Strong interest in large acreages of arable land

Arable producers or tax-driven investors looking for large blocks of land this month have a number of options to choose from.

The largest is being sold by Strutt & Parker’s Natalie Price, who said there had already been strong interest in the 1161-acre block at Flecknoe, near Rugby, Warks, which is being sold by the executors of the estate of Maurice Webb who died earlier this year.

“To get a block this size without any residential elements is quite rare,” she said.

This appealed to investors because it meant they could make full use of agricultural property relief and inheritance tax benefits, she added.
Miss Price has guided the parcel, which is currently farmed in partnership with a neighbour and includes two grain stores and a traditional barn, as well as entitlement to the single farm payment, at 2.5m (2153/acre).

A further 164-acre block at nearby Priors Marston is priced at 275,000.

In Cambs, Bidwells’ Jim Bryant is about to launch a 612-acre disposal at Histon.

Meadow and Cottenham Road Farm is being sold by a local farming business due to a change in family circumstances and Mr Bryant said the land’s proximity to Cambridge could add to its appeal.

“I think we’ll have investors and developers looking at it from a land banking point of view.”

The city’s colleges and family trusts could be among the bidders, he added.

As a whole, Mr Bryant has valued the Grade 2/3 land and a range of buildings at 2.1m (3431/acre), but he has also lotted it eight ways, with larger blocks priced at about 2500/acre and more compact plots at up to 10,000/acre.

Near Grantham, Lincs, Brown & Co is selling the last of the Bailey family’s holdings in the area.

A 2000-acre estate was originally purchased from one of the county’s largest landowners in 1945, but now only 342 acres around the village of Allington remain.

These are being sold following the retirement of the tenant, said the firm’s Nigel Wilde.

Mr Wilde has guided the land, which does not include historic entitlements to the single farm payment, at 3000/acre.

He said this might sound a lot but reflected a strong local market.

“There is quite a lot of outside money around.

A similar farm in the same area made over 2800/acre recently.”

Proving the demand for large areas of land, Simon Pallett of agent Dreweatt Neate said he was close to wrapping up a deal on 770 acres of land and grain storage, guided at 2.385m, at Aston Tirrold, near Didcot, Oxon, only two weeks after advertising it for the first time.

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