Page 1 Land & Property Experts

Rural Property Review

Spring 2019

Land & Property Experts

Business as usual… in an uncertain world 2018 saw some element of caution in the land and property market however we launched several unique farms, estates and parcels of good quality farmland. This is continuing into 2019 with several launches early in the first quarter of 2019. Our sale results indicate that the land market in the South East has remained firm, still underpinned by rollover funds and the continued ability to fix AMC money at historically low rates, which has been advantageous to a number of our clients. Most of the land we took to the market sold at guide or above and whilst the statistics suggest this is not the case in other parts of the country, we continue to see a sustainable market for most land types in Kent and Sussex. We were delighted to see that in research published by Savills we rank second for the firm selling the highest number of acres of farmland sold in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey and West Sussex, selling more than double some of the larger national firms and we largely only operate in Kent and Sussex.

The sale of Woollett Hall Farm, better known as Kelsey’s Farm Shop, Kelsey’s Kitchen and Kelsey’s Crayzee Barn in North Cray, nr Bexleyheath on the Kent/London borders, was one of several ‘lock stock’ farm business sales which BTF has recently handled. There is a strong interest from investors for this type of business opportunity. Amongst the wide range of rural properties marketed through our Heathfield office, it was once again the farms with residential dwellings in need of renovation that proved to be extremely popular in 2018 and again there is similar demand this year.

High quality parcels of Grade I and II land are in demand and in 2018 land sold included the 160-acre Green Farmland at Rochester, the 383-acre Leaveland Court & Wilgate Green Farmland near Faversham, which attracted farming interest and sold in excess of guide and 290 acres of Grade II arable marsh on the Kent/Sussex border.

We continue to open more files across our three offices, dealing with Promotion Agreements and Development Land Options. Whilst the planning process can be long with no certainty of success, landowners who do complete have been


swift to rollover into agricultural land, which has helped keep commercial land values steady.

12% of the farmland marketed in the UK in 2018 was in the South East

Farm buildings selling for development after Class Q Permitted Development consent is granted remains strong with a keen appetite from individual buyers and developers for them.

15,900 acres were marketed publicly in the South East in 2018, an increase of 5% from 2017 187,000 acres of farmland was marketed publicly nationally in 2018, an increase of 22% on 2017, the highest level of activity since 2008

In the tenanted sector there is strong demand and in Q3 2018 we secured a new 6-year tenancy for the 740-acre Beachborough Estate on the outskirts of Folkestone.

Farmers nationally represent 45% of all buyers with 85% buying to expand current operations

We have also negotiated the successful purchase of a large farm by the tenant, advising them on both the price and the funding. And we recently negotiated a long-term FBT on 112 acres of land, to create a new vineyard at Bodiam, East Sussex.

Half of buyers nationally are private non-farming/lifestyle purchasers buying from residential and sporting (18%) to investment (23%) and expansion of existing land holdings (39%)

As always if you want to discuss any opportunities around your land holdings, farms and estates, get in touch with our team.


Land & Property Experts

A selection of land and rural properties for sale

FOR SALE – OIEO £1,750,000

Newenden, Kent A residential and grassland farm with a detached farmhouse (EPC-F). Extending in all to about 134.5 acres.

FOR SALE - £2,750,000

Etchingham, East Sussex A small agricultural and residential Sussex estate. Extending in all to about 118 acres.

FOR SALE - £1,800,000

FOR SALE – £1,495,000

Near Mayfield, East Sussex

Near Egerton, Kent

A residential and grassland farm with a detached farmhouse (EPC-F) Extending in all to about 65 acres.

A detached Grade II listed 5 bedroom farmhouse, secondary detached 2 bedroom converted oast and in all about 6.32 acres.


Rye, East Sussex The entirety of the issued share capital in the farming business to include freehold property extending in all to about 749.65 acres. FOR SALE - £9,000,000

FOR SALE – £850,000

FOR SALE – £920,000

Smarden, Kent

Little Chart, Kent

A compact and versatile 3 bedroom residential property with further potential, detached general purpose agricultural building and in all 12 acres.

Detached period farmhouse, ancillary cottage, walled garden, private vineyard and in all about 5.79 acres.


Land & Property Experts

Estate Management Focus

ŠChilham Castle

The spectrum of management issues arising on any estate or landholding is considerable, ranging from routine, protective, opportunistic, and unavoidable. It is also essential to step back from the day to day operational and management needs and look at an estate’s performance and longer-term outlook. It is easy to set a long-term strategy and stick with it, and accept budgetary performance as being determined by the make-up of the estate, but a creative review can help enhance performance, meet objectives of all of the individuals involved in the estate – current and future, and prepare for difficult events on the horizon that need to be faced head-on. A good approach is an analysis of the current financial performance followed by a structured discussion among all the relevant individuals, away from the day-to-day hub of the farm or estate looking at: Enterprise review: Explore the performance of each enterprise, looking not just at visible net returns, but also true net performance after overheads, time and employee costs. Sales of property or ending long operated enterprises might not be acceptable to estate objectives, but enterprises taking up a lot of time or cost for little net profit need conscious acceptance, while


