Stamp duty changes boosts short term buy-to-let market

For buy to let landlords, now is the time to look at acquiring new assets as property investors are soon to be affected by legislation changes.

In his Autumn Statement last month, Chancellor George Osborne announced a surcharge would now be applied to stamp duty for buy to let landlords purchasing income-generating properties. 

The 3pc surcharge on stamp duty, not applicable on primary properties, will come into effect April 1, 2016. Many landlords are therefore contacting estate agents about their options to buy new properties before incurring this extra fee.

Surcharge to take effect April 1st 2016

According to Osborne, the changes to stamp duty are designed to make life easier for first-time buyers, and will not apply to purchases made by this demographic. 

However, for the average buy to let buyer, these changes could amount to a significant rise in the amount of stamp duty land tax (SDLT) payable. For example, on a property sold at the UK national average price of  £186,350, the rate of stamp duty would rise from £1,227 to approximately £3,067. 

However, there are some exceptions, as the rate rise will not be applicable to those who buy mobile homes (including caravans) or houseboats. Subject to certain terms, companies or investment firms that own 15 residential properties or more may also be exempt.  

In addition to the rise in stamp duty on buy to let properties, Osborne also announced plans to heighten the rate of rate tax relief on buy-to-let mortgage interest as of 2017, and reducing wear-and-tear allowances as of April 2016. In spite of this, there are still substantial gains to be had by investing wisely with the help of knowledgeable estate agents with experience in buy to let properties specifically. 

The housing market in East Sussex for example enjoyed a prosperous 2015; research from Knight Frank revealed that 13 towns within the area saw impressive price growth, with Lewes in particular enjoying the strongest recovery since the recession. 

There is a number of other well-performing submarkets to examine as well. The average price of property in popular Seaford is now £281,843, slightly more expensive than that of nearby Newhaven, £213,343. 

Prices in Seaford have risen 7pc year-over-year, and an impressive 15pc from 2007. Local prices here and elsewhere such as Peacehaven are expected to remain strong, and so interested buy to let landlords should contact a local estate agent to acquire property here before the stamp duty changes come into effect. 

In conclusion 

The Treasury has yet to provide a detailed breakdown of the change in process, beyond naming the date the surcharge will come into effect. With four months to go, investors are encouraged to take advantage of residential investment opportunities sooner rather than later.

Phillip Mann


Service your boiler and save more than money…

There is a law of a certain Mr S. Od that says it’s that when the weather gets cold that your boiler decides to pack up! 

In this weather or worse, the thought of having several days without heating or hot water is a horrific thought for most of us!

Well, just as having a regular car service will minimise the risk of breakdown, the same is true of your boiler of course. A qualified engineer will make sure all the parts are working properly, identify any problems and replace any components that are wearing out before something catastrophic – and potentially expensive – happens.

As well as preventing potential breakdowns, a regular boiler service will also ensure it’s working at its optimum efficiency. When you consider the ever-rising cost of gas and oil, a service can be something which pays back quickly. 

But as welll as saving money, there is an even more serious reason to carry out regular servicing of your boiler: carbon monoxide. 

Carbon monoxide is a poison and can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, and even fatality.

It’s for this reason that we’re making a special offer to recipients of this Phillip Mann newsletter. If you book a boiler service with us (£72) before the end January we will fit a carbon monoxide monitor at the property, worth £24.

To take up this offer, call Clive Staples at Staples & Sons on 01323 898135.

All prices include VAT.

What's on guide to your area this month...

Thanks to Seafordtown, Newhaventown and Peacehaventown for these listings.

Peacehaven Players present their Pantomime "Aladdin"
Date: (Starts) Wednesday 02 December 2015 - Saturday 05 December 2015 
Time: 7:30pm weekdays; Saturday 2pm & 6pm
Where: Meridian Centre, Community Centre, Main Hall 
Town: Peacehaven 
Phone: 01273 681861 

The wicked Abanazer is seeking the magic lamp that contains the all-powerful Genie, so that he can rule the world, and is just steps away from succeeding! 

Is all hope lost? No! Help is at hand! A family posse of wannabe heroes are here to foil Abanazer's evil scheme! 

Buy Tickets 
Individual Ticket price from £8.00 
Family Group Ticket price from £25.00 

Available online, or from the Information Office in the Meridian Centre, Peacehaven. 

