14 May 1999

Bare acres offered

RETIREMENT brings about 500 acres of bare arable land in Leics on to the market with an auction date fixed for next month.

"Im a firm advocate of sales by auction and although prices have dropped from their 1997 peak theres not a lot on the market and the demand is still there" says auctioneer Martin Shouler, of Shouler & Son, who is handling the sale on behalf of two brothers.

The land between Melton Mowbray and Oakham is all grade 3 medium loam over clay and best suited to combinable cropping.

Mr Shouler who is guiding it at about £2500/acre also has split it three ways. At Stapleford 297 acres include an 11 acre fox covert with the remaining acreage including 60 acres at Whissendene and 140 acres at Cold Overton.

Lacking any house or buildings an adjoining 340 acre block of arable and grassland with a range of farm buildings including grain storage could be rented by any buyer looking for a larger acreage and some storage facilities.

"One of the brothers is retaining some land which will be let on a farm business tenancy later in the year if the buyer of the freehold acreage is not interested in renting it," said Mr Shouler.

But he maintains that planning permission might be granted for a range of buildings if the 500 acres was kept in one ownership.

In June Mr Shouler is also auctioning 90 acres of permanent pasture with a listed farmhouse and a range of traditional farm buildings in need of modernisation. Guided at £450,000, he says it is likely to appeal to a businessman with rural interests.

Commenting on the market to date he said: "Im surprised at the strength of the market and the volume of inquiries. It just shows that land values are not too dependent on the economics of farming."