Unique Property Bulletin 29 September 2013

Underground To Overground

Treehouse 8d

 Wooden Castles In The Air (c) 2013 Blue Forest

From Underground To Overground – sounds like a track from a Womble song. After the last few weeks’ Unique Property Bulletin, when the headline property has featured a deep subterranean London Underground Station for sale, then an underground ROC UKWMO Nuclear Bunker we have a bit of mole-itis. So coming up for fresh air we are headed for the sky. This time up in the trees. Literally.

The team at Blue Forest are a definite favourite of ours and have been very good to the Unique Property Bulletin over the years. So we are delighted to feature this actual treehouse designed by the Blue Forest company. Any self respecting tree dwelling Ewok from Star Wars would feel at home here.

Actually if you look at the high quality interior finish who wouldn’t? Plus the gentle, almost imperceptible sway of the trees, like some rocking chair holding your whole house in a cradle up above.

Treehouse 8c

Unexpected Treetop Luxury Living (c) 2013 Blue Forest

These designs are bespoke. Though there are also Blue Forest generic pods manufactured at a very economic basis.

All you need is a suitable chunk of forest, and the right way to engage in dialogue with the local council in order to obtain planning permission. We hope to have a Special Feature for Bulletin Blog Subscribers on that very issue ready for emailing out to dedicated Unique Property Bulletin Bloggers in time for Christmas. To join our Blogger list, please just add your email to the specific box on the right hand side of this page. Thanks.

 Treehouse 8b

Obligatory “Secret Hatch” For Intrigue (c) 2013 Blue Forest

Designer & Builder Narrative: This upscale living the highlife tree house project is designed for luxurious family living. It features two separate lofty retreats, one for the children and one for their parents. The complex features a dramatic canopy walkway, an adventure play area and an assault course. The design brief was to provide an aerial complex for family enjoyment and an unusual venue for entertaining friends.

The adult treehouse has a beautiful conical thatched roof, and its walls are clad in hand-split oak shingles and cedar tongue-and-groove boards. The interior features a kitchen, toilet, and a large living area for treetop dinner parties. The children’s treehouse consists of three medieval towers connected to the adults treehouse by several rope bridges. Inside the kids treehouse a secret trapdoor leads into a games room, complete with plasma television and game console. An eighty-yard zip wire delivers the children to an exciting assault course.

Location: Your Own Forest Land – Subject to Planning [Future Feature intends to study this and provide further information to subscribers].

Tenure: Freehold/ Skyhold !

Guide: £Varies – Bespoke Design – Contact Blue Forest For A Quotation.

Contact Blue Forest Tel: 01892 75 00 90. Please can you help Unique Property Bulletin stay free to use by letting Blue Forest know that you found their property on the Unique Property Bulletin website. Thankyou.

Online Brochure ….



Primary – Pennies To Purchase

School Kerse Unique Property Bulletin

Former Kerse Primary School, Patna (c) 2013 Wilsons Auctioneers

Not totally sure how long ago this large detached building served as a primary school, but it is relative pennies for a large building, part of which is understood to be already utilsed as residential accommodation.

Auctioneer’s Narrative: Unique opportunity to acquire a quirky and unusual building.

Former school house.

Partly converted to include family accomodation and large workshop.

Surrounded by quarter of an acre of land thereby.

Excellent opportunity for further development.

Beautiful countryside location.

A unique opportunity to acquire a former school building on the outskirts of Patna.

The property has been partly converted to include family accomodation extending to three bedrooms, kitchen and main living area but a full refurbishment would be required to bring the property up to modern standards.

Also attached to the house is an extensive workshop area which could be used for many different purposes. The property has excellent potential for further development but could also be used for commercial purposes. Situated on a three quarters acre of land thereby in beautiful countryside close to Patna on the B730. 

Location: Former Kerse Primary School, Patna, Ayr, KA6 7HA.

Tenure: Feuhold (Scottish Equivalent of Freehold).

Guide: £130,000Auction Date 17 October 2013

Contact Wilsons Auctioneers Tel: 01294 833 444 Mr Gary Wilkie. Please can you help the Unique Property Bulletin stay free to use by letting the estate agent know that you found their property on the Unique Property Bulletin website. Tapadh leibh.

Online Brochure ….



Primary – A Few More Pennies

 School B1 Ron Gooding

Former Cole Street Primary School, Birkenhead (C) 2013 Ron Gooding

Another former primary school for auction. A very big building guided at £110,000. Really this is pennies for a large and interesting site to have some playtime with. Over half an acre on a handsome corner plot of land. What would Kevin McCloud make of it with some design ideas? A three storey building and a whopping 20,000 square feet of building!

