They say the three most important factors in determining the desirability of a property are location, location, location.
So the sale of a six-bedroom period farmhouse in Swindon will raise a few eyebrows… it’s in the middle of a trading estate.
Hunts Copse Farm at South Marston – parts of which date back to around 1700 – was once the hub of a 370 acre farm.
At the advent of World War Two the Ministry of Aircraft Production built a factory and airstrip nearby, and the industrialisation of the area continued throughout the 20th century, notably with the arrival Honda’s UK manufacturing plant in 1985.
More recently, B&Q built its national distribution centre – the size of twenty football pitches – nearby.
Today, the grounds of Hunts Copse Farm extend to a little over two acres. Yet estate agents Moore Allen & Innocent, of Cirencester, are expecting considerable interest in the property – which will go under the hammer on site at 2.30pm on Thursday, August 15 with a guide price of £395,000 – not least because of its versatility.
The Grade II listed farmhouse was converted into offices in 1990. But there is existing planning consent to convert the property into a boutique hotel and restaurant, while an application currently going through the planning process is likely to see permission granted to turn the property back into a residential dwelling.
The L-shaped property occupies a space in South Marston Industrial Estate surrounded by sympathetically styled modern office units , and is well away from the light industrial and warehouse units at the entrance of the park.
A five bar gate gives way to a gravel drive with ample parking and a large entranceway between two staddle stones.
Inside, a wood-panelled entrance hall with flagstone floors leads to three large reception rooms – one designated as a reception and bar with adjoining men’s and women’s washrooms, and a fine dining room with dual aspect windows and period fireplace.
On the first floor are six bedrooms, including a well-proportioned master bedroom with large sash windows and period fireplace. On the second floor is an attic.
In total, the property provides a living space of around 400 square metres, with period features including flagstones floors, fireplaces and exposed beams throughout the property.
The farmhouse sits in around an acre of landscaped gardens proportional to its size and character, and including a small orchard with apple and cherry trees and fruit bushes.
Adjoining the gardens is a further acre of land enclosing a lake, which will be auctioned as a separate lot.
Andrew Stibbard, commercial surveyor at Moore Allen & Innocent, said: “It’s surprisingly quiet here on a weekday, and at the weekend you’d have the place to yourself.
“I can see this property appealing to a small business looking for office accommodation in an historic building with interesting features, or a hotelier, but equally I can see the appeal to a large family that requires lots of rooms and space, both indoors and out.
“In a village setting this farmhouse would set you back £1.5 million plus. Where else are you going to pick up a period six-bedroom period house for £395,000?”
Viewing events have been scheduled for Tuesdays July 23 and 30, and August 6 and 13 between 4pm and 5.30pm. For more information, or to arrange a viewing, call Moore Allen & Innocent on 01285 648104.