Fife arable farm set for quick sale

The first decent-sized block of arable land to come onto the market in Fife for more than a year is expected to attract strong farmer interest and a quick sale.

Collairnie, near Cupar, runs to 135ha (334 acres) of mainly grade 3 arable land in the Howe of Fife, regarded as some of the most productive farmland in Scotland. It is capable of growing a wide range of crops thanks to its low altitude and favourable climate.

Luke French, of agent Savills, believed the land would tempt farmers from a wide area. The market had been starved of such offerings since the 500-acre Airdrie Farm was sold in autumn 2010, he said.

“There are plenty of people looking for large blocks of land, and this acreage will attract people from further afield looking to spread their fixed costs.”

However, the property also offered plenty for the investor, and the current contract farming arrangement could probably be continued, he added.

The sale includes a modern general-purpose building, a pole barn and a centuries-old tower house with an extensive Victorian steading with potential for conversion into eight dwellings. The property is being marketed as a whole for offers of more than £1.75m.

The price assumed a bare land value of £5,000-5,500/acre and reflected the weak steading market, said Mr French. “It is probably the sector worst affected by the recession – most of the value is in the land.”

That meant a buyer could afford to keep the buildings as they were and offload them or develop them when the market picked up.

The land is split between four fields and includes 334 acres of arable ground and seven acres sown with wild bird seed under a Land Managers Option.

Cropping includes milling wheat, spring oats and ware potatoes. Winter oilseed rape and spring barley have also been grown.

Mary Queen of Scots is recorded as having signed a charter in what was the castle in 1564. The steading and castle, now largely combined, are arranged around a large courtyard with a number of traditional byres in the middle. Although the castle has been unoccupied for more than two centuries, works have kept it watertight. Savills (0131 247 3723)