Unique Property Bulletin 12 May 2013

Summer Island – Unique Adventure ?

Tanera Mór Island – Sublime (c) 2013 CKD Galbraith

Coincidentally this week we received a lovely email from a reader alerting us to an interesting property on the Island of Walney near Morcambe that might be a possible candidate to feature in the Unique Property Bulletin. After a few emails, our reader used the well worn phrase “if only”. In this context meaning, of course, that some of the properties featured here are way out of budget.

It is very important to reiterate some guiding principles of the Unique Property Bulletin:-

1] To feature a broad spectrum of unusual property, for all budgets. Ranging from £10,000 to £10,000,000.

2] To cover the entire British Isles from John O’Groats to Land’s End – from Dover to Cape Wrath.

Plus all places between the four corners – Northern Ireland, Belleek, Co., Fermanagh, Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Orkney, Shetland, to the Isles of Scilly and much more.

There is also a third, less well known principle that we have:-

3] To make it happen.

To think laterally, and study whether something that seems impossible can be transformed into reality, and something achievable.


From experience. Where there is a will, there is a way.

This has proven to work several times in the past two decades. How might this apply to Tanera Mór Island? We think perhaps perfectly.

Tanera Mór – Private Beeches & Turquoise Water (c) 2013 CKD Galbraith

Tanera Mór is priced at £2,500,000. An automatic switch off after the brief visual encounter of the photograph for many readers. But PLEASE hang on a minute.

Tanera Mór consists of several houses on a small island. Very nice houses. An exquisite, indeed a sublime setting.

There are approximately 800 acres, and thereupon nine houses, plus an extra building or two. For the study of this example, aggregate this at ten building units. That works out in simple arithmetic terms at approximately £250,000 a building and around 80 acres each. In practice the land would probably be around four acres per house, and the rest communal (depending on examination of the Title Deeds, and legal opinion of what is, and what isnot permissible).

So instead of coughing up a huge two and a half million pounds, suddenly, an idyllic life is within reach at a much more modest budget of £250,000. In fact if you read page 22 of the Unique Property Manual and what happened at the similarly priced £2,500,000 Sanda Island – when you study the forensic detail you may be in for a very pleasant surprise. Indeed it may come as a bit of a shock!

Back to Tanera Mór Island. Before you read any further PLEASE take a look at the wonderful online brochure prepared by the owner’s agent CKD Galbraith…


[if this doesn’t download, please call CKD Galbraith at 01463 224343 for a glossy paper version copy through the post].

It is important to demarcate. The Tanera Mór island complex is being sold, by the current owners as a whole lot and their agency is CKD Galbraith.

Tanera Mór – Harbour Facilities (c) 2013 CKD Galbraith

However, hard core Unique Property Bulletin members have syndicated this sort of property before. It is eminently possible to consider a group of ten like minded individuals buying their own piece of paradise, and having lived on small islands for most of his life, the writer of this can state outright, Tanera Mór is a very special and ideal island for such a joint endeavour. Email Unique Property Bulletin for further details. WE ALREADY HAVE TWO BULLETIN MEMBERS GAME-ON TO TAKE THIS FURTHER at the £250,000 ballpark figure per building mentioned (this may vary depending on which building by plus or minus a given amount – subject for example to RICS valuation of each unique building).

If your interest has been piqued, you can study the island in a little more detail by clicking onto the dedicated website …


In addition to downloading the beautifully compiled glossy brochure thoughtfully prepared by CKD Galbraith. Their photographs do the place a great deal of justice.

The Summer Isles and many Hebridean islands are topical in some quarters just now. Indeed many islands being featured in the current BBC documentary “Hebrides: Islands on the Edge” narrated by Ewan McGregor …

BBC Television Series Hebrides

Last but not least, perhaps read through the words of some folk who have been on the island….

Tanera Mor – Island Visitors – Actual Quotes

Location: Isle of Tanera Mór, Summer Isles, Achiltibuie, Ullapool, Wester Ross, IV26 2YN.

Tenure: Feuhold (Scottish Equivalent of Freehold).

Guide: £2,500,000 – Please note the property is being sold as a WHOLE.

If you would like to consider a joint purchase with a syndicate from members of the Unique Property Bulletin, this is an entirely SEPARATE endeavour to anything that the sales agency or current owners are considering. For further detail of the Unique Property Syndicate intitative and ten folk buying a part, please email us via our Contact Page – Click Here

Whole Island – Contact CKD Galbraith Tel: 01463 224343 – Mr John Robin Bound



Tanera Mór Island (c) 2013 CKD Galbraith


Bargain Post

The Old Post Office, Beccles (c) 2013 Countrywide Property Auctions.

