14 September 2001

Autumn campaign kicks off with quality quartet

By Andrew Shirley

KNIGHT Frank has launched its autumn campaign with the release of four properties, one of which is currently part of the Royal Agricultural Society of Englands farm portfolio.

The firm is hoping to take advantage of the market fillip that traditionally occurs in September, after harvest and summer holidays have been completed. "Our phones were dead during August but now they are ringing madly," says London-based Ed Welton.

Mr Welton is handling the sale of Manorfields and Eastwoods Farms, close to the Royal Show ground at Stoneleigh, Warks, on behalf of RASE.

Guided at about £1.4m, the farms include a 4-bedroomed Victorian house and a stable courtyard with planning consent for conversion to class B1 offices. Out of the 309 acres of land 295 acres are IACS-registered.

Society chief executive Mike Calvert says the organisation has decided to get out of in-hand farming in order to better apply its resources for the benefit of the agricultural industry as a whole. "The capital released will allow us to increase our input into essential areas of education, and the debate on the future of rural areas."

In Bucks, a 456-acre arable unit is jointly available with Cirencester agent Moore Allen & Innocent. Manor Farm, Little Horwood, represents a "good all-round opportunity", according to chartered surveyor James Crawford.

"There is a potential income of £30,000 from four cottages, and planning consent has been gained for conversion of a courtyard into four dwellings. A purchaser certainly wont be putting all their eggs into one basket."

Offered in seven lots, the total guide is £3.25m, with the grade 3 IACS-registered land valued at £2100-2300/acre. Purchasers looking to farm commercially may be interested in a further 150 acres of neighbouring land on sale with Strutt & Parker for £2250/acre.

A pair of £5m plus estates are also on offer to those in the market for something more substantial.

Poulton Priory, Cirencester, Glos, is the more expensive of the two with a price tag over £8m. A Tudor Renaissance house, designed by Sir Arthur Blomfield and constructed in about 1895, forms the centre piece of the estate and is surrounded by 937 acres.

In Leicestershire, the 806-acre Ingarsby Estate, features a grade 2 listed Tudor dwelling and six secondary dwellings as well as 289 acres of IACS-registered land. The guide is likely to be in excess of £5m and joint agent is King West.

Despite a number of large estates, including Ashcombe, Mells Park and St Clairs, coming on to the market this year, selling agent Clive Hopkins is optimistic about demand. "I think these properties both offer something different and will attract plenty of interest." &#42