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Dungeness Estate, described as the country's only desert, for sale

For sale: a spacious seaside property.

The Dungeness Estate - which has been described as the UK's only desert - is up for sale and yours for £1.5 million.

Owen Leyshon, of the estate’s managers Romney Marsh Country Partnership, said: “This is the sale of an incredibly unique landscape and a very popular tourist destination.

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

“We are expecting a massive scrum of people making offers.”

The 468 acres of private land has been owned by the Paine family trust since 1964.

But now it is in the open market in a unique sale is being handled by Strutt and Parker estate agents.

The sale does not cover the Dungeness nuclear power site, the two lighthouses, the Pilot pub, Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway station. or the neighbouring RSPB reserve.

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

But it does cover the freeholds for 22 chalet homes, which are subject to 99-year leases.

The new owners will find this is a lucrative investment as the estate generates an annual income of more than £130,000.

This is from ground rents, commercial fishing and agreements and a licenses to allow the movement of shingle to protect the power stations and nearby coasts.

There is also allowance to create a toll on the Dungeness Road and more income can be made from fees for commercial filming and photography - which added up to £19,400 in 2014.

Schoolchildren on a photography trip to Dungeness
Schoolchildren on a photography trip to Dungeness

The unique landscape has long been considered the ideal location for movies and music videos.

The cult 1981 film Time Bandits was shot there and the Stereophonics have been among many bands to use it for videos.

Meanwhile the model Claudia Schiffer has been there for a photoshoot and TV personality Peter Andre has used it for trailers for his reality series Peter Andre: My Life.

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

An aerial view of the landscape. Picture: Strutt and Parker.
An aerial view of the landscape. Picture: Strutt and Parker.

Mark McAndrew from Strutt & Parker says: "Dungeness is one of Britain’s most important and spectacular landscapes.

"It has appeared on numerous record covers and in television advertisements.It has been described as Britain’s only desert.

"There is nothing like it. It has considerable potential for increased income from tourism on top of the substantial income it already produces.

"We believe it will attract a range of investors as well as conservation bodies.I can safely say, that in my 25 plus years at Strutt & Parker, I have never sold or will ever sell, anything quite like the Dungeness Estate."

Peter Andre filming in Dungeness
Peter Andre filming in Dungeness

Maurice Ede, one of the trustees of the Dungeness Estate, adds: "The estate has been in a family trust for many years and it is with some sadness that the trustees have decided it is time to sell.

"It is often said that this distinctive and undisturbed landscape is unlike any other part of the United Kingdom.I have known it intimately for 40 years and never fail to be moved by it on my regular visits."

The land has been described as Britain’s only desert but the Met Office has ruled this out as it does not have the characteristic of minimal rainfall and large differences between day and night temperatures.


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