7 June 2002

Kentish contrasts…

A PAIR of contrasting Kentish units near Maidstone are set to come to the market with local firm BTF Lister, recently formed from the merger of Bax Thomas French and Lister Associates.

Both are comparable in size, but 260-acre Kits Coty Farm, Aylesford, features a modern agriculturally tied dwelling, while 230-acre Park House Farm, at Grafty Green near Headcorn, comes with a four-bedroomed 17th Century residence. This could determine the outcome of the disposals, reckons selling agent Richard Thomas.

Kits Coty, valued at £850,000, is being offered in four lots. Mr Thomas says its Grade 2 arable land, priced at around £2000/acre, could tempt the countys farmers. "The fact that it is good ground wont be lost on them."

And despite its restrictive tie, he believes the house could attract residential interest. "There are plenty of people leaving the industry who would legitimately satisfy the tie, or somebody could buy it with part of the land."

Mr Thomas is hoping to sell Park House, with a tag of £1.25m, as a whole, probably to a non-farming buyer. "It deserves to stay together because it is bigger than most of the traditional hop and fruit farms in the area."

So far this year, farm sales in Kent have been few and far between and Mr Thomas cant quite put his finger on the reason. "True blue farmers seem to be battling it out and I suppose we were also ahead of the game in terms of barn and oast house conversions. These are people who dont readily sell up." &#42