This property is now available post auction. It did not achieve the reserve at the auction on 30th April 2013. Lots 210, 211, 212 and 213 are now being offered as just one combined lot. This being the freehold and building known as The Old Post Office – 4 flats as described per the auctioneer/agency brochures.

Auctioneer’s Narrative: An unusual set of apartments within a magnificent Grade II Listed Victorian building. Believed to have been built in 1879 as a Post Office. Situated approximately three miles from Southwold and the Heritage Coastline. Modern conveniences have been incorporated in the building but with care having been taken to retain the original character. There is parking to the rear and a bus stop opposite. The apartments have been let for holiday use and provided an excellent income and would therefore represent a good investment.

Interiors With Character (c) 2013 Countrywide Property Auctions.

Location: The Old Post Office, 10 High Street, Wangford, Beccles, Suffolk, NR34 8RA.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £150,000 + £90,000 + £? + £? Please contact the auctioneers to establish the cumulative price sought for the four combined elements. Bear in mind that efforts to sell the individual parts did not succeed at auction, so buyers should be in a reasonable position to negotiate a good deal.

Contact Countrywide Property Auctions Tel 0870 2401140 or Abbotts on 01502 714250




A Fair Plot From An Old Cop

Former Filey Police Station, North Yorkshire (c) 2013 Nigel Chadwick

Not just any old police station that has the potential to be converted into a home and home/office (subject to planning consents*) but here is a plot that also has a very useful income reported as £4,800 per annum. This is for renting a small piece of the sizeable area being purchased – out to a telephone mast tenant.

Auctioneer’s Narrative: Vacant former police station extending to approximately 381.63 sq m (4,108 sq ft) on a site of approximately 0.14 hectares (0.35 acres) with development potential subject to gaining the necessary consents

Location: Filey lies approximately 8 miles to the south of Scarborough, 10 miles north of Bridlington and is accessed via the A165. The property is situated on Murray Street in Filey town centre there are a number of high street retailers represented on Murray Street with residential to the rear of the site.

Description: The property comprises a detached predominantly two storey former Police Station set in approximately 0.35 acre plot of ground.

* Interested parties should consult direct with the Local Planning Office, Regeneration and Planning, Scarborough Borough Council, Town Hall, St Nicholas Street, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, YO11 2HG. Tel: 01723 232323.

Location: Filey Police Station, 7 Murray Street, Filey, North Yorkshire, YO14 9DA.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £300,000 – Auction Lot 21 – 6th June 2013.

Contact Roy Pugh Auctioneers Tel: 0844 2 722444.




A Small Favour Please

This Unique Property Bulletin is a pleasure to research and put together each week. It is a delight to correspond with so many interesting folk who email. Every Sunday night a free edition is uploaded onto the internet at 9pm. In order to help keep the website free, we need to also keep our visitor numbers up, as there is a very small amount of paid for advertising that helps balance payment of the website hosting and IT costs. So the favour?

Please can you, our dear reader, consider helping increase the website visitor rate by letting any eccentric friends you have know of the existence of this website? Even if you just let one friend know – by word of mouth or email – this would be a huge help.

All they need to do is Google three words…

Unique Property Bulletin

Thank you for helping keep this website free.


Highland Park – Angels’ Share

Highland Park House (c) 2013 CCL Commercial

The writer of this has had the good fortune to visit the distillery of Highland Park in Kirkwall, Orkney. On one particular ferry crossing, a conversation struck up with a lovely couple from Kent – about as far away as you could be from Kent and still have your feet on UK territory. Well a UK ferry.

This couple had a great attitude to life. They loved adventures. Usually, they said, it was to the south and Europe, through the Channel Tunnel, or to London, or the east to interesting places like Stonehenge or Land’s End. Indeed it was at Land’s End at one of the most southerly points of the United Kingdom they said their next mini-adventure would be to see how far north they could go. Their trip got them to John O’Groats, and with time to spare they hopped onto Andrew Bank’s Ferry the MV Claymore, and were headed to Orkney.

MV Claymore – Wonderful Old Ferry (c) 1999 Russ McLean

The thing – the innocence – of their next comment was wonderful. That they were surprised at how sunny and light it was. As a Scot, it is smile making to hear such words. Orkney is almost equidistant between London and the Arctic Circle. Therefore for half the year, Orkney is one of the sunniest places in the United Kingdom! A well kept secret.

