Owner calls for council to lift agricultural occupancy condition on Little Downham bungalow to enable buyer to be found

PUBLISHED: 16:09 27 August 2019 | UPDATED: 17:29 27 August 2019

Hill Crest, Little Downham, whose owners want the agricultural occupancy restriction to be lifted so that a buyer can be found. Picture; CHEFFINS

Hill Crest, Little Downham, whose owners want the agricultural occupancy restriction to be lifted so that a buyer can be found. Picture; CHEFFINS

Archant

East Cambs Council is considering whether a bungalow built for farm workers can have its agricultural tenancy restriction lifted so it can be sold on the open market.

Cheffins, acting on behalf of the owners, says Hill Crest at Little Downham was offered at a discount to attract buyers with the condition in place but there were no viewers.

"The property was initially offered for sale by Cheffins in Ely at a guide price of offers in excess of £275,000, "say the agents in a statement to the council.

"In July 2019 the guide price was lowered to offers in excess of £265,000 - the property remains on the market".

Edward Tabner from Cheffins told the council that a comparable price of £400,000 was adopted to reflect a 30 per cent discount with the agricultural condition in place.

"The key issue judging what a compliant purchaser will pay and in our experience a 30 per cent is substantial and a good base for inviting offers," he said.

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"The price was clearly at the right level as the property generated a lot of interest; however most people did not meet the occupancy restriction so did not take their interest further".

He said the property was no longer required for its original purposes and the neighbouring land is being used for storage.

Mr Tabner said extensive marketing had shown that there is no demand locally for the bungalow with the agricultural occupancy condition in place "demonstrated by the lack of purchasers coming forward whilst the property has been on the open market".

It has also been offered for sale and to let basis to three social landlords, he said, and although responses are awaited from two, a third has already said they are not interested.

Hill Crest was given planning consent in January 1979 and was built by applicant Steve Cornwell's father.

It sits on nearly two thirds of an acre and has, says the agent, attractive views.

Mr Tabner told the council that the lack of any party that is able to comply with the agricultural occupancy condition "is indicative that there is no demand for such a property. In view of the foregoing there is no requirement for the continuation of the agricultural occupancy condition".

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