Winner of £2.2M Omaze cottage potentially faces costly battle

Winner of £2.2M Omaze cottage potentially faces battle with new neighbours over ‘dangerous’ 40ft trees threatening to crash onto the home next door

  • EXCLUSIVE: Winner of a £2.2M property in Dartmoor, Devon could face hefty fee to fix deteriorating trees 
  • A neighbours has warned that the exterior of the five-bedroom cottage is in ‘desperate need of attention’
  • The unnamed resident claims the garden ‘hasn’t been looked after in years’ and it will need ‘urgent’ care

The winner of a dream £2.2million cottage up for grabs in a prize draw could face a hefty bill to fix ‘dangerous’ trees threatening to fall on a neighbour’s home.

The luxury five-bedroom cottage, that sits on the edge of Dartmoor National Park in Devon is set to be offered as part of Omaze’s new prize draw, with tickets available for just £10 each. 

But neighbours in the village of Hennock warned the new owner will need to take urgent steps to tackle deteriorating forest where some of the 40ft high trees close to neighbouring houses are showing signs of having ash dieback.

One neighbour – who didn’t want to be named – said: ‘Whoever wins this should know in advance it’s got falling down wood with dead ash trees in it which is in desperate need of attention.

The winner of this £2.2 million cottage up for grabs in the Omaze prize draw will face a ‘liability’ according to an unnamed neighbour who says they will have to tackle the ‘deteriorating forestry’

The luxury five-bedroom cottage, that sits on the edge of Dartmoor National Park in Devon was newly renovated with a modern interior, including a spacious dining room, but the exterior is reportedly in ‘desperate need of attention’

Tickets for the raffle are avaialble at £10 and the winner of the Omaze draw will be able to sell the property, rent it out, or use it for themselves and will have all legal fees and stamp duty costs covered

‘It’s about an acre of falling down copse, it’s terrible. Some of the trees are about 40ft high and they will all need to come down before they fall down.

‘There is a tree on the other side of the boundary that we were warned about when we bought our home because if it fell the wrong way they could hit our house or garage which is dangerous.

‘It’s just not been looked after for years and there are a number of ash trees in a bad state.

‘This is in a prize draw but there is no mention of the six acres of land which needs managing and that comes at a cost – the winner will win a liability which they have not been made aware of.’

The winner of Omaze’s latest sweepstake – due to be announced on October 6 – will also be given £100,000 cash and have stamp duty and other costs paid.

MailOnline arranged for a tree surgeon to visit the latest prize property this week who noted several large trees with branches overhanging the neighbour’s property were affected by ash dieback and would need removal before they become too brittle and fall.

Omaze’s website describes the surroundings as ‘serene’, it says: ‘It’s impossible not to feel inspired by the garden views and calming quiet just outside.’ 

However, arborist Matt Bayles said: ‘A number of the ash trees are showing signs of ash dieback and will need monitoring, especially the ones overhanging the boundary.

‘The new homeowner should employ a consultant to prepare a report but if it were me, I’d take down five of the ash trees including the largest one near the neighbour’s property.’

Tyler Ewings who has worked as a tree surgeon in Devon and Cornwall for six years and runs T.Ewings Professional Tree Services said: ‘Ash dieback is everywhere, it started abroad but 95% of ash trees in the UK are now affected.

The renovated property has three bathrooms and is 3660 square feet, the winner of the sweepstake will also receive £100,000 in cash  

The modern property is estimated to be worth £3000 per month to rent and has five bedrooms, the main bedroom (pictured) has an ample built-in storage units and a spacious ensuite

The luxury home has a six acres of land, according to the neighbour ‘the winner will win a liability’ and will have to take care of the unkept garden 

‘It can cause trees to start dropping limbs which could be dangerous depending on where they are and how advanced it is.

‘With ash the best thing to do is have it down but once it’s 50% gone it can’t legally be climbed which means bringing in machinery.

‘The homeowner would need an arborist to come and have a look at it but generally it’s best to clear a couple of tree lengths from the neighbours’ property and plant something that grows well in the area.

‘Depending on what machinery is needed and how long it takes the cost could be £5,000 to £10,000.’

The cottage was lovingly restored from a dilapidated state by previous owners Sally and Philip Carpanini who bought it for £470,000 in 2014.

The winner of Omaze’s draw will be allowed to sell the property, rent it out, or use it for themselves, and will have all legal fees and stamp duty costs covered.

Local estate agents say the property, which has its own private driveway running through its own stunning landscaped gardens, could be rented out for £3,000 a month.

The property also comes with its own two-bedroom guest house that sits alongside the main five-bedroom home.

Omaze’s draw is aimed at raising £1million for Macmillan cancer support and is being backed by Eastenders actor Larry Lamb, who lost his brother to cancer in 2019.

MailOnline arranged for a tree surgeon to visit Omaze’s latest prize property, who said there were several tree branches overhanging the neighbour’s property 

The Devon home has stunning views, but the expert said the trees will need close monitoring and may need removal before they become too brittle

Mr Lamb said the ‘beautiful house’ near Ness Cove Beach will be a ‘truly life changing prize for one lucky winner’ as he said the draw would help Macmillan continue its ‘unimaginably important work.’

But another village resident said: ‘Everybody in the village is talking about it, some are worried about what will happen. This is a small community and we have no say whatsoever in who wins.

‘Seeing stories of how other Omaze properties have not gone straightforward is definitely a cause for concern. I think a few people locally have entered the draw hoping to win it themselves.

‘We don’t think the house even went on the market when Omaze bought it. The couple who rebuilt it bought the house in 2014, we don’t think they were planning to sell it and move on.

‘It’s certainly the type of property Omaze goes for so somebody must’ve made stories about the architect winning an award for it and approached them directly.

‘I don’t particularly like the modern architecture style though, I liken it to a shed.’

It comes after MailOnline revealed 10 of the 14 properties won in Omaze raffles have since been sold while one previous winner left his new home just three days when he discovered the clifftop on which his property had been built was at risk of collapsing into the sea below.

Foundry worker Glen Elmy, from Walsall, moved into the James Bond-style property in October 2021 and marvelled at the views across Combe Martin Bay on the north Devon coast.

Omaze’s prize draw is aimed at raising £1 million in support of Macmillan cancer charity and EastEnders actor Larry Lamb is backing the draw after his brother died of cancer in 2019

The property features a home office (pictured) and while Omaze’s website says ‘it’s impossible not to feel inspired by the garden views,’ the neighbour has warned that the new owners could face a hefty fee 

But three days later, after learning of the coastal erosion threatening his property, he handed the keys to Stealth House back to Omaze and is understood to have asked for money equal to the property’s £3million value.

Mr Elmy has never returned to the five-bed property.

According to title deeds held by the Land Registry, Omaze Properties LLC bought Stealth House for £3.8million in June 2021 – four months before Mr Elmy moved in – which suggests Omaze had not transferred legal ownership to the West Midlander.

As a result, Stealth House has stood empty for almost two years and neighbours predict it will have been swallowed up by coastal erosion within five to ten years.

A source told MailOnline said: ‘I met Mr Elmy when he was here for the publicity. He was apparently planning to stay for a week but left after three days and that was the last we saw of him.

‘The corner of the house goes almost to the cliff edge, it’s about two metres away from the edge.’

An Omaze spokesperson said: ‘Omaze has contacted the neighbour directly who has not expressed any concern – regardless, Omaze will be consulting with professionals next week to assess the trees in question. If any action is required, Omaze will contact the relevant authorities, apply for any permissions if needed and happily carry out any work necessary.’

Source: Read Full Article