19 January 1996

British Coal puts 1000 more acres on market

By Louise Rose

ANOTHER package including over 1000 acres of agricultural land is being marketed now on behalf of British Coal.

The portfolio in the Wrexham, Ewloe and Buckley areas of north Wales is split into 10 lots. Much of the land is let under recently negotiated farm business tenancies which should generate an income of over £73,000 to Oct 31, 1996.

Although there is no guide price, Richard Gayner of agents Carter Jonas who are handling the sale, is expecting between £1.5 and £1.75m for the 1011 acres.

The main lot is the 322-acre Plas Bellin Estate, just south of the Dee estuary. Including 304 acres of mainly permanent pasture with 12 acres currently in arable rotation, some woodland, two ranges of farm buildings and three dwellings it is let on seven FBTs for an anticipated rent of £29,390 to Oct 31, 1996.

Spon Farm, Buckley, near Wrexham is the only other complete farm unit. Formerly a 102-acre dairy farm, which could be reinstated at little cost, it also includes a former engine house and some traditional farm buildings adjoining the farmhouse which have potential for conversion. Let on two FBTs the rental income to Oct 31, 1996 is about £11,450.

Grade 3 grassland

The remaining 587 acres include mainly grade 3 grassland in blocks ranging from 29-96 acres with 80 acres let on a full agricultural tenancy for a current annual rental of £4246.

Mr Gayner says that most of the interest is likely to be from local farmers although with whole farm units rarely on the market in north Wales, these lots could attract some outsiders.

Proceeds from British Coals sale of its non-mining activities and assets have realised £150m, with almost £30m generated from the sale of property including agricultural land and farmsteads.

Plas Bellin Estate includes 322 acres of mainly permanent pasture and is let on seven farm business tenancies.