Unique Property Bulletin 25 November 2012

Boats, Bygones & Brave

Southsea Pier – Substantial Sea Property (c) 2012 Mr Peter Trimming

You will need to be brave to take on this Victorian structure project. But with a decent depth of courage and a sizeable amount of money, what a view you will have? What a place to live and perhaps work? Or at least have an investment with tenants nearby.

Our lot here were lucky enough to buy the eponymous Southsea ferry and also have owned a pier (much smaller). There have been absolutely NO regrets in having bought either. Though you really will need to do some due diligence between now and the auction date of 12/12/12 if the Southsea Pier does it for you. First sight and survey has to be ….

Underneath Southsea Pier Footlights (c) 2012 Mr David Smith

The purchase price is not a lot in the scheme of things and there have been several successful pier restorations….


The Walton Pier was bought in 2005, refurbished and now has a £1,300,000 annual turnover.

Just imagine a similar thing at the Southsea Pier? Also add your own home within the refurbishment (subject to planning approval) – there is ample room on the pier – and you have the best of both worlds: a truly unique place to live, wonderful seaviews, and an income to help live a unusual lifestyle…

View From Southsea Pier (c) 2012 Mr Andy Fish

Tempting though the view is, your due diligence might start along the lines of studying further into this ….


Decking & Topside Infrastructure Seem Reasonable (c) 2012 Mr Nick Smith

Ameliorate that with the positive elements. History and education in relation to the Southsea Pier might start here…


If you do bid and win, please let us know? We would love to follow the progress of such a marvellous adventure, and this interesting place to live and work ….

Southsea Pier Ballroom- Interior View (c) 2012 Clive Emson

The Southsea Pier & Ballroom has seen some very memorable occasions…


Sir Winston In The Southsea Pier Ballroom – Photo Top Right Of The Weblink.

Even if you miss the sale date of 12/12/12, please keep an eye on whether Southsea Pier is a fail-to-sell-at-auction candidate. Several of our best buys have been along this route.

Co-owner Mr Fred Nash and his agency Clive Emson may be disposed to a post-auction offer if events go that way. The after-sale arena is much less pressurised, and if Southsea Pier does not sell at the auction, then you may have the grace of time to do more research and costings to see if this could be a similar success story to the Walton-On-The-Naze Pier.

General Summary:-

The original South Parade Pier was opened in 1878 by Prince Edward, the main purpose being as a terminal for ferries to and from the Isle of Wight, which was riding a wave of popularity due to the patronage of Queen Victoria.

Down the years, many famous people have visited Southsea Pier such as Prince Edward (later King Edward VII), Sir Winston Churchill, along with stars of stage, film and television such as Peter Sellers and Oliver Reed.

That is asides from the tens of thousands of general visitors who have derived much enjoyment from this facility.

Whether to fish, promenade, or take in a show at the 1,200 seat theatre.

A major fire in 1904 left the pier in need of a complete rebuild and this was undertaken by the Portsmouth Corporation over the following four years at a then substantial costs of £85,000. The new pier featured a then revolutionary concept in the form of a concrete deck, as opposed to the traditional timber decking in similar structures, and also featured a, which was popular with tourists and many of the biggest names in entertainment were regular visitors.

In 1939 the pier was requisitioned by the authorities for the duration of WWII and played a key part in the D-Day preparations and embarkation.

Following the war the pier again thrived. In 1967 the pier passed back into private hands, but a fire later the same year meant a further rebuild. Much of the rock opera “Tommy” was filmed in Southsea during 1974, but during the filming of a scene at the pier another substantial fire broke out. A further rebuild of the facilities followed and the new buildings were constructed to reflect a traditional style with regular events including concerts, boxing and parties continuing to be held into the 21st Century.

South Parade Pier offers huge scope and potential for a new owner and is considered very worthy of the works and repairs required, having reached a stage where investment is now required to restore the structure and enable its continuance as a well used local landmark.

