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Stags Farm Agent Andrew Ranson announces that Stags has just launched a number of new farm and land opportunities to the market.
Orchard Hen Farm, Ashwater, will be known to a number of readers, as the Renshaw family have an excellent reputation for selling free range eggs to numerous local businesses and residents. This 12,000-bird free range egg-laying unit extends to 15.7 acres and is set in peaceful Devon countryside, with far-reaching views towards Dartmoor National Park.
With a strong past financial performance, it is now being offered for sale without a dwelling. This presents a development opportunity, either for an ‘agriculture-tied’ dwelling with associated egg sales income or, as one planning consultant has suggested, the large poultry building may have the potential to be converted under the Class Q Permitted Development Regulations, either into a very considerable single dwelling, or perhaps up to five smaller dwellings. Purchasers will need to take their own planning advice on these matters.
At the end of last year, Mr Ranson reports selling a similar sized broiler poultry business near Pyworthy, also without a house. The new owner has already been granted planning permission for a “temporary rural worker’s dwelling” while he establishes the business’ financial credentials, whereupon it is expected to be upgraded to a permanent permission. This also mirrors what the vendor did several years ago at Orchard Hen Farm, where he received permission for the adjacent ‘agriculture-tied’ oak-framed four-bedroom house.
The vendor confirms that becoming a poultry farmer is recognised as a relatively straight-forward first step onto the farming ladder for a non-farming buyer. There is a fairly simple system to follow, with lots of support for beginners. The vendor has even offered to assist the purchaser for the first few months whilst getting established if required. Orchard Hen Farm is offered at a guide price or £475,000.
Little Clamoak Farm, Bere Ferrers, sits in an enviable position overlooking the River Tamar, with distant views of Brunel's Tamar bridge and Dartmoor. Formerly a dairy farm, it is offered for sale with a comfortable four-bedroom dormer bungalow, with potential to modernise (with an AOC) and a small range of useful farm buildings and about 26 acres of productive south-facing pasture land.
Little Clamoak Farm lies within stunning undulating Devon countryside, designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and its location provides excellent opportunities for boating and other outdoor recreation. Just over half a mile away are active sailing and gig rowing clubs and moorings are usually available on the river. A railway station, less than a mile away, takes you straight into Plymouth, with connecting mainline services. This property is offered for sale at a guide of £900,000.
Stags has agreed a number of very pleasing farm and land sales recently. Gullacombe Farm, Bray Shop, received a lot of serious interest and a sale has been agreed at considerably above its guide price of £1.9 million. Numerous relatively small land lots have been sold, mainly by auction. In several cases, marginal land has sold to non-farmers for well in excess of agricultural values.
Mr Ranson reports, “With land sales not hanging around, the imbalance of demand against supply is stark. One national agent has stated land values over the last 12 months are up 16% nationally. Whilst some parts of the country are seeing an increase in supply, the South West doesn’t appear to be. Whilst farmers’ costs are up, so are commodity prices. The expected financial squeeze that may bring more land to the market, has been difficult to quantify with such fast paced changes. The net result is many potential vendors continue to sit tight, for the time being.”
Regarding demand, Mr Ranson predicts “Demand is likely to increase. In short, as well as likely pressures, such as to feed the growing world population with wars and climate change impacts to contend with, we are finding new uses for agricultural land, including amenity, environmental and energy uses.”
In terms of values, he reports “As always, location is key. We have seen similar land parcels make very different values due to local factors. Generally, most of the emerging markets are able to use the poorer quality pasture land, which is likely to lead to a narrowing of the gap between poorer and better ground. Land will continue to be an attractive opportunity. Locally, I expect land that would have recently sold for £4,000 - £5,000/ac to creep towards £7,000/ac and land that was £7,000/ac to push towards £10,000, with the amenity land benchmark of £10,000/ac to jump to more like £20,000/ac.”