Somersets keen dairy demand from locals

12 October 2001

Somersets keen dairy demand from locals

SOMERSET dairy holdings are in strong demand from the countys farmers, according to Colin Venner of Greenslade Taylor Hunts Bridgewater office.

Mr Venner recently auctioned Fernicaps Park Farm, Wiveliscombe, near Taunton, and says most of the interest came from local producers. "The purchaser was a farmer and the under bidder was a neighbouring landowner."

The 195-acre holding, which featured a four-bedroomed house, was guided at £700-800,000 but fetched £837,000. An adjoining 34-acre parcel of land went for £3556/acre to the same buyer.

"This was the first test of the market for a commercial dairy for some time and there was plenty of interest. I wish we had more similar properties to sell"

However, Henley Farm, a 65-acre smallholding with an agriculturally tied dwelling, due to be auctioned at the same sale had to be withdrawn because of DEFRA restrictions. "The owners were very keen to have a dispersal sale of their suckler herd," notes agent Richard Webber.

A sale is now likely to be agreed privately with the animals being moved to another farm ready to be sold next spring. "In the light of foot-and-mouth I think a number of farmers with offlying land will be looking to consolidate their holdings," adds Mr Webber.

"It looks like local competition for land could almost be as important as quality in determining values," he predicts.

Milk producers looking for a bigger unit in the east of the county could be interested in Spittles Farm, 431 acres of land and dairy buildings, at Ilchester, near Yeovil. On the market with Greenslade Taylor Hunt and Bidwells, it is being guided at £850,000.

Owned by an institutional-type investor the sale has been brought on by the retirement of the tenant and the opportunity to realise vacant possession value, says Bidwells Jim Bryant. &#42

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