15 May 1998

Diversity improves estates interest…

OFFERING a diversity of income sources including some long-term development potential could add to the base of interest shown in over 400 acres of mainly arable land now for sale.

The Putteridge Bury Estate once included about 4000 acres to the north east of Luton on the Beds/Herts borders.

But the remaining 421 acres being sold by the Cassel family are guided at offers in excess of £2.2m for the whole by Jim Bryant, Bidwells, which includes some hope value on the farm buildings. Suitable for cereal production with average winter wheat yields of about 3.8t/acre the land is classified as a grade 3 fine silty soil over clay.

Also the estate benefits from 75 acres of mature mixed woodland providing the basis for a small shoot – averaging bags of between 80-100 birds/day.

Bare land basis

On a bare land basis, the better quality arable land is worth just under £3000/acre with the remainder at about £2500/acre.

However despite lacking a main house, the estate includes 18 cottages let on a mixture of assured shorthold and statutory tenancies but generating an annual rental income of about £67,000. One two-bedroom cottage is for sale with vacant possession.

Also a range of traditional and modern farm buildings – there is grain storage for about 1000t – could have potential for conversion to an alternative use.

"Informal discussions with the local planning authority have indicated that the farm buildings may offer re-development potential for some sort of commercial or even a mixed use including some residential," says Mr Bryant.

He maintains while there are currently no plans for further expansion of Luton town some interested parties might take a long term view on the estate and Mr Bryant anticipates inquiries to include private investors and various institutions.