The Seaford Community Garden - in the Crouch
Date: Wednesday 02 December 2015 and every Wednesday
Time: 9:30am - 12:30pm
Where: Crouch Gardens, East Street 
Town: Seaford 

The famous Seaford Community Garden (East Street) is open every Wednesday morning from 9.30am to 12.30pm. Volunteer help welcome especially from the retired, and the disadvantaged. 

Former Newlands School - Public Consultation
Date: Wednesday 02 December 2015 
Time: 2:30pm - 7:30pm
Where: Clinton Hall, Clinton Centre, Clinton Road. BN25 1NP 
Town: Seaford 
Phone: 01344 203269 

This is a public consultation which provides the opportunity to discuss proposals for a ‘family housing led residential development on the former Newlands School Site’. 

Christmas Carols in aid of St Wilfrids' Hospice
Date: Wednesday 02 December 2015 
Time: 7:00pm 
Where: Crossway Church, Steyne Road 
Town: Seaford 
Phone: 01323 871292 

The Wednesday group present Carols in aid of St Wilfrids' Hospice, with handbell ringers and stalls. 

£2 admission includes coffee/ tea and mince pie.

Seaford Town Planning and Highways Committee meeting
Date: Thursday 03 December 2015 
Time: 7:00pm 
Where: Seaford Town Hall 37 Church Street 
Town: Seaford 
Phone: 01323 894870 

An opportunity to ask the Committee relevant questions such as if you have a concern about specific planning applications. 

Please arrive at least 5 minutes before the meeting is due to start as the doors will be closed for security reasons once the meeting starts. 

Children's Charity Christmas Party
Date: Friday 04 December 2015 
Time: 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Where: Downs Leisure Centre, Sutton Road 
Town: Seaford 
Phone: 01323 894870 

Young Mayor of Seaford, Gabrielle Edwards is arranging a children's 'Christmas Magic Eve' party in aid of Teddy Treats, the Seaford based children's charity.

Children can enjoy a fun and festive evening with a Christmas disco and party games led by popular fairy tale characters. Tuck shop will be open. There will also be a visit from a very special bearded jolly man who is coming all the way from the North Pole…

Children under 6 years will need to be accompanied by a guardian. 

All proceeds from the event will go to the charity.

Tickets are £3 and available from Toy Town in Seaford High Street and the Seaford Tourist Information Centre. They are limited so get yours while you can! 

Newhaven Mayor's Charity Quiz Night
Date: Friday 04 December 2015 
Time: 7:00pm 
Where: Meeching Hall, Fort Road, 
Town: Newhaven 

The evening is supported by 3rd Newhaven Scouts, and all proceeds will be shared between the Mayor's charities - Newhaven Lifeboat and Seahaven Responders - and the co-hosts The 3rd Newhaven Scouts. 

Tickets are £3.00 each for a maximum 6 person team, from the Town Council Offices in Fort Road and Newhaven Scouts. Nibbles and drinks will be available. 

Seaford Christmas Magic - 'All-day Market and Family Entertainment'
Date: Saturday 05 December 2015 
Time: 10:00am - 7:00pm
Where: Seaford Town Centre and surrounding streets 
Town: Seaford 
Phone: 01323 894870 

Bringing a wonderful range of entertainment and attractions for the people of Seaford and the Lewes district. This year the attractions are open later with the event running until 7pm, giving you the opportunity to enjoy the shops and the atmosphere that little bit longer. 

Plenty of coffee shops, pubs and restaurants, as well as the family activities at St Leonards Church Hall you can take a break whenever you need; so you can take your time to enjoy the variety on offer. 

The following streets WILL BE CLOSED to traffic from 5pm on Friday 4th December:- 

Broad Street 
Place Lane 
Sutton Road 
Croft Lane 
High Street 
Saxon Lane 

Church Street All Areas Closed from 1pm SATURDAY 5th December 

Icicles Winter Magic with Sussex Wildlife Trust
Date: Saturday 05 December 2015 - Thursday 05 November 2015 
Time: 10:30am - 12:30pm
Where: Seven Sisters Country Park BN25 4AD. 
Town: Exceat, near Seaford. 
Phone: 01273 497561 

Create Christmas decorations with the Sussex Wildlife Trust, inspired by icicles hanging from the trees. 

All the family can take part in making festive decorations for their home and garden at the Seven Sisters Country Park. 

Make feeders to help birds through the difficult winter months ahead, and find out how other wildlife survives the colder weather. 

