Lone woman will not sell up to make way for Tesco

Enid Jones

Enid Jones, a 58-year-old from Glyndwr Road in Aberystwyth in West Wales, has taken a stand against a new commercial development - including a Tesco store. While 11 of her neighbours have sold up to allow their homes to be demolished, she is flatly refusing.

But why, and does the developer have the right to force a sale?

The development

Tesco is one of a number of stores that is set to move into a new retail park - alongside Marks & Spencer. They have signed a deal with developers, and have been granted permission from the council. The development is expected to create vital jobs for the town.

According to the BBC, the plans were well in train early last summer, but hit a roadblock when some residents decided they did not want to move out. At that point there were three householders who were keen to stay - now the only one remaining is Jones. There is every chance that the council will use a compulsory purchase order to buy the property.

Jones told the Daily Mail that her refusal is purely down to the fact she likes her home and doesn't want to live anywhere else. The developers have offered to build her a new property elsewhere, but she isn't interested. She told the newspapers that she plans to fight to the end.

Will she have to move?

It seems likely at this stage that the order would be the next step - although negotiations remain a possibility.

If the legal route is taken, the way that the orders work is that the development must be for the greater good rather than for private gain - often the jobs created by a new shopping centre are considered a good enough reason. They are required to pay market value - plus a small sum to compensate for the disruption.

There have been instances where the homeowner won out. Famously in Country Londonderry, a 78-year-old battled with developers until the developers themselves decided to pull out. There was also a man who stood his ground when developers were building the Westway in central London in the 1960s, and they were forced to build it around his property after he refused to budge.

Of course, winning doesn't always feel so good. It's hard to imagine that having a six lane highway built around his property did much for his house price - or his quality of life.

But what would you do? Would you sell up or stand firm? Let us know in the comments.

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10 top ways to add value to your home
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Lone woman will not sell up to make way for Tesco

Of course with all these things, the value it adds depends on the property you have to start with, and the kinds of improvements you make, but Which? estimates the cost of a new kitchen at £8,000 and HSBC calculates the added value to your property at £4,500 - which is a clear loss.

This has been done by 41% of people in the last three years, and 29% of people plan it in the next three. It's cheaper than a kitchen, and Which? estimates the cost at £3,000. This is roughly the same value that HSBC says it will add to your property - so you'll break-even.

It may be difficult, but getting your property ready for sale means depersonalising it. 

Clutter can distract viewers and more than half (60%) of the property valuers who took part in the 2012 HSBC Home Improvement Survey said that the number one way to increase a property's chance of selling quickly, and for a good price, was to de-clutter.

This has been installed by 31% of us in the last three years, and 15% plan it in the next three. Installing central heating is a disruptive job, and according to WhatPrice it will cost you around £3,235. However, this is the first of the top ten to actually pay off. Property expert Phil Spencer says it will add £5,000 to the value.

A quick splash of paint can work wonders on tired-looking walls, and sticking to neutral tones is the safest bet.

Keeping the colour scheme simple, fresh and inviting will help potential buyers to see themselves living in your home.

Some 18% have added one in the last three years, and 30% will in the next three. This is another huge job, but with more people struggling to move and deciding to improve instead, it's increasingly popular. The amount it costs will depend on an enormous number of things, from the area you have to work with, to the size of the extension. However, assuming you add a single room you could spend around £20,000. HSBC estimates it will add around £15,500 to the value of the property, so you are unlikely to gain as much as you spend.

According to Halifax valuers, loft conversions - which require lofts with a roof height of at least 2.4 metres - are a good way to increase the potential sale price of your home.

Be sure to stick to your budget, though. The average loft conversion will cost between £10,000 and £30,000, while HSBC's figures show that they typically add £20,876 to the value of a property.

Putting in new windows adds around £5,265 to the value of the average property and can reap big rewards when it comes to energy efficiency.

It is, however, sensible to ensure that your new windows are in line with the style of your property to maximise the added value - particularly as putting them in can set you back about £5,000.

Off road parking or a garage can be especially advantageous in areas where parked cars line both sides on the street.

Nationwide's figures show that adding a garage, which can cost anything between £8,000 and £25,000, can increase the value of your property by 11%.

Outside space is just as important as inside - especially when people are seeing your home for the first time.

While 63% of the HSBC survey expert respondents said that repainting or varnishing a front door would make a difference, only 23% of homeowners recognised this. Peter Dockar at HSBC said: "It is often the smaller jobs like painting the front door that can make all the difference when looking for a sale."
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