Vast Mayo farm withdrawn at €900,000

Jim O'Brien

Jim O'Brien

A 1,787ac farm at Ballycroy, Bangor Erris in Co Mayo was withdrawn from auction during the week after being bid to €900,000.

Guided at €1.3m prior to auction the unusual property drew interest from a wide range of customers in the run-up to the sale.

According to Stephen Barry of selling agents Raymond Potterton Auctioneers customers included hedge funds, overseas investors and local buyers looking for land with a view to planting forestry.

Made up of marginal ground the extensive holding at Ballycroy is one of the largest blocks of land to come on the Irish land market in recent years.

Located 6km from Bangor Erris and 28km from Belmullet the place has generous frontage on to the N59. A number of years ago it was earmarked by a Norwegian fuel company as a resource for the development of a smokeless coal and peat fuel product.

At that time the entire 1,787ac was drained but the project was discontinued and the land has been left in that state since.

In its most recent change of ownership it was acquired by a businessman involved in machinery whose primary interest was the sheds and the machines associated with the drainage works.

When brought to auction at the Navan salesrooms of Raymond Potterton auctioneers last week the place attracted two bidders, one believed to represent a German fund with interests in energy production and the other a private individual with an interest in planting.

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The property opened at €500,000 and was bid to €900,000 before it was withdrawn. Negotiations are ongoing but there is still quite a gap between the amount on offer and the guide price.

Kells Farm withdrawn

At the same auction Raymond Potterton brought a 57ac residential property at Kells in Co Meath for sale.

This was withdrawn after being bid to €600,000, even though it had exceeded its guide of €550,000.

Located at Chapelbride the farm is about five minutes drive from Kells just off the N52. The place has been well kept and is described as being in mint condition by Stephen Barry of selling agents Raymond Potterton. The accommodation includes two reception rooms, a kitchen, three bedrooms and a bathroom.

The farmyard comprises of a four-column haybarn with two four-column lean-tos all divided into pens. Attached to these is a traditional barn also divided into pens.

A traditional cow byre with five cow cubicles and a drainage channel completes the buildings. To the rear of the yard is a large concrete apron that can be divided into a series of pens using gates and there is also a good permanent pen with cattle crush.

The lands are described by Mr Barry as good, elevated, warm fertile ground laid out in good-sized divisions.

An internal farm road gives access to the fields that are divided by neat hedgerow while the lands are in permanent pasture with good road frontage on to a local road and backing on to the M3 motorway.

On the day the farm was initially offered in lots but these attracted no interest. The action was with the entire and this opened at €450,000.

With two bidders in the chase it moved quickly to €600,000 where it held and the auctioneer consulted with the vendor.

It was returned to the floor and as no further bids emerged it was withdrawn at €600,000. The property is now for sale by private treaty and negotiations with the interested parties are on-going.

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