Diversified estate sale attracts overseas buyers

Bidwells is selling a large Suffolk estate that it purchased originally for a client as a business investment and to minimise inheritance tax bills.

However, the owner of The North Green Estate, close to Suffolk’s heritage coast at Southwold, who only bought the 615-acre property in 2004, died earlier this year, said agent Edward Russell.

“It is being sold by his executors.”

Most assets over £275,000 incur inheritance tax at 40% on the death of their owner.

Farmland, however, can qualify for agricultural property relief if it has been owned and farmed by the owner for two years before the date of their death.

In some cases, business property relief can be available in under two years, but Bidwells’ Stephen Fletcher would not confirm his client’s tax position.

“It’s confidential.”

Mr Russell said the estate, which is priced at £3.75m for the whole, would attract farmers from the UK and abroad with its productive Grade 3 soil and good range of buildings including 2000t of grain storage.

“It always seems to have turned in a good profit.”

The land is farmed currently under a farm management agreement with the Sotterley Farm Partnership, and this arrangement could continue under the new owner, he said.

North Green Farmhouse, a five-bedroom house built 17 years ago, comes with an agricultural tie.

It is available separately with 76 acres for £780,000, said Mr Russell.

Even though the vendor was not in occupation during the reference period (2000-2002) for the single farm payment, entitlements would also be included in the sale, he added.

“When our client bought the estate, the sellers agreed to transfer the entitlements, so once they’ve been passed to us we can transfer them again.”

However, the estate had more than just farming potential to offer, said Mr Russell.

Three houses used as holiday lets and occupied for about 110 weeks of the year produce an annual income of about £25,000.

There are also three other dwellings, including a Grade 2 listed house, available.

To maximise this diversity the estate has been split 12 ways. Most of the land, however, is available in a 320-acre block priced at £975,000.