No. I’d never heard of Nursling, either. It turns out that it’s just on the northern fringes of Southampton in the UK. And I found it via this – clearly spoof – ad that I saw on twitter:
£350,000 is R7.2m today [weeps in exchange rate realisation], and that does seem like a lot for a bungalow in Hampshire just next door to the M27 motorway. (ALTHOUGH: VERY HANDY FOR THE LOCAL GOLF CLUB!) But I think we need to immediately address the
elephant in the room pylon in the garden here. Noting that, yes, the photo above does seem to suggest that this one comes with a big metal structure right in the front garden. That cannot be right, right?
Wrong. It can be right. I used a nifty and little-known software application program to visualise Upton Close, Nursling… And I found this:
…power lines (and associated pylons) running right through Upton Crescent.
(They’re not actually red. I drew them using MS Paint.)
And incredibly, it looks like they built the house AFTER the pylon: look how it’s set back from the road to allow its big metal friend to sit in the front garden:
“We’ll not be able to put one here, Bob – there’s a pylon right on site. What? Move it 60ft backwards, you say? Yeah. Yeah., I suppose we can do that.”
Amazing. I think (hope) that’s just the sun at the top there, rather than some deadly power surge heading towards Southampton.
But number 59 is not the only Upton Crescent house with a pylon in the garden. Here’s 23A – and they’ve cleverly hidden their pylon behind some lovely Vibracrete:
(It’s just towards the left there, in case you were struggling.)
I know. You’d never have noticed if I hadn’t have told you.
This collision of suburbia and infrastructure is unfortunate, but there’s little or no good evidence to suggest that living underneath power lines is in any way dangerous. I think it’s reasonable to suggest that it’s somewhat unsightly though. So yes, unfortunate and unsightly, but maybe unnecessary might be the key word here. Was there really any good reason for those power lines to take that route over Upton Crescent? Or for Upton Crescent to take that route underneath those power lines?
I’d wager that the reason was money. Just a hunch.
And talking of the old filthy lucre, how much would number 59 be on sale for without its pylon?
Well, maybe. But selling houses is all about matching the right buyer with the right property. Find a National Grid enthusiast and show him (because it will be a him) around the place on a deliciously grey Saturday morning, with the mist rolling in off the meadows and the only sound the
noise of the motorway at the end of the garden faint crackle of high voltage discharge into the fresh, moist Hampshire air from (only just) overhead, and you might even manage to squeeze out £375,000 for this sort of (almost) unique feature.