Snettisham Beach goes on sale

A two-mile stretch of a Norfolk beach has gone on the market with a price tag of �1.25 million.

For the first time in recent history, an extensive stretch of the west Norfolk coastline including the Snettisham Coastal Park and covering a total of 234 acres, is for sale in three lots.

This stretch of coastline has potential income streams including a licence fee from existing operations including a car park which services the coastal park.

'This special mix of landscape and wildlife with established annual income, and potential for growth, marks out the property as a uniquely attractive proposition,' according to the agents, Brown & Co.

Chartered surveyor Jim Major, of the firm's King's Lynn office, said that the property has been split into three lots. Lot 1, which covers a total of 234 acres includes a car park, operated under licence by Snettisham Parish Council. This lot includes 94 acres of grass, dune and gorse, which runs alongside the beach and extends to about 22 acres.

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The second lot, which covers 48.3 acres, runs from the northern end of the coastal path, while there is an option on a third lot to buy the grazing marsh extending inland covering about 70 acres and includes the historic Heacham Harbour. A guide price for the whole of �1.25 million has been suggested by the agents.

This part of the coastal belt is of significantly local importance because of the diverse population of flora and fauna, notably by the number of rare bird sightings. It is an internationally important site for flora and fauna and is designated as a Ramsar site.

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'I've never sold anything like this before,' said Mr Major, who expects keen interest in this most unusual property. 'It is not often that about two miles of beach comes on the market and it will certainly catch the attention of potential buyers.

'We're expecting all sorts of people might come forward because it is not like a 50-acre field, or a factory or a shop. You can see and feel some value but we're not sure how it will materialise,' he added.

'It is an interesting area of land for various people to wonder about buying. We've tried to break it into bite-sized chunks and give options as a whole because ultimately, it is a piece of land that has value but people can't quite put their finger on,' said Mr Major.

The beach and coastal park property also has the benefit of income streams - not least the environment scheme. The land is currently entered into environmental stewardship, both entry level and higher level, which generates an income of about �15,000 pa until expiry in 2018.

Snettisham Coastal Park enjoys a reputation as an important location to appreciate a wealth of great coastal wildlife. On the big spring tides, as water covers the mudflats of The Wash, clouds of birds leave their feeding grounds and move onto the roost banks and islands of the coastal Park.

And through the winter months, early morning visitors can enjoy the spectacle of thousands of pink-footed geese taking off and flying inland to feed. Other special visitors include redstart, snow buntings, and ring ouzel while the display of shingle flowers include sea buckthorn, yellow horn poppy and sea sponge.

While there is already extensive public access because of the coastal path, which runs through part of the property, said Mr Major. In general, the whole property, including the beach, is available for public access on foot, mostly over well trodden paths, according to the details.

The freehold land, includes a considerable area of the sand and beach because the seaward boundary is the 'mean high water mark' and the landward boundary runs to the eastern foot of the inner sea bank. There are occupational agreements with Heacham Wildfowlers and also the Island Camping Club.

The sellers will impose a restrictive covenant on the land preventing development of wind turbines and the erection of machinery and/or laying of electrical cabling in connection with wind turbines in any circumstances and against development of land-based motorised leisure or sporting activity.

An access through the marshes at the north of the coastal park to the car park at the southern end is also reserved by the sellers.

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