there might be some steady sources of reliable income that can be expanded and grown. Revisit possible markets for produce and alternatives that might attract a premium or reduce costs. Benchmarking is very helpful in advance of the review to identify successes and under achievers – including let property rents and costs, farm enterprises, and overheads. A five-year plan – and further milestones. With the outlook over the next 5-10 years uncertain, but sure to be different, it is important to look at the current year’s budget and adjust it to scenario plan for say five years hence, taking into account the impact of Brexit on subsidy support and crop, livestock or milk prices. It is essential to confront a maintenance bow wave or unavoidable capital expenditure on the horizon and plan how and when the budget could accommodate it, and to think about the impact of increased drawings on an estate as new generations become involved. Opportunities – most estates and landholdings have opportunities in some form. Development possibilities, alternative uses of existing buildings, new enterprises. Consider grant availability, current support for renewable heating, rising prices for timber, or lease reorganisations to create revenue opportunities. Prioritise within the 5-10 year plan with a view to the best return or estate objectives, and plan according to capital circumstances. Risks - consider the greatest risks on the estate and the likelihood of occurrence, and plan ways to mitigate and manage them, such as financial risks and management risks or a major event such as fire. Think about back-up plans and longer term means of defending the business against all identified risks. Long term strategies – keep long term plans such as inheritance tax planning, succession planning and business structure under review with help from professionals. Estates rarely stay the same for very long and a regular review of the long-term strategies alongside the changing dynamics of business performance is important. Capture the projections, agreed planned objectives, and risk reduction strategies that arise from the review in a format that is accessible and useful to ensure the outcome of the review is implemented year on year. Laura Nesfield joined BTF Partnership in 2018 as Director of the firm’s Estate Management team.


Land & Property Experts

Canterbury, Kent

Mixed block of pasture and arable land. Extending in all to about 22.5 acres.

Approx. 102 acres of semi-natural ancient woodland in Kent Downs AONB.


Three Oaks, East Sussex


A selection of land and rural properties recently sold

A contemporary farmhouse set within traditional gardens, pasture and woodland. Extending in all to about 32.3 acres.

Rochester, Kent

Near Hailsham, East Sussex

A residential development site with outline planning permission for 200 houses.

Single parcel of pasture land. Extending in all to about 30 acres.




Near Mayfield, East Sussex

Commercial farm comprising arable, pasture, woodland and farm buildings. In all about 622 acres.


Stalisfield, Kent


A residential and arable farm with a detached farmhouse. Extending in all to about 290 acres.


Kent and Sussex Border

Gravesend, Kent

An outstanding agricultural and residential estate in the Kentish High Weald. In all about 346.7 acres.

A ring fenced parcel of Grade I & II farmland. In all about 166.73 acres.

Near Wadhurst, East Sussex

Residential development site with outline planning for 50 houses in popular village location.

Parcel of pasture extending in all to about 8.7 acres.


Smarden, Kent




Benenden, Kent

Cranbrook, Kent About 130.57 acres of agricultural land divided into five principal field parcels.



Gravesend, Kent Development opportunity to convert a range of former livestock buildings into three residential dwellings.


Land & Property Experts

BTF Services Property and Estate Management

BTF Partnership is a dedicated team of land and property experts based in South East England, with offices in Challock, Canterbury and Heathfield. BTF provides a full range of rural and commercial property services. Our clients include farmers and landowners, tenant farmers, estate owners and managers, property developers and residential and commercial landlords.

We provide a full property and estate management service tailored to suit our individual clients’ needs for a range of rural and commercial properties, from single units to multi-let buildings and estates. We aim to protect and enhance our clients’ interests by improving investment performance or reducing occupational costs for occupiers.



Rural and Commercial lettings and sales

We provide property valuation advice for a wide variety of clients and lenders.

Valuations Planning and Development

BTF annually values properties worth in excess of ÂŁ250 million.

Property and Estate Management Grants and Subsidies

Investment and Development

Landlord and Tenant

Agricultural Finance

We advise on the appraisal purchase, sale, management and enhancement of commercial and residential investment development opportunities.

Arbitration and Expert Witness

We advise on promotion and option agreements.

Compulsory Purchase and Compensation Property Investment Advice

Sales, Lettings and Acquisitions


Specialist advice on the appraisal, valuation, acquisition and sale of land and rural, agricultural and commercial property in the South East.

BTF organises dedicated auctions for the sale of estates, farms and other rural property. First class farm dispersal sales service. The BTF 50 Club

Our tailor-made service ensures that property for sale is handled in a professional and efficient way.

The BTF 50 Club advises on all aspects of agricultural and horticultural employment law and HR related issues. We are a specialist consultancy service providing up to date advice and lobbying to our farmer and grower members throughout the UK.

Extensive local knowledge and expertise in the lettings of farms and land.


Rural Team

Michael Bax FRICS FAAV

Alex Cornwallis MRICS

Anthony Field MRICS


Colin Hall LLB FAAV

Claire Houchin MRICS FAAV

Laura Nesfield MRICS FAAV

Richard Thomas MRICS FAAV

Timothy Crundwell

Stuart Sillars MRICS FAAV

Thomas Wilson MRICS FAAV


Harry Kenton MRICS FAAV

Lissa Mitchell MRICS

Ed Plumptre

Tom Davies

Challock 01233 740077 Heathfield 01435 864455 Sophie Evans

Tim Thatcher


Our Offices Challock



Clockhouse Barn Canterbury Road Challock Kent TN25 4BJ

27 Watling Street Canterbury Kent CT1 2UD

Euston House 82a High Street Heathfield East Sussex TN21 8JD

01233 740077

01227 763663

01435 864455

Profile for BTF Partnership

BTF Property Review - Spring Summer 2019  

BTF Property Review - Spring Summer 2019

BTF Property Review - Spring Summer 2019  

BTF Property Review - Spring Summer 2019