Dodging ponies and cattle in the road? You must be in the New Forest!

Bordering Hampshire and Dorset, the New Forest is such a lovely part of the world – and it was a pleasure to conduct a search there for a family relocating to the UK recently.

One of the most popular villages of the New Forest is Burley – 10 minutes from the market town of Ringwood, 30 minutes from Southampton and only 15 minutes from the beaches of the south coast. Yet despite its convenient location, when you’re there, it feels like you could be in a village of yesteryear, miles from anywhere and surrounded by the beauty of the Forest.

It’s no surprise, therefore, that property in Burley does command a premium. If you’re looking to get the most house for your money, then the suburbs of Ringwood offer far more space on a modest budget. But nothing can quite compare to the charm of a traditional village location – and, as we discussed with our clients, the charm of Burley will always be preserved – as will the premium.

If you’re considering a move to Burley, or anywhere in the Forest for that matter, there are a couple of things worth noting:

  1. Tourists, especially in summer, can clog up the roads and the centre of villages. Burley in particular, which is renowned for being a pretty New Forest village, with legends of witches and smugglers, attracts plenty of visitors. However, if you find a property a little away from the centre – Burley Street or Forest Road for example, you can choose to interact or avoid the action as much as you desire!
  2. The New Forest Planning Authority. The area is a National Park and, as such, they have their own rules here, which can make any type of building work very restricted. Houses can only be extended by 30% from their original footprint (pre-1982), and any changes do need to adhere to strict guidelines. The main reason for this is to keep the properties to an affordable size, appropriate for the area, rather than allowing sprawling mansions to fill the sizeable plots.   This is actually is very positive in retaining the beauty of the area, but frustrating if you need a bit more space than that 30% limit! We dealt with a great architect, who has a good understanding of the local planning policy – and this kind of knowledge is worth its weight in gold if you want to get the best out of your New Forest property.

The estate agents are particularly helpful in Burley itself – in fact the whole village is very warm and welcoming – and we’re sure our clients are going to enjoy a wonderful community there once they’ve settled in. We can’t wait for our invitation to the next annual Cider Festival in Burley, which we know from first hand experience a couple of years ago is great fun for all the family…!