1 March 2002

Suffolk farms in centenary offer

A CENTURY after buying the first block of land that led to the formation of Claret Hall and Bradleyhill Farms, the Byford family has decided to sell the 536-acre Suffolk arable unit.

Robert Fairey, of East Anglian specialist agency Brown & Co, says the owners have decided to reduce their exposure to agriculture but will still be retaining 500 acres of other land in the county. "This is a positive decision not a forced sale."

He anticipates plenty of interest in the holding from land-acquisitive local producers and the ubiquitous residential buyer. Keen to encourage both, the property has been lotted six ways with a total guide price of £2.2m.

"Land in this area doesnt come up for sale very often so this is a once in a lifetime opportunity," says Mr Fairey. However, he admits that the grade 2 soil which makes up the farm is probably off the £2700-2800/acre peak it would once have achieved – £2500/acre is more realistic now, he reckons.

But this wont unduly worry the vendors. The continued demand for houses in the countryside means the agent feels confident valuing the principal Edwardian-style four-bedroomed dwelling and 5.5 acres at just shy of £600,000.

A smaller 1920s farmhouse at Bradleyhill is pegged at £750,000, including 180 acres of land and a range of buildings. Two blocks of land, both extending to around 150 acres, are available for in the region of £400,000.

A 25-acre parcel of arable land is guided at £65,000, while two acres of woodland and some redundant buildings, priced at £10,000, complete the package. &#42