The Pier is accessed from South Parade leading to a substantial amusement arcade with cloakroom and W.C., covered west passage leading to foyer and box office with management offices and store rooms.

Gaiety Suite (licensed capacity of 750) with stage area and three dressing rooms, substantial kitchen, large bar and associated beer cellars and storage, ladies and gents cloakrooms with W.C.s.

Albert Bar (licensed capacity of 400) including substantial bar with beer cellar, kitchen and servery, ladies and gents cloakrooms with W.C.s. Boardroom Meeting Room on the first floor (licensed capacity of 30).

Open east passage leading to the southern end of the pier, previously housing fairground style stalls, rides and crazy golf, but at present open. There is a fishing deck at a lower level beyond the main structure.

We have been advised that a substantial “basement” exists beneath the amusement arcade and that ladies and gents toilet facilities, which have lain unused for many years, exist beneath the main structure and are accessed from either side of the main entrance. These facilities have not been inspected.

Location: South Parade Pier, South Parade, Southsea, Hampshire, PO4 0SW.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £190,000 to £210,000. Auction Lot 115. Sale date 12/12/12.

Contact Clive Emson Auctioneers Tel: 0845 6001265.

Online Brochure ….



Reach For The Sky – Sadly Not

Reach Road Fire Station, Kent (c) 2012 Clive Emson Auctioneers

This week, auctioneer Clive Emson have done us proud. First they supply a very rare pier for sale, and within the same week (though in a different auction saleroom and a couple of days earlier than the Southsea pier) we have this interesting little Fire Station at Reach Road (sadly the tower is not included).

Auctioneers Narrative:-

A detached property situated within the village confines of St Margarets-at-Cliffe, a popular village between Deal and Dover. The Lot comprises a former fire station, which may have potential for a variety of alternative commercial uses, conversion or, perhaps, demolition and re-development of the entire site for, amongst other things, residential use, subject to all the necessary consents being obtainable. Interested applicants are advised to make their own enquiries with the Local Planning Authority, Dover District Council, White Cliffs Business Park, Dover, Kent, CT16 3PJ. Tel: 01304 872486.

The Price Won’t Burn A Hole In Your Pocket (c) 2012 Clive Emson Auctioneers

Accommodation: Main garage with doors to front, office, kitchen, two toilets and a recreation room/bar.

Outside: Front forecourt area, side driveway and rear yard.

Auctioneer’s Note: Floor plans of the premises are available upon request. The tower at the rear of the site will removed before the sale.

Location: Former Reach Road Fire Station, St Margarets-at-Cliffe, Dover, Kent, CT15 6AE.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £75,000£85,000. Auction Lot 003. Sale date 10/12/12*.

Contact Clive Emson Auctioneers Tel: 0845 8500333 – Kevin Gilbert or Will Page

Online Brochure ….


* As always, if you read this listing after the auction date PLEASE check back to see if the building actually sold. If it didn’t you could manage a very good post-auction-purchase at a bargain price. We know as half of the things we have bought down the years have been post-auction.


Squeaking Wallet – Smooth Wheel

The Old Mill, Penegoes, Powys (c) 2012 Strutt & Parker

Moving somewhat up the price range, though hopefully not too much to make the eyes water, we have this mill full of feature and character. Full of many extras too. So perhaps the wallet doth not squeak too much given what any potential buyer will end up with ….

10 Bedrooms

5 Reception Rooms

6 Bathrooms


Village & Rural Location

Two x 3 Bedroom

Approximately 2.5 Acres



Fishing Rights

The Old Mill, Penegoes, Powys (c) 2012 Strutt & Parker

Agency Narrative:-

A dramatic mill complex comprising principal house and two adjoining holiday cottages in a magnificent setting

Felin Crewi is a detached former mill complex, sympathetically restored and converted, with great care being taken to retain as much of the original character as possible. The main house provides excellent family accommodation with 4 Star Bed and Breakfast facilities. The adjoining Mill and Granary, graded 5 and 4 Star respectively, are currently run as a very successful holiday cottage letting business.

