11 February 2000

A party thinks again and buys Wiltshire unit

By Louise Rose

JUST before part of Manor Farm, Etchilhampton, was due to be relaunched on to the market a party who had previously shown interest in it re-emerged and paid substantially over the £1.4m guide for it.

The whole farm near Pusey, Wilts, which was initially offered as a whole last year was re-marketed last year and some blocks of land sold to local farmers. However the house, a range of farm buildings including dairy housing and some grain storage, two cottages and 168 acres, including 60 acres eligible for arable area aid, of adjacent land then failed to find a buyer.

"We were just about to re-advertise the remainder when the successful buyer who is a non-farmer approached us and a deal was struck," said David Cross, FPDSavills.

Also marketed last year, Whitecliff Farm, Brixton Deverill, near Warminster, now is sold. The 574-acre arable unit was guided at offers in excess of £1.75m and sold for more to trustees with non-farming interests acted for by Chris Wilson, the Wilson Group.

"The strongest contenders were split equally between farmers and non-farmers," said Ian Hepburn, Strutt & Parker who acted for the vendor, "Also there was interest in the property as a whole and in lots".

It included a six-bedroom stone farmhouse, two cottages, a range of modern farm buildings with grain storage for 1000t and 425 acres eligible for arable area aid.

Now he is selling 185 acres of mainly pasture with organic status near Castle Cary, Somerset.

The land at Grange Farm, West Lydford is guided at £310,000 for the whole and includes 18 acres currently growing winter wheat with the remainder used for stock rearing.

Commenting on the market Mr Hepburn said: "There are a number of deals going through privately. If a suitable buyer comes forward at the right price potential vendors often have been happy to talk".

Also he maintains that land values in his area have held up due to the continued non-farming interest and lack of supply.

Further west into Dorset, David Cross, FPDSavills Dorset is selling part of Hanfords Estate. Thorncombe Farm, Piddletrenthide, near Blandford, includes 364 acres of arable land which is guided at about £2200/acre.

As a whole including a farmhouse, cottage and a range of extensive former pig buildings the guide price is in excess of £1.1m and Mr Cross maintains the farm has significant residential and sporting appeal.

Also the remainder of the Hanfords property in Dorset is soon coming to the market which includes the 819-acre Bourn Estate. More details will be available next week.

A block of bare grade 3 loam arable land near Bere Regis at Sitterton Farm, Dorset which is part of a larger unit is for sale through the same agent.

Thorncombe Farm is part of Hanfords Dorset Estate and is for sale guided at in excess of £1.1m for the whole.