Enjoy a walk through the forest to dress a tree for Christmas and then back to the warmth of the Pump Barn for a hot chocolate.

Seaford Striders present the Mince Pie Ten Mile
Date: Sunday 06 December 2015 
Time: 11:00am - 1:00pm
Where: Peacehaven Leisure Centre, Greenwich Way, 
Town: Peacehaven 

The annual Mince Pie Ten is held every December to raise funds for local charities and the Seaford Striders Club. The race is a very popular multi-terrain event which is contested over a challenging ten mile course!

Early entry recommended and this can be made online using the Mince Pie Postal Race Entry form 2015 or via RunBritain. 

For more comprehensive information about this event go to the Seaford Striders web site. 


Chyngton Community Carols
Date: Sunday 06 December 2015 
Time: 3:00pm - 6:00pm
Where: Chyngton School Hall, Millberg Road BN25 3ST 
Town: Seaford 

Featuring Seaford Silver Band and Seaford Hand Bells. Sing some popular carols and please bring a tin or packet of food to donate to Seahaven Storehouse Food Bank for Christmas Boxes. 

Tea and mince pies served aftawards. 

This is a joint venture by St Lukes & Chyngton Methodist Churches.

Event Cost: Free

Seaford Mayor's Christmas Carol Celebration.
Date: Monday 07 December 2015 
Time: 6:00pm 
Where: Baptist Church Hall, Belgrave Road 
Town: Seaford 

All welcome.

Seaford Town Golf Committee meeting
Date: Tuesday 08 December 2015 
Time: 7:00pm 
Where: Town Hall 37 Church Street 
Town: Seaford 
Phone: 01323 894870 

The Town Council's Golf Committee are meeting on Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. to discuss matters relating to the Council's Golf Club at Seaford Head. In particular the Budget for 2016/7 will be considered. 

The meeting will start at 7 pm promptly and members of the public have an opportunity at the beginning to ask questions relevant to the Committee's business. 

Please arrive before 6.55pm at 37 Church St. as the doors will be closed for security reasons once the meeting starts. 

For further information contact Seaford Town Council. 

The GuestHouse storytellers present "Winter Tales to warm the Heart"
Date: Tuesday 08 December 2015 
Time: 7:00pm 
Where: Hillcrest Centre, Bay Vue Road, Newhaven 
Town: Newhaven BN9 9LH 
Phone: 01273 512376 

It's the time of year when traditionally fires are lit, the community gathers round and tell stories to make us laugh and shiver; tales of being tested, of trouble, of courage, and persistence; of challenges overcome that will give us the strength to bear the long dark nights and emerge reborn into the light. Whatever this year has brought you, come and bid it farewell in the company of fellow story lovers. 

Cafe opens at 7.00pm. Stories from 7.30pm 

£5, £4 for the unwaged, on the door. 

Free mulled wine, gingerbread biscuits and mince pies. 

Christmas Bazaar - Waifs and Strays Dog Rescue
Date: Saturday 12 December 2015 
Time: 10:00am - 1:00pm
Where: Clinton Centre, Clinton Place, Seaford, BN25 1NP 
Town: Seaford 

Christmas Trade Stalls. Tea and Coffee. Hot Soup and Rolls.

Concentus Sings Christmas
Date: Saturday 12 December 2015 
Time: 4:00pm 
Where: St Leonard's Church, Church Street, 
Town: Seaford 

Traditional and Modern favourites for Christmas with a sprinkling of the unexpected.

Tickets £10 and £5 for the under 16s from Newberrry Tully Estate Agents, Church Street, Seaford, or online.

Big Band Christmas at the Barn
Date: Saturday 12 December 2015 
Time: 7:30pm 
Where: Barn Theatre, Saxon Lane 
Town: Seaford 
Phone: 07710 326321 

Featuring the Maestro Big Band in collaboration with Seaford Musical Theatre, perfoming swing hits by Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman and other bands from that era. 

Santa and his team of little helpers will be performing popular Christmas songs and carols. Suitable for all the family. 

Tickets £8 Adults, Children and Senior Citizens £5, Family Tickets £20 

Sit back and sing along or just enjoy the big band music. 

Santa's Grotto.
Date: Saturday 12 December 2015 
Time: 4:00pm 
Where: Village Hall 
Town: South Heighton, Nr Newhaven 

Father Christmas will be resident in his grotto. Children are welcome to say hello to him and receive a gift. Mulled wine and mince pies to enjoy! This event is free.