Auctioneer’s Narrative. General Summary – Approximate Measurements:-

Description: Vacant former three storey school.

Accommodation – Below the following approximate gross internal areas:

Ground Floor: 1,040.04 sq m (11,195 sq ft).

First Floor: 706.41 sq m (7,604 sq ft).

Second Floor: 126.21 sq m (1,358 sq ft).

Total: 1,872.66 sq m (20,157 sq ft).

Outside Playground and adjoining land to the side previously used as car parking.

Site Area Approximately 0.28 Hectares (0.68 Acres).

Location: Former Cole Street Primary School, Birkenhead, Merseyside, CH43 4XA.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide £110,000: Auction Lot 001 – Auction Date 15th October 2013 – If reading this after the auction, please remember FTSAA Protocol. It could make your day, week, or even your year.

Contact: Roy Pugh Auctioneers Tel: 0844 2 722444. Please can you help the Unique Property Bulletin stay free to use by letting the estate agent know that you found their property on the Unique Property Bulletin website. Thankyou.

Online Brochure & Further Photographs ….



Competition – £100 Prize

Following the popularity of our earlier competitions, we are upping the 10 shilling note prize. A guest appearance of the more popular £100 note competition is back. This Unique Property Bulletin prize is awarded to the first reader drawn on 27 October 2013 with the correct answer. This week we are featuring an EXAMPLE of what the £100 in Gibraltar currency looks like. Though for the avoidance of doubt, if you do win the prize for the current competition, it will be an old fashioned £100 cheque headed your way.

Competition Prize Unique Property Bulletin

Competition HintWWII Beam Inventor

Free to enter. Just let us know your guess of who you think the above Competition Hint refers to? Please email your entry to us by 27th October 2013. You may need to check out a previous edition or two to understand the clue a little better. Email free entries to:-

Unique Property Bulletin Competition Entry Contact Page


999 – Cowes Cop Shop

Police Station Cowes David Smith

Former Police Station, Cowes, Isle of Wight (c) 2013 David Smith

A strange reverie for the next three items. All treble-niners. The writer was fortunate enough to work in the first – though a Hamish Macbeth located version; the second listing has family working at that genre; the third 999 building houses the seemingly now inevitable mode of transport that longevity in life brings. Shouldn’t complain. As the great actor, Sir Anthony_Hopkins said “It is better to be above ground than below it”.

The former police station and police house is a very interesting project. It combines a large commercial element, along with a home. Over 5,000 square feet plus a decent lump of land. It is also located on a very nice channel island – the Isle of Wight. This building complex is just 6 miles from Ryde Pierhead.

Agency Narrative:-

Location: Cowes Police Station is located prominently at the eastern end of Birmingham Rd. and includes the police house on Mill Hill Rd. It lies midway between the town centre and Red Jet terminal and the floating bridge to East Cowes. The area is famous for yachting and attracts leisure and professional crews to events such as the Fastnet Race, the Round the Island Race and Cowes Week, the largest regatta of its kind in the world.

Description: The premises include the Police Station, built c1900 with later additions to the east and west elevations, the Police House to the rear, fronting Mill Hill Rd. with 6 car parking spaces. The premises are located in a conservation area and has potential for conversion to a range of alternative uses including restaurant/bar or hotel uses. Alternatively conversion to 1 & 2 bedroom flats or studios may be appropriate. Interested parties should make their own enquiries with the Isle of Wight Council Planners.

Police Station Cowes House 1

Police House, Cowes, Isle of Wight (c) 2013 Lambert Smith Hampton.

The Police House: Lounge, Dining Room and Kitchen on the Ground Floor and 3 Bedrooms and Bathroom on the First Floor. The Police Station comprises the following:-

Accommodation: Square Feet [Approximate]:

Police Station Ground Floor 3023

Police Station First Floor 2163.9

Police House Ground Floor 456.82

Police House First Floor 442.72

Location: Cowes Police Station, Birmingham Rd., Cowes, Isle of Wight, PO31 7BH

Tenure: Freehold. Offers are invited for the Freehold. However vacant possession is estimated by the end 2014.

Guide: £ Please Contact Lambert Smith Hampton.

Contact Lambert Smith Hampton Agencies Tel: 020 7198 2000. Please can you help Unique Property Bulletin stay free to use by letting the estate agent/owner/auctioneer know that you found their property on the Unique Property Bulletin website. Thankyou.

Online Brochure ….

