15 September 1995

Scots arable acres set to attract eager offers

By Louise Rose

WITH the volume of arable land in the farmland market still limited many agents have potential buyers on their books waiting for the availability of a commercial unit.

Therefore the sale of 1043 acres of class 2 land coming on to the Scottish market next Thursday (Sept 21), in the fertile area known as Howe O The Mearns, is likely to generate strong competition.

The subject of a sale and leaseback agreement with Boots Pensions in the early 70s The Bent, near Laurencekirk in Kincardineshire, is one of the largest commercial units marketed in Scotland for some time.

10-year rotation

To suit a 10-year rotation, the land lying in a ring fence and benefiting from irrigation, is farmed in 100-acre blocks and the cropping combines beans, bulbs, leeks and strawberries with cereals (averaging between 3.5-4t/acre), potatoes and oilseed rape.

Selling agents Savills have guided the whole unit at offers over £2.21m, but have also broken it back down into the two original farms, The Bent (721 acres) and Easthills (318 acres) with separate guides of over £1.5m and £635,000.

Also a cottage and a derelict farmhouse with some sheds have been lotted separately and are guided at £40,000 and £35,000.

Having recently sold a 186-acre block of bare arable land nearby for over £2100/acre, and taking into account the larger acreage at The Bent, Savills agent Ruaraidh Oglivie puts a value of around £2000/acre on this land.

Accommodation includes an eight-bedroomed main house, another farmhouse and three cottages with the modern farm buildings providing both arable and livestock facilities.

Pending retirement and deciding to take advantage of the currently strong land market, the sale of a 308-acre mixed unit between Brechin and Forfar is also being handled by Savills.

Third farm offered

Only the third farm to be offered in Angus this year, Blibberhill Farm is a class 2/3 unit, currently growing a variety of crops including grass for a beef enterprise – grown within the rotation to maintain the fertility of the arable land.

Including a six-bedroomed farmhouse, from which the vendors have run a bed and breakfast business, Savills Brechin office are seeking offers over £600,000 for the whole with the eligible arable land valued at around £1950/acre.

Also new for the autumn market in Scotland is a mixed dairy and arable unit in Perthshire.

Currently a 120-cow herd with some young stock and about 50 acres of arable crops are managed at East Newton, Abernyte. However the vendor maintains the farm has the capacity for up to 200 cows if further young stock accommodation was built.

The dairy is well equipped with a 16×16 Fullwood parlour, and the farm benefits from a recently completed dirty water system which feeds directly on to the land by underground pipes.

With a farmhouse, planning consent for two cottages and a steading flat, East Newton is guided at £600,000 by Savills. Because the vendor is keeping his dairy herd the milk quota is not being sold.

The class 2 commercial arable unit in the Howe O The Mains, Kincardineshire, would not look out of place in Lincolnshire.