Wednesday, 1 June 2016



Having moved up and down the UK with my job, never really able to put down roots with my family, we moved over to Lincolnshire in 1993. After numerous viewings, we finally located our idyllic property - an old farmhouse located in Barlings Lane, Langworth - which had been sensitively refurbished.

Manor Farm Cottage
After four years of living with howling gales whipping across open farmland, blowing so hard it actually forced rainwater to bubble through the cracks in French doors to soak the dining room carpet, the novelty of living in an old property had worn off somewhat. With expensive calor gas heating that nearly caused carbon monoxide poisoning when the down draught caused fumes to blow though the Aga stove pipe into the kitchen, we had had enough of 'living the dream' and sold up, ending up in a comfortable new-build in Nettleham.

This was the beginning of a downsizing master plan, all with a view to retiring early from my job with the Inland Revenue. In 2005, the Gods must have been looking down on me, as I was offered an early retirement package, aged just 50. Earlier than planned, this required another downsizing exercise and during our search for our final move to Nocton, we noticed our old house had emerged on the market again. Intrigued, we looked at the sale particulars to discover an asking price of £425,000. This was a substantial increase over what we had sold it for... perhaps we should have stayed put!

We have never looked back though. With the kids having left home to make their own futures, we sold the Nettleham new-build with over 100% profit. This released sufficient capital to make our retirement plan reality and to purchase our cosy cottage in Nocton - now our forever home.

We love our relaxed life in Nocton village and still think Lincolnshire is an overlooked gem, with massive skies, dark nights, mild weather, lovely summers, great driving roads and super countryside. The historic city is also a delight.

However, the story does not end there, as it looks like Langworth may end up facing a housing development if a recent appeal is successful. An estate of 126 homes could extend to the rear of our old property, over the farmland that used to be tied to our old farmhouse. If successful, it will change the ambience of Langworth for ever... and demonstrates how developers are increasingly seeking to build on green belt land under relaxed planning laws, rather than using brownfield land as a priority.

This demonstrates just how important it is for a community to have a Neighbourhood Plan. Fortunately, the draft plan for Nocton is well on the way to being completed - hopefully to be adopted by the end of 2016. We have now lived in our little cottage in Nocton, for more years than any other property we have owned - long may it continue.

Developers appeal decision to reject 126 homes in Lincoln village

'Landowner Steven Spouge and Globe Consultants Ltd submitted plans for 126 homes on agricultural land off Barlings Lane in Langworth, with a population of 500.'

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