Land next to castle up for sale

Berkhamsted Castle - by Jason Hawkes
Berkhamsted Castle - by Jason Hawkes
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A HUGE plot of land next door to an historic landmark has been put on the market for £575,000.

The 13.29-hectare site – which covers five fields next to New Road opposite Berkhamsted Castle – was put up for sale by Bidwells estate agency last week.

The land is in the Green Belt and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. That would make it initially very hard to get planning permission to build houses or flats there.

Jack Panton, rural salesman for Bidwells, said: “It was under offer until very recently to a land investor. But unfortunately he decided to pull out – something to do with not being able to develop on it when he wanted to.”

He said initially a more appropriate use for the land could be agricultural or using it to provide leisure or amenity services.

But he said: “We had already contacted all the locals to see if they wanted to buy it and initially no one really seemed that interested.”

Bidwells wrote to about 40 people who live nearest to the land before the site went on the market.

He said: “Land prices have gone up quite considerably in the last few years. If I was a local resident, I would be very keen to buy it. Land is now a very desirable commodity.”

He said land prices had gone up close to 15 per cent in the last 18 months.

John Waller, 68, of the town’s Cobb Road, suggested that the land could be turned into a car park for visitors going to Berkhamsted Castle.

> What would you like to see done with the site? Send your ideas to thegazette@jpress.co,uk