Hillcrest Film Society - "Selma"
Date: Saturday 12 December 2015 
Time: 7:30pm 
Where: Hillcrest Community Centre, Hillcrest Road, 
Town: Newhaven 

Selma tells the story of a particular march in 1965 led by Martin Luther King. David Oyelowo (from Spooks) is totally brlliant as King. 

And recent events in America tell us that this film is not a history lesson, it is the reality still, for many black Americans. So yes, there is violence in this film but all of it is contextually appropriate. 

Tickets £5.00 available from Hillcrest Reception during the week, Monday to Friday 9.30am - 4.00pm. 

Meal & drink from £6.50. 
Cafe opens 6.30pm. 

Newhaven Country Markets - Christmas Market
Date: Sunday 13 December 2015 
Time: 9:45am - 2:00pm
Where: hillcrest Centre 
Town: Newhaven 
Website: FACEBOOK - Newhaven Country Market

Annual Christmas Market with unique local crafts and produce.

Matinee Melodies
Date: Thursday 17 December 2015 
Time: 2:30pm 
Where: Community House, Main Hall, Meridian Centre 
Town: Peacehaven 
Phone: 0800 2707 567 

A Festive Favourites Singalong & Songs from the shows with Gary Richard "Mr Variety", Peter Stanford "Mr. Musicals" and special guest "Operatic Singing Santa". 

Tickets £8.00 and available via:- 
Debit and credit card bookings (phone above) 

Information Office at the Meridian Centre 

Transport (C.T.L.A.) 01273 517332 

Seaford Town Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting
Date: Thursday 17 December 2015 
Time: 7:00pm 
Where: Town Hall 37 Church Street 
Town: Seaford 
Phone: 01323 894870 

This meeting of the Finance and General Purposes Committee will start at 7 pm promptly at 37 Church Street, and members of the public have an opportunity at the beginning of the meeting to ask relevant questions about the Committee's business. The Agenda includes discussion on the Council's budget for 2016/17. 

Please arrive at the offices before 6.55pm as the doors will be closed for security reasons once the meeting starts. 

For further information contact Seaford Town Council. 

Friends of Tide Mills Beach clean up session
Date: Sunday 20 December 2015 
Time: 10:00am - 12:00 Noon
Where: Tide Mills 
Town: Seaford 

This Sunday is the last Friends of Tidemills litter-pick of the year. We meet at the beach end of Mill Drove (off the A259). 

The Friends have since 2006, organised a monthly clean-up of this area, removing litter blown in or brought in by the weather or careless callers. More than 1, 500 sacks-full have already been collected and then taken away by Lewes District Council. In October the Friends collected an awesome 7 sacks of rubbish, plus large items including polystyrene washed ashore recently.

Come rain or shine (well, not too much rain) we clean up the area, with litter-pickers and sacks provided. We meet at 10 a.m. at the end of the path from Tidemills car-park (free) down to the sea over the rail crossing. Pick as long as you like until 12 midday. 

No membership fees, just turn up (wear something warm) and start picking. Christmas Party afterwards (weather permitting)!

Orange and cinnamon pastry mince pies with a cream-cheesy twist

Friend of a friend Karen has kindly shared this intriguing recipe with us. Apparently this is a family favourite Christmas recipe. Takes about 30mins.


Don’t be scared of the cheesy twist!


Makes about 18

225g plain flour
4 tablespoons icing sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
150g butter, softened
2 tablespoons orange zest
4 tablespoons ice water
200g mincemeat
One small tub of Philadelphia  cheese ( I use the Original as the taste is better ) 
1 egg, beaten
icing sugar for dusting


1. Preheat oven to 200 C / Gas mark 6.
2. Sift together the flour, 4 tablespoons icing sugar and cinnamon. 
3. Use a fork to mix in the butter until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the orange zest. 
4. Sprinkle with iced water, and gather dough into a ball. 
5. Roll out on a lightly-floured surface to ½ cm thick. 
6. Place these in your muffin/bin tray and then  fill each pastry shell with about 1 level  tablespoon of mincemeat , then add a small teaspoon of the Philadelphia cheese , finally  top with smaller pastry circles, pinching pastry together to seal the edges. 
7. Brush the top of each pie with egg.
8. I also use a small sprinkle of Demerara sugar which gives additional flavour.
9. Bake pies in preheated oven until tops are golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. 
10. Cool slightly on wire racks. Dust with icing sugar just before serving.

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