By the right: Military homes that are ready to repair
A cluster of rare renovation projects have just come to the market, including Ministry of Defence properties in Swaledale. Sharon Dale reports.
VISITORS ambling through idyllic Downholme, Stainton and Lownethwaite in Swaledale may well have rushed onto Rightmove to check if any of the pretty properties were for sale.
Their search would’ve been in vain. There hasn’t been a chance to buy in that part of the dale for almost 100 years.
Now the Ministry of Defence, which requisitioned the hamlets as part of its 8,274 acre Catterick Training Area in the 1920s and 30s, is releasing a batch of cottages and farmsteads.
The MoD says the homes are surplus to requirements and it is selling them at an auction organised by joint agents Robin Jessop and GVA.
The sale is the second phase of a disposal programme, which started late last year when existing MoD tenants were offered the right to buy.
Auctioneer Robin Jessop says: “It is a unique opportunity to acquire properties that have never previously been on the market in this beautiful part of Swaledale.”
Prices for the 14 lots range from £5,000 to £200,000. They include a two-bedroom cottage in Stainton with a guide price of £75,000 to £125,000, a three-bedroom cottage in Downholme guided at £75,000 to £100,000 and a derelict farmhouse and outbuildings in nearby Sandbeck, which is £40,000 to £50,000.
Robin is expecting a huge amount of interest when he launches them this weekend, not least because they are all projects requiring either modernisation or full renovation.
In the pretty market town of Masham, Giles Edwards also expects the phone to be red hot with inquiries about another rarity in need of refurbishment.
He is marketing grade two listed Radleigh House, which boasts six bedrooms, a host of period features and a half acre garden with stables that could be converted into separate accommodation.
The price is £625,000 and it needs about £200,000 worth of work but if done well it could be worth over £1m.
“It is very rare to find something like this in the middle of Masham. The house has been in the same family for 35 years and it is going to create quite a stir,” says Giles.
“It will appeal to families but also to those who want to move from a big country house into the town.”
Scores of would-be buyers have been excited by the prospect of renovating derelict Scar Top House in nearby Arkengarthdale. Supported by scaffolding with part of its roof and all of its windows missing, the property may not look like a dream home.
Yet the cottage has brought inquiries from all over Britain thanks to its rock bottom price and its stunning location. The cost is guided at between £30,000 and £50,000.
“We’ve had interest from all over. It’s been incredible,” says estate agent Tim Gower, who runs Robin Jessop’s Leyburn office.
What many people didn’t realise is that although its address includes the word “house” and it still looks very much like one. It isn’t. Not anymore.”
Uninhabited for more than 20 years, it is now classed as “abandoned” and has lost its residential use. The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority don’t seem keen on giving it back. So what appears to be a bargain could eventually become a ruin with four acres of land.
“We’ve asked but the National Park isn’t looking favourably at residential use. They’d prefer to see it as a relic, which is a shame and hard to understand,” says Tim, who is selling Scar Top by informal tender.
“We still have people interested in buying. They’re happy to take a gamble that they may get planning permission in years to come. There is a bit of hope value in it.”
The GVA/Robin Jessop auction of MoD properties will be held on November 14 at the The Holiday Inn, Darlington, www. robinjessop.co.uk
The Northern Homebuilding and Renovating Show, Harrogate, November 2-4, www. homebuildingshow.co.uk
FOR SALE: This house in Stainton in Swaledale is being sold by the MoD with a guide price of £75,000 to £125,000. Details: www.robinjessop.co.uk