Confidence returns to commercial property market around Wealden

Dream Machines site Heathfield
Dream Machines site Heathfield

A former garden nursery near Uckfield is set to go under the auctioneer’s hammer this month. With a freehold guide price of £240-250,000, the Doma Nursery site at Burrells Lane, Maresfield, is among 151 lots being sold by Clive Emson, the regional land and property auctioneers, across southern England.

James Emson, auctioneer, said: “We anticipate keen interest – similar lots on through us in the past have been snapped up because bidders are getting a sizeable chunk of land for their money. This .67-acre site with detached outbuildings has good access along the A22 between Lewes and Tunbridge Wells which is an added draw. Furthermore, there is planning permission by Wealden District Council for conversion into a detached office building. A development opportunity, for sure.”

He added: “Since the credit crunch in 2008 triggering the global recession many people were reluctant to make a property decision because of economic uncertainty. Now, five years on, they feel it is time to stop sitting on their hands. They are motivated and feel the worst is behind them. There are currently four million-plus higher rate taxpayers in the UK and many cannot get positive returns on cash in savings accounts because of the 300-year low interest rates. They may well look to buy-to-let property to generate healthier rental returns.”

Elsewhere, Bank House, above NatWest Bank at 3 High Street, Hailsham, has a leasehold guide price of £70,000 - £90,000, with planning permission to convert first and second-floor offices into two self-contained flats. A brick-built property, called The Granary at Framfield Road, Buxted, has a freehold guide of £30,000-£50,000 and currently provides office accommodation over two floors with rear garden, off road parking and easy access to the A272, leading to the A26 between Lewes and Tunbridge Wells.

The auction, the second in a series of eight this year, takes place at 11am on Tuesday, March 19, at The Hilton Brighton Metropole. Meanwhile, Clive Emson is the first auctioneer in the south to offer internet bidding during auctions – the newly launched service is aimed at bidders unable to travel to the venue. Users will need to register three days in advance, which is the same as telephone and proxy bidding.

More good news comes from Uckfield-based commercial agent Chris Lawson who says a ‘very exciting and attractive’ scheme to redevelop a prominent site in Heathfield looks set to be placed before Wealden planners soon, indicating confidence returning to the market across Wealden.