The principal accommodation provides a dining room and snug in the original 16th Century Mill owner’s cottage. Steps rise to a sunroom which has views over the deck and mill pond. Three first floor bedrooms are served by a family bath/shower room, en suite WC and ground floor shower room. A fourth ground floor bedroom has an en suite bathroom. An office/ study could serve as a fifth bedroom.

The Old Mill Wheel, Penegoes, Powys (c) 2012 Strutt & Parker

The Mill: Believed to date to the 16th Century the Mill is a superb example of its type, having been carefully and expertly restored; more recently it has been converted into holiday accommodation. The kitchen/breakfast room features an original slate floor, range of kitchen units and a viewing window to the mill room, where the mill machinery can still be seen. A sitting room and bath/shower room are on the first floor. The second floor provides two double bedrooms, one with en-suite shower room, and a landing bedroom.

The Granary: Open plan with a vaulted ceiling and wood burning stove. A sitting room opens to a breakfast room and kitchen. Stairs rise to a bathroom and bedroom, whilst two further bedrooms are on the ground floor.

There is a double carport and workshop/store with power and light. Ample off road parking.

The Old Mill Buildings, Penegoes, Powys (c) 2012 Strutt & Parker

Location: The Old Mill, Penegoes, Machynlleth, Powys, SY20 8NH.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £595,000.

Contact Strutt & Parker Agencies Tel: 01743 284200 – Sarah Miller

Online Brochure …..



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Old Lifeboat Station (c) 2012 Leslie Barrie

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Economy Class Can Mean Beautiful Bargain

Former Lairg Station House, Sutherland (c) 2012 Munro & Noble

Here is a former station house – semi-detached – on a rural northern line that is a decent sized building for a very reasonable price. Note the guide quotes “around” £85,000. This means an offer beginning with a seven (or if you are cheeky a six) might be entertained. Be prepared for the selling agent to cough and splutter, but c’est la vie. Mention the fact that the burst pipe has caused water damage and a ceiling is down. Maybe keep wise counsel that an 8’x4′ sheet of gyproc is about five pounds! All kidding apart, if you are not familiar with renovation projects, and there is a fair amount needing sorted out in this old station house, then please make sure you have a professional inspection and qualitative repair costings.

Former Lairg Station House, Sutherland (c) 2012 Munro & Noble

Being on the platform and in a station house of course means good access to transport links. Fortunately due to the location of Lairg Station, there are relatively few disturbances of trains going by given the remoteness. The last time we visited, the building for sale is the part farther away from the platform footbridge.

Former Lairg Station House, Sutherland (c) 2012 Munro & Noble

This railway station building has 3 Bedrooms, Lounge, Dining Room, Kitchen, Bathroom, Shower Room and Garden.

It represents a lot of building for little money.

Location: Old Station House, Lairg, Sutherland, IV27 4AY.

Tenure: Feuhold (Scottish Equivalent of Freehold).

Guide: Around £85,000 (internal water damage may reflect your offer level).

Contact Munro & Noble Solicitors & Estate Agents Tel: 01463 225533.

Online Brochure ….



Water Works – A Lot For A Little

Bold Heath Water Works, Cheshire (c) 2012 Pugh & Co., Auctioneers

We have featured some absolutely splendid conversions of seemingly bland, ordinary water work buildings into very special spaces such as this previous water work renovation – CLICK HERE. The current offering via the auction at Pugh and Co., is a definite “before” building as the photograph illustrates. But for around £30,000 this building, plus over an acre of land included, it may well be worth a look if this is your genre of interest and geographic location. Though there are significantly restrictive elements, including development clawback, so please read the important notes below.

Auctioneer Narrative: Former water treatment works with the site comprising a building and land. Site Area: Approximately 0.49 Hectares (1.21 Acres). Planning: The property is considered to have development potential subject to obtaining the necessary consents. Interested parties should consult direct with the Local Planning Office, St Helens Metropolitan Borough Council, Town Hall, Corporation Street, St Helens, WA10 1HP. Tel: 01744 456000, Fax: 01744 733337.