Former Cowes Police Station and Police House


999 – Fire Station

Fire Station Manchester 2

Former Fire Station, Accrington (c) 2013 Petty Chartered Surveyors

This is a curious one. Looking at one of the general features of a former fire station – the very high practice tower – it is possible to imagine what a top notch architect might come up with by incorporating this into a new design. Though very interesting and extensive plans have already been prepared and planning permission granted for an alternate proposal. Details below.

An apparent downside for this property is the leasehold status. This has come up several times within the Unique Property Bulletin. The received wisdom being any lease over 199 years more than covers the human lifespan of the current generation, plus the kids and the grand-kids. So a 199 year leasehold can, for many intents and purposes, be fairly described as a style of freehold.

We have listed this former fire station, not just because it is an unusual building – just look at the overhang cantilever type structure in the photo above. For us, an interesting dynamic is the “negotiation” to be encountered with regard to the open-termed rent and acquisition. Many may think – and it might in fact be the case – that we are talking about a ballpark arena of £200,000 lease premium and perhaps £50,000 rent per year sort of idea here. BUT just to the right of the keyboard this is being written on, is a dusty long lease agreement we found from an old box of our documents. It has a lease at £1 a year for an old coastguard lookout on a small island that the Unique Property Bulletin started at 25 years ago ….

Old Coastguard Station

The Lookout (c) 1996 Russ McLean

Why so economic? because there was a significant amount of work needed on that island building.

The current Manchester Fire Station is a “Grade II Listed” building. With that comes certain rights and responsibilities. It also may mean the rent for this Manchester Fire Station could also be a peppercorn one? Though in such cases “comforts” are often required to the freehold owner in the form of a decent wedge in the bank to show ability at bringing the building back to it’s former glory. All said, it is worth enquiring of the estate agency what the exact price and lease covenant parameters are? You could well be in for a pleasant surprise. A peppercorn rent with say a 199 year lease would be an extremely attractive proposition for this listed fire station property. Also there is a huge amount of building to breathe life back into, and lets face it, who wouldn’t want their very own fire station to play with?

Agency Narrative:-

Location: The property is prominently situated with a substantial frontage to Manchester Road (A680) being situated on the edge of Accrington town centre. Access to the A56 which connects with the M66 is within approximately 3 miles, as is access to the M65 at junction 4.

Description: A Grade II Listed building of stone construction with a flat roof. The property was designed and built as a Fire Station, but would lend itself to a number of alternate uses. Internally there is the central core, off which are a series of private offices, a former canteen, sleeping areas and an apartment. The property has in the majority been cleared with a view to refurbishment (plans are available for inspection at our office). The property has a prominent frontage to Manchester Road, however there is a substantial yard area to the rear, which allows direct access into the building. There are also a series of out buildings, which can either be retained, or demolished.


Former Fire Station, Accrington (c) 2013 Petty Chartered Surveyors

Planning permission has been granted for a change of use and erection of new buildings to form the following alternative developments: 6 residential units, 6 office units (B1), car showroom, Auction house, restaurant (B3) and associated alterations (Application number 11/060137. Full details are available on application, or alternatively enquires can be made direct to Hyndburn Borough Council on 01254 388111, or e-mail planning@hyndburnbc.gov.uk.

Location: Former Fire Station Manchester Road, Accrington, BB5 2BH

Tenure: Long Leasehold.

Guide: £ Contact Petty Chartered Surveyors.

Contact Petty Chartered Surveyors Tel: 01282 456677. Please can you help Unique Property Bulletin stay free to use by letting the estate agent/owner know that you found their property on the Unique Property Bulletin website. Thankyou.

Online Brochure ….



999 – Ambulance Station

Ambulance Station Kidderminster

Kidderminster Ambulance Station (c) 2013 Fisher Hargreaves Proctor

Just to complete this triumvirate of treble-nine buildings, we have a former Ambulance Station at Worcestershire. The details are fairly spartan*. Though the location, and fact that this is a half acre site, makes the £265,000 price tag interesting. Please have foremost in your mind that cash is king – or queen – at the moment. So don’t be afraid, after all due diligence, survey, etc., have been conducted, to consider making a very ‘economical’ offer. Having said that, it may well rub against the conscience to haggle too much with an Ambulance Authority. By all means grind away with hard nosed negotiations if you are buying a former bank. But this sort of building? For many there is a moral dimension that may require an above guide offer to be made from the start.

Location: Kidderminster Ambulance Station, Stourport Road, Kidderminster, Worcestershire, DY11 7BQ.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: “Offers In The Region Of” £265,000.

