 28 bedroom size – was placed through the Clive Emson Auction on 24th July this year and didn’t sell. It leaves the door open, or being a school, the bell ringing for an ‘interesting’ offer. Perhaps something beginning with the number four perhaps. Anyways there may be a bargain to be had if this structure suits your needs.

The current position is that someone has gone to a great deal of trouble obtaining a planning permission. The eventual owner is not BOUND to stick with this. Any buyer or owner is quite entitled to submit their own bespoke planning application for whatever use, layout and alterations might fit in with a new owners needs.

General Details: Situated in a semi rural location on the outskirts of Chichester town centre this, the former site of Littlemead School, has recently obtained full Planning Permission for change of use to student accommodation with parking, cycle and bin storage.

Once completed the scheme will offer modern accommodation for up to 31 students which, once fully let, is estimated to bring in a rental income in the region of £161,000 per annum. Other facilities on site include a sports hall with stage and store area, outside tarmac sports area, off road parking and cycle store.

Along with the current plans it is considered there may be future potential for a further 12 units within the sports hall or for residential accommodation, subject to all necessary consents being obtainable. Interested applicants are advised to make their own enquiries with the Local Planning Authority, Chichester District Council, East Pallant House, 1 East Pallant, Chichester. Tel: 01243 534734.

Planning Permission
Full Planning Permission has been granted by the Chichester District Council under the ref: 12/00813/FUL for a change of use to student accommodation in existing classrooms including provisions for parking, cycle and bin storage. Class changed to sui generis, subject to conditions. Building Regulations will be included in the sale.

A copy of the Planning Consent and proposed plans are available for inspection at the Auctioneer’s Office.

Proposed Accommodation
Block A
Entrance hall, W.C., electrical room, four bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom.

Block B
Entrance hall, W.C., four bedrooms, kitchen/breakfast room, caretakers office and store.

Block C
Entrance hall, bathroom, kitchen and five bedrooms.

Block D
Entrance hall, bathroom, kitchen and five bedrooms.

Block E
Entrance hall, bathroom, kitchen and five bedrooms.

Block F
Entrance hall, bathroom, kitchen and five bedrooms.

Sports Hall
Gymnasium with stage, disabled W.C., kitchenette and storage area.

Off road parking for 37 cars, recycling and refuse area, cycle store, grass area and tarmac sports area.

Location: Former Littlemead School, Tangmere Road, Tangmere, Chichester PO20 2EU.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £500,000 (though perhaps worth a cheeky offer as this failed to sell at auction in July).

Contact Clive Emson Auctioneers Tel :0845 6036614.

Online Brochure ….



Ubiquitous Yet Unusual

Detached & Unique (c) 2012 Fine Agencies

Normally we have a weekly Bulletin featuring 6 properties to stay within website download parameters. However given the number of Scottish buildings in this edition we have popped a seventh more southerly listing to balance things up a little.

Here we have an unusually arranged detached house which has an interesting array of seemingly ordinary shapes to bring about something special. Though we can’t quite put our finger on it. Even so, it makes the list.

General Details:-

Landmark is a beautifully presented property on the outskirts of Northampton, finished to a high specification. The owners have created a completely unique home with stunning features throughout and views from the roof top terrace. There is plenty of reception accommodation stretching out over four floors, a perfect home for family living. Additionally this home boasts eco friendly solar panels.

Property Summary:-

Three Reception Rooms

Four/Five Bedrooms

Third Floor Entertaining Arena

Accommodation Extends To Approximately 3,668 SQ FT

Roof Terrace With Views Over The Countryside

Solar Panels.

Roof Garden

Location: West Street, Upton, Northampton, NN5 4EP.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £750,000.

Contact Fine Agencies Tel :01908 969129 – Richard Olliffe.

Online Brochure ….




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If we have missed anything, please email suggestions via our website….

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