Dungeness Estate: French energy firm EDF buys UK's only 'desert'


More news, no ads

LEARN MORE

French energy company EDF Energy has bought the UK's only desert... in Kent.

It has exchanged contracts on the Dungeness Estate after it went on sale for £1.5 million in August.

The 468-acre estate is designated as a National Nature Reserve, a Special Area of Conservation and a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Dungeness Estate is the UK's only desert. Picture: Strutt and Parker.
Dungeness Estate is the UK's only desert. Picture: Strutt and Parker.

It said it wants to continue to work with the local community to manage the unique landscape, which has been used as a location for numerous films and music videos.

The site had been owned by the Paine family trust since 1964 but was put on the open market by Strutt and Parker last year.

Maurice Ede, trustee for the estate, said: “After the decision was made to sell the estate it was important the purchaser would have the ability, track record and correct intentions of maintaining an estate such as this and we are very happy to be passing that responsibility to EDF Energy.”

The contract includes the freeholds for 22 chalet homes, which are subject to 99-year leases.

Prospect Cottage, artist Derek Jarman's former home and garden on the shingle at Dungeness. Picture: Gary Browne
Prospect Cottage, artist Derek Jarman's former home and garden on the shingle at Dungeness. Picture: Gary Browne
Dungeness nature reserve with the power station in the background. Picture: RSPB
Dungeness nature reserve with the power station in the background. Picture: RSPB
An aerial view of the landscape. Picture: Strutt and Parker.
An aerial view of the landscape. Picture: Strutt and Parker.

However, the sale does not cover the area's two lighthouses, the Pilot pub, Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway station or the neighbouring RSPB reserve.

“We’re delighted to be the purchasers of the estate and want to reassure the community that it is our intention to be a responsible owner of the land..." - Martin Pearson, station director at Dungeness B

Martin Pearson, station director at Dungeness B, said: “We’re delighted to be the purchasers of the estate and want to reassure the community that it is our intention to be a responsible owner of the land.

“Dungeness B has been a huge part of the community for over 30 years; many of our employees live in the area and we bring business to local suppliers.

“We’ve always worked alongside the local community to preserve and enhance this unique environment and EDF Energy is committed to this.”

The cult 1981 film Time Bandits was shot on the Dungeness Estate and the Stereophonics are among many bands to use it for videos.

Supermodel Claudia Schiffer has had a photoshoot there and Strictly Come Dancing contestant Peter Andre has used it for trailers for his reality series Peter Andre: My Life.

Twice in recent years Jeremy Clarkson came to film while he was on the TV show Top Gear.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More