Contact Fisher Hargreaves Proctor Agencies Tel: 0115 950 7577. Please can you help Unique Property Bulletin stay free to use by letting the estate agent/owner know that you found their property on the Unique Property Bulletin website. Thankyou.

Online Brochure Unavailable. Please Telephone For A Brochure Via Royal Mail:-

Phone Number – Fisher Hargreaves Proctor Agencies: 0115 950 7577


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Airfield – Bunkers To Skies


 Llanbedr Airfield, Gwynedd (c) 2013 Peter Humphreys

Following on further from recent underground bunkers, coupled with the interest generated from the First World War Aerodrome in our earlier Bulletin Aerodrome Issue we take to the skies again. This time we have another World War Airfield on our property Radar for sale – or rather long leasehold [125 years].

Originally this was RAF Llanbedr. It has some interesting history available via the BBC …


Plus more background information via the helpful Wikipedia…


The site consists of approximately 563 acres plus around 171,000 square feet of buildings. There are also historic buildings, including the classic World War II Air Control Tower.


Llanbedr WWII Air Control Tower (c) 2013 Peter Humphreys

One of our favourite websites – www.derelictplaces.co.uk – also has some excellent photographs ..


More recent [September/October 2013] information on site revenue and operation ..


Location: Llanbedr Airfield, Gwynedd, LL45 2PX.

Tenure: Long Leasehold – 125 Years.

Guide: £ Please Contact The Agent – 01874 622697.

Contact Stuart Hogg Agencies Tel: 01874 622697. Please can you help Unique Property Bulletin stay free to use by letting the estate agent/owner know that you found their property on the Unique Property Bulletin website. Thankyou.

Online Brochure ….

Apologies – the internet weblink we have been given is broken. Please contact Stuart Hogg Agencies – 01874 622697 – for a brochure via Royal Mail post.


Architecturally Unique

Cantilever By JCB Architects

Cape Schanck House (c) 2010 Jackson Clements Burrows

We don’t venture offshore from the UK often, but architectural design can literally be delivered via a Broadband telephone connection. No geographic limits. Nor inhibited by distance. We were rustling around the “cantilever” word as a simple result of a listing above and we came across this wondrous thing designed by JCB Architects. 

Cape Schank House Unique Property Bulletin Award Winner

Truly Unique. Cape Schanck House (c) 2010 Jackson Clements Burrows

There are many splendid photographs highlighting this genuinely unique architect designed house…

 Photographic Montage For Cape Schank House – Cantilever Marvel

This is one of the things that makes putting this Unique Property Bulletin together each week an absolute pleasure. Wonderfully imaginative homes like this appear, as if by magic, through the G.P.O. copper wire that comes into the house and to the back of the telephone and then to the computer. Television presenter Raymond Baxter and BBC Tomorrows World all those years ago did get some predictions right. We may not all be driving around in aeroplane-cars 30 years after the BBC programme predicted, but many reading this couldn’t have imagined the wonders of the internet and what comes out of an old bit of copper wire and translates into pictures on a computer screen. Let alone an Ipod or mobile telephone screen. Some of us still marvel at a 1982 ZX Spectrum Computer !

So what do we have for our Unique Architect this week? Well this cantilevered wonder home. Fancy one? If it works down under, the gravity here in Old Blighty is similar, so why not see if JCB Architects could design your very own unique cantilever home for construction in the United Kingdom?

For inspiration, here is a fabulous unique property feature by JCB Architects …

Cape Schank House Presentation

[some smaller mobile devices may not be able to play the presentation]

One word for this cantilever building:

Wow !

Just get on the old email to JCB Architects and ask if they could design one of these for that gently sloping house building plot that you have. Such a magnificent structure would do true justice to the imagination of this excellent firm of architects. We could do with one of these cantilever designs on this side of the hemisphere.

Maybe even let us know how you get on?

Unique Architect Award For September 2013



Jackson Clements Burrows



Jackson Clements Burrows Pty Ltd Architects

One Harwood Place, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia

Telephone +613 9654 6227

JCB Architect Contact Page


Try Before You Buy …..

Unique Holidays & Rentals

Bensfield Treehouse Featured Unique Property Bulletin

Bensfield Treehouse Holiday (c) 2013 Quality Unearthed

We started with a Treehouse to buy, we close this edition by listing a Treehouse Holiday experience. In the true spirit of try-before-your-buy.

This holiday destination is in Sussex.

To find out more, just follow the links …




Alternatively telephone 01348 830922 for a catalogue and further details.