Serving the Farming Industry across East Anglia for 35 Years
Two Suffolk estates – including 2800 acres of arable and grazed farmland – are being offered for sale close to coastal Southwold. The Blyford... Two Suffolk coastal estates on market

Two Suffolk estates – including 2800 acres of arable and grazed farmland – are being offered for sale close to coastal Southwold.

The Blyford Estate is listed with a guide price of £25m, with the nearby Chediston Estate being marketed at £11.6m. Both properties are being jointly marketed by land agents Clarke & Simpson and Savills.

Farming agreements

Land is mainly arable and partly irrigated, with much of it managed under existing Contract Farming Agreements, along with a mix of highly attractive woodland, marsh land and grazing meadows bordering the river Blyth.

The farmland is complemented by a good number of former farm buildings let to commercial occupiers. An extensive residential property portfolio and range of properties provide an extra source of income.

Both estates benefit from attractive principal dwellings, with two at Blyford – Blyford Hall and Watermill Farmhouse and one at Chediston–  Chediston Grange. In total there are 12 residential dwellings – nine at Blyford and three at Chediston,

Clarke & Simpson partner Oliver Holloway said: “The sale of the two estates offer a unique and exciting opportunity to acquire a sizeable land holding, which would benefit a future inheritance planning and investment strategy.

White straw rotation

The Chediston estate is ring-fenced. The contractor has farmed the land for a number of years to a high standard, predominantly on a white straw rotation. Land is primarily Grade 3 with soils of the Beccles 1 series, a fine loam over clay.

The Blyford estate comprises a variety of soil types – mainly a mix of Newport 4 and Beccles 1 series – including productive light root-crop growing land and fuller bodied commercial arable land through to low-lying wetlands.

In addition, there are grazing licences over grassland and marsh areas. Both properties are likely to generate regional, national and even international interest – appealing to estate buyers who are looking to expand or relocate and also investors.

Savills director and property agent Will Hargreaves said: “To have two estates of this size in such a desirable location and available at the same time is incredibly rare.”

Planning permission: changes are essential, says NFU

Changes to planning laws announced before the general election give farmers greater freedom to diversify their businesses says the NFU.

The changes follow a government consultation which proposed a massive expansion to permitted development rights in England – creating what the union describes as “essential opportunities” for farmers.

The NFU submitted a response in favour of the proposals. NFU vice-president Rachel Hallos said: “It’s encouraging to see that nearly all of our suggestions from last year’s consultation were included in the announcement.”

Key requests which have come into force included expanding and extending the size of buildings that can be erected with permitted development – and expanding the changes of use within buildings on farms.

The changes mean farmers will be able to convert farm buildings and land into business opportunities. This includes outdoor sports facilities, larger farm shops and farm training centres, as well as housing – without the need for a planning application.

Ms Hallos said the law change would greatly support the modernisation, expansion and diversification of farms across the country. But she said it was disappointing that livestock buildings remained excluded.

Income streams

“These changes are essential opportunities for farmers who wish to diversify their business, allowing them alternative streams of income and the ability to further support their local rural economy.”

It was good that Class Q rights were being expanded, enabling farmers to convert agricultural buildings into homes. This would provide more rural housing – although it was a shame these would not be extended to protected landscapes.

Previous restrictions under Class Q meant that no more than five barns could be converted into homes. This has now increased to ten and the total combined areas of these homes has been increased to 1,000sqm.

Ms Hallos said: “These areas are often the hardest for new housing to be developed on and opening up this option for farmers could significantly benefit their local communities.”