Immaculate farms are on target to tempt buyers

Savills’ Oxford-based agent Richard Binning is handling sales of two farms, both linked to the fortunes of the dairy industry.

Culworth Grounds Farm at Culworth, on the Oxfordshire/Northants border seven miles from Banbury, is being sold by the Crutchley family, to help fund the expansion of the dairy operation on its main estate in Dorset, said Mr Binning.

This decision meant farmers would have the rare opportunity to acquire a 636-acre mixed farm in the area, he added.

“It’s absolutely immaculate and has got farming awards coming out of its ears.”

There is about 700t of grain storage and, unusually, a licensed weighbridge, as well as plenty of livestock housing.

But the farm is centred around an attractive five-bedroom stone farmhouse occupied currently by the farm manager.

With potential for more bedrooms in the attic, this would appeal to non-farmers, said Mr Binning.

A range of traditional buildings next to the house could also offer some interesting conversion opportunities.

Mr Binning has guided the farm at £2.95m, but has also split it into six lots.

The house and 337 acres are available for £2.1m, with 113 acres of arable land priced at £300,000 (£2655/acre).

In Gloucestershire, a former dairy unit owned by the Co-operative Group is for sale following the organisation’s decision to quit milk in 2003. Since then, the value of 449-acre Poulton Hill Farm and Peasburge Barn, about 10% of its Down Ampney estate, has been increased significantly following a successful application for residential conversion on two stone barns.

Peasburge Barn (£275,000) stands in an isolated location with 10 acres of land and will definitely appeal to non-farmers.

But Poulton Hill Barn (£800,000 with 122 acres) is tied to the ownership of the adjacent former dairy buildings, which housed 400 cows and might interest farmers, said Mr Binning.

“The dirty water system is all there and there are acres and acres of covered space.

It could be suitable for a pig or beef enterprise.”

Including a modern worker’s house and a pair of stone cottages, the farm is available for £2.7m.

A 167-acre block of arable land is tagged at £450,000 (£2695/acre).