19 January 1996

Lodge misses asking price

APPARENTLY taking Lodge Farm, Apethorpe, to best and final offers (Land and Farms, Nov 24 ) did not pay dividends in securing the highest sale price.

The sale of the Northants 1000-acre unit was completed in early January for a figure believed to be "quite a long way below the asking price" of £2m.

Tim Coulton, of Coulton Farms had, prior to the sale of Lodge Farm, tenanted the land from the Apethorpe estate. Stuart Paton, Savills, Stamford, acted on his behalf in successfully purchasing the farm for below the guide price with his best and final offer.

However a re-sale deal with a local businessman, thought to be a former partner in Eurofleet, a storage and distribution company was agreed, giving Coulton Farms a five-year contract farming arrangement over the land.

This purchaser, who agents Strutt & Parker confirm as one of their clients, bid over the asking price when the farm came on the market. But when joint selling agents Bidwells and Cluttons went to best and final offers, he declined to take part. There was a "huge difference between his initial bid and the final outcome."