The definition of the Arctic Circle being the southernmost latitude in the Northern Hemisphere at which the sun can remain continuously above or below the horizon for a give 24 hour period. Generally occurring at the June and December solstice respectively. Located at latitude 66° 33′ – North of the Arctic Circle the sun is above the horizon for 24 continuous hours at least once per year. Back to Orkney, this means lots of daylight in the summer. Winter, not so much ! But a wonderful and relatively secret gem. This couple were delighted with their stay as we met each other on the island several times.

If you find yourself at a loose end one weekend (preferably the luxury of a long weekend) treat yourself to a trip north from wherever you live in the UK. Even if it is the southernmost part of Britain. Summer is admittedly better. Just go as far north as the scenery, fresh air, and your eyes takes you. You may be surprise where you end up. Please make sure you take a camera, for you should have some beautiful photographs that you might like to share.

Wow, that was a bit off-topic. Back to the Highland Park House, and the amazing bequest from that place built by James Grant.

Highland Park (c) 2013 Highland Park

This is where the wonderful Highland Park Malt was born. You can almost detect the aroma of that wonderful uisge beatha. Pentland Hero, Andrew Banks would scare the bejeebers out of this non drinker on each trip across. The Highland Park was generously shared! Orcadian hospitality is of the highest rank.

Again, the writer of this is going off topic. Apologies. Though adventures of the past still burn within, and it is nice to share these. Another version of the Angels’ Share. Perhaps a little inspiration for others – our readers and friends – to consider travelling the path less followed?

Is That A Malt Aroma From The Luxurious Panelled Walls (c) 2013 CCL Commercial

Agency Narrative: Highland Park House is a stunning and substantial detached house situated on the outskirts of Kirkwall. Built for James Grant (owner of Highland Park Distillery) c1895 the house enjoys an elevated position above the distillery with views of the town and beyond. Previously run as care home it offers great potential to be converted to a guest house, boutique hotel, nursing home or simply the most stunning of family homes.

Substantial 10 Bedroom Property.

Many Original Features.

Built for James Grant.

Development Opportunity for Conversion to Hotel or Flats.

Elevated position above Highland Park Distillery.

Large Garden.

Orkney is a truly beautiful and unspoilt island. The rich archaeological heritage of the islands is one of their prime attractions, but the soft green and fertile landscape, beautiful beaches, spectacular cliffs, abundant wildlife and above all friendly people are equally important in making up “Orkney”. Orkney lies just north of mainland Scotland at around 59 degrees North and comprises over 70 islands of which 17 or 18 are inhabited by about 20,000 people. Situated at the meeting point of the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean the islands are surrounded by waters abundant in fish and shellfish, adding to the wide variety of locally produced quality foods. The climate is very equable, with snow and frost rare in winter. Equally, the temperature rarely exceeds 20 degrees in summer. Whether you arrive by air or sea at Kirkwall or by sea at Stromness or St Margaret’s Hope, Orkney presents a strong contrast to the Highlands. Kirkwall and Stromness are dominated by their winding main streets and harbours, while Kirkwall also has the imposing 12th century St Magnus Cathedral. Kirkwall has excellent shops, hotels and eating places, as well as interesting museums and makes a good base from which to explore the rest of Orkney. It is an outstanding destination. A wonderful place to live.

Location: Highland Park House, St. Ola, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1SU.

Tenure: Feuhold (Scottish Equivalent of Freehold).

Guide: £299,950. A lot of home for the money. Less than a London or Edinburgh Flat.

Contact CCL Commercial Agencies Tel: 0845 544 1427.




Training Day For Project Managers

Durnford Street Training Centre, Manchester (c) 2013 Roy Pugh Auctioneers

This is a former training centre, and currently classed for educational use. It is an interesting building, and with almost an acre of land (0.94) representing a good lump of property for the money.

The question is what to do with it. Whether to seek permission* to change use to an unusual house. Or even demolish and seek planning* for several houses (a general rule of thumb is 10 to 12 detached houses per acre).

Though this former educational establishment is listed – Grade II. So may need a little discussion with the appropriate stakeholders before progressing any interest. Still this building may end up being an education for either a budding, or an experienced buildings project manager.

Auctioneer’s Narrative. The property is located in a residential area. Durnford St is accessed from Long St (A664) and lies approximately a third of a mile to the south of Middleton town centre and Junction 19 of the M60 motorway 5 miles to the south west. Vacant detached single storey former education centre with internal accommodation of approximately 7,000 square feet, on a site area of about 0.38 hectares (0.94 acres).

