South-west property agent Kivells has launched a commercial dairy unit in Devon just in time for Christmas.

The south-west farmland market refuses to give up for the winter with the launch this week of the one of the year’s largest dairy disposals.

South Langabeare Farm and New Stile Farm, near Hatherleigh, Devon, have been farmed profitably as one 472-acre unit by the Diepenbroek family, who arrived in the UK from Holland over 25 years ago, said Andy Lane of selling agent Kivells.

The family was selling due to ill health, said Mr Lane, who hoped a progressive dairy farmer would buy both farms and finish the work that the Diepenbroeks had started.

South Langarbeare Farm was the family’s original holding in the area and the 236-acre unit holds the heart of its profitable milk producing business. This includes a five-bedroom farmhouse and an “all-singing, all-dancing” parlour, said Mr Lane. It is priced at £1.5m.

About 200 cows are milked, but throughput could be expanded easily to 250, he reckoned.

Profitable

In 2003, the Diepenbroeks bought 236 acres of bare land at Stiles Farm from TV presenter Noel Edmonds, who then owned the nearby 855-acre Broomford Manor Estate. He sold up for a reported £10m in 2005.

Mr Lane, who has priced the land at £700,000, said the plan was to milk as many cows on the main farm as possible and use the extra land for silage production and breeding and rearing heifers.

“There was a view to establishing a second unit with new buildings,” he said. Some woodland also had potential for a small shoot, he added.

It was 50/50 whether a single buyer would buy both farms, said Mr Lane, but most interest so far had come from commercial dairy farmers and a few investors.

“People who are good at their job and are committed to cows and are not over-borrowed are still earning profits, and this is a lovely set-up.”