1. Part of the land has been encroached upon by the adjoining land owner without the vendors consent.
2. The property is subject to a 50% development clawback applicable for 50 years further details of which are available from the Pugh & Co., Auctioneer’s Office or via their website www.pugh-auctions.com.
3. The property is sold subject to easements.
4. There is a right of access granted across the Vendors retained land.

Location: Former Bold Heath Water Treatment Works, Warrington Road, Bold Heath, Cheshire, WA8 3XT.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £30,000Auction Date: 29 November 2012 *

Contact Pugh & Co., Auctioneers Tel: 0844 2 722444.

Online Brochure ….


* As always, if you read this listing after the auction date PLEASE check back to see if the building actually sold. If it didn’t you could manage a very good post-auction-purchase at a bargain price. We know as half of the things we have bought down the years have been post-auction.


Beams & Barns

Barn at Colchester (c) 2012 Fine Agencies

Have you ever seen so many beams in a barn?

Colchester is an excellent commutable distance from London. Colchester also has a little Celt in it. To be precise, Scotland Place Barn at Stoke By Nayland in Colchester. More beams than we have ever seen under one roof. This lovely barn has been meticulously converted into a wonderful family home. Believed to date back to the 14th century this Grade II listed edifice has a dramatic vaulted hall and much more…

Barn at Colchester (c) 2012 Fine Agencies

Accommodation: Dining Room, Snug, Vaulted Hall, Fitted Kitchen Breakfast Room, Two Reception Rooms, Double Cart Lodge, Four Bedrooms, Gross Internal Floor Area Circa., 3511 sq.ft., Approx., 0.51 Acre Grounds.

Surrounded by the rolling countryside of the Stour Valley in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Stoke by Nayland provides two very popular restaurants, The Crown Inn and The Angel, as well as a village store/post office and the Stoke by Nayland Golf & Country Club with two 18-hole courses and well equipped gym. Nearby Nayland and Hadleigh provide for everyday needs, whilst both Ipswich and Colchester provide extensive amenities including highly regarded schools and mainline stations with fastest trains to Liverpool Street from Colchester taking 46 minutes.

Barn Interior (c) 2012 Fine Agencies

Location: Scotland Place Barn, Scotland Street, Stoke By Nayland, Colchester, CO6 4QG.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £1,000,000.

Contact Fine Agencies Tel: 01206 564259.

Online Brochure and LOTS of lovely photos. Plus many beams to try and count …..



Please remember, in addition to our weekly Unique Property Bulletin every Sunday at 9pm, our latest monthly feature to help you find some very unusual places to consider as a unique home are in the National Asset Register. This is our current Unique Property Feature. Also please remember our next Feature is due out in the next ten days or so.

Bloodhound Surface To Air Missile (c) 2012 Mr Rob Farrow.

One of 1,000’s of items owned by the UK Government, many for sale as listed in the definitive National Asset Register. Though perhaps stick to buying buildings. The MoD can get a bit picky to whom they sell the pointy firework thingies like that pictured above.

The National Asset Register.

A very unique book sourcing many types of unusual places to live.

Our current monthly FEATURE has been uploaded and is available via this link ….

Click Here For Monthly FEATURE


and finally….

The Thames – Lock Island

We had an email from a reader looking for a “Home on the Thames”. Here is a little rarity. The two bedroom house, whilst charming, may not seem much to look at, but the location – an island on the Thames – along with easy boat access included might just be the answer to avoid that car, bus, or underground train commute into the work at Canary Wharf or other London City office. Just pop into your boat at the bottom of your garden….

Lock Island Boat Home (c) 2012 Hamptons

…. and like Jeremy Clarkson off you go …

Jeremy Clarkson Commuting On The Thames – Youtube

Lock Island House Online Details …



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