*Interested parties should consult direct with the Local Planning Office, Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council Planning and Regulation, PO Box 32, Telegraph House, Rochdale, OL16 1JH. Tel: 01706 924 310.

Location: Durnford Street Adult Training Centre, Durnford Street, Middleton, Greater Manchester, M24 5TS

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £170,000 – Auction Lot 105 – 13th June 2013.

Contact Roy Pugh Auctioneers Tel: 0844 2 722444.




Unique Architect Designs

Penn-Onn House, Vale of Glamorgan (c) 2013 Savills

We don’t feature enough unique designs by architects, so here is one eyecatcher that we are delighted to include within this week’s Bulletin.

This is an architecturally designed house with 5 reception rooms; a magnificent fitted kitchen; 4 double bedrooms; 3 luxurious en suites; and a family ‘Villeroy & Boch’ bathroom. To top it off, below there is the luxury of under floor heating.

Penn-Onn House is situated in the highly regarded village of St Brides-Super-Ely, in the Vale of Glamorgan, approximately 6 miles from the Capital city. The house is set back by a sweeping pillared driveway with an electronic access gate, leading onto a large forecourt area offering extensive parking.

Penn-On House was commissioned by the present owners around two and a half years ago, and built to an exceptional standard. Designed by award winning local architect Chris Loyn, the property has been constructed with an emphasis on modern-day living, being both luxurious and energy efficient. The house offers spacious family accommodation arranged over three levels with under floor heating and an integrated Bose sound system. Floor to ceiling windows afford much light throughout the house and command truly enviable views.

The principal accommodation comprises an impressive, large reception hall with central glass staircase to the upper ground floor and first floor. On the ground floor there are 3 excellent size reception rooms, a cloakroom, laundry room and superb kitchen and breakfast room. The upper ground floor houses a charming sitting room, whilst the first floor offers four doubles bedrooms, two with magnificent en suite bathrooms and a separate family bathroom. The second floor contains the final reception room which benefits from elevated views and leads out to a large roof terrace, ideal for outdoor entertaining.

Location: Penn-Onn House, St. Brides-Super-Ely, Cardiff, Vale of Glamorgan, CF5 6EZ

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £1,550,000.

Contact Savills Agencies Tel: 02920 368930 – Mr Peter Reilly




and finally …..

Maine Coastguard Signal Station

Manana Island Coastguard Signal Station (c) 2013 US General Services Administration

We don’t normally list unusual property away from British shores, but having owned wonderful buildings with extraordinarily happy times in America, we couldn’t resist including this former Coastguard Station in the American State of Maine. Specifically Manana Island Coastguard Signal Station, Manana Island, Maine, USA, ME 04852.

We were actually looking for the President of the United States Air Force One aircraft, which is being auctioned soon. With bids starting at $50,000. However that isn’t for a few days yet. We shall feature the Air Force One sale when it comes, along with some ideas of how to ship the aircraft to the UK if it goes that way.

But for now we have this fantastic building in Maine. The current bid for a fabulous unique property with coastal views is a paltry US$66,000 = GBP£42,900 (as at May 12th 2013)

Manana Island Coastguard Signal Station (c) 2013 US General Services Administration

The US Government Services Agency website that is in charge of disposing of surplus assets can be found at…


Agency Narrative: On top of Manana Island, 10 miles off the coast of Maine, is the former Coast Guard Signal Station. This maritime setting is picturesque with panoramic views of the ocean, rolling fields and Smutty Nose Island. A short boat ride across the bay is Monhegan Island which is home to fisherman, artists & writers. The buildings on this site are in need of repair work to ensure their historic value to the Monhegan Historical District. Included in the sale are; the wooden four bedroom former Keeper’s Quarters (circa 1855) on a brick foundation with a brick cistern in the basement; the brick Sound Signal/Engine House (circa 1889) with a wooden tower and a shed-like attachment; and a stone and brick Storage Building. The wood walkways and the boat ramp/dock and right of way are included. The property also contains footings and foundations from three demolished structures

The U.S. general Services Administration strongly encourages interested Bidders to inspect the Property. Remote offshore properties are difficult to access and expensive to repair. Bidder assessment of the current condition of the historic structures being offered for sale is an important element of the decision process on bidding.


For property details and inquiries/questions regarding property inspection:

Contact: Barbara Salfity
Phone: 617-565-5696
Fax: 617-565-5720

Email barbara.salfity [at] gsa.gov

Please replace [at] with @ so as to avoid the email recipient being bombarded with spam from automated internet email address hoover machines. Thank you.