19 May 1995

Estate with building rights

By Louise Rose

RARELY does an opportunity arise to build a modern principal house in an established parkland setting.

But between Winchester and Petersfield in the east Hampshire area of outstanding natural beauty the 1487-acre agricultural and sporting Warnford estate provides just that.

Included in the farming enterprise are 1000 acres of arable land ranging from a silty clay loam to a free-draining loam with flints overlying chalk, and 180 dairy cows.

The cropping rotation is based on first wheats, malting barley and milling rye, with oilseed rape, linseed and vining peas grown as break crops.

Although no separate guide price for the land is given, £1750/acre is suggested by Andrew Macpherson of agents Clegg Kennedy Drew.

For 1994/95 the Holstein Friesian herd averaged 6689 litres of milk per cow, and the 1.068m litres of milk quota currently owned are available by separate negotiation. Warnford Farms is also a founder member of United Milk Producers, a group of dairy farmers in central southern England.

Currently the accommodation includes two farmhouses and five cottages, although plans for a mansion house on the site of the previous house have been drawn up and approved by the Planning Authority, English Heritage and the Hampshire Gardens Trust.

The 70.97-acre inner park is grade 2 listed and its design is attributed to Capability Brown. Within its boundaries is the site of the original mansion house, the parish church and a 6.5-acre lake.

Included on the estate are a range of sporting activities. The Warnford shoot, which has been run as a private syndicate, includes high quality pheasants and an expanding partridge shoot. There is also roe deer stalking and trout fishing on 800yd of the river Meon and the lake.

An active conservation policy has been developed by the vendor and includes a 20-year heritage management plan. There is now a 260-acre block of land dedicated to nature conservation including, a national nature reserve, site of special scientific interest, an environmentally sensitive area and permanent set-aside.

Joint agents Clegg Kennedy Drew and Cluttons are looking for in excess of £3.25m for the whole, and Mr Macpherson anticipates interest from the UK and international markets.