New owners sought for Essex farm
The City of London Corporation is seeking a new owner for Woodredon Farm and Equestrian Centre in Essex and will begin marketing the site in September.
The site is part of the Woodredon and Warlies Estates, one of a number of farmed estates currently held by the City Corporation as Buffer Land to protect the setting of neighbouring Epping Forest, which is funded by the organisation as a charitable trust.
The City Corporation spends £5m a year on Epping Forest, delivering an outstanding environment attracting 4.5 million visits annually. It is also investing up to £1 million on vital dam safety works at Wanstead Park.
As a major trustee of open spaces, the City Corporation protects 11,000 acres in London and South East England, including Wanstead Flats, Wanstead Park and Hampstead Heath. It funds these sites – most of which are charitable trusts – with over £40 million a year.
The City Corporation is now inviting bids for Woodredon Farm and hopes to identify a buyer by November this year, with a sale in 2022.
The 34-acre farm is being sold with legal protections which will safeguard the natural environment, improve the openness of the farm landscape and place restrictions on new building to within the equivalent footprint of the existing buildings.
The land will be protected by a restrictive covenant and by local and national planning policy, which means housing development will not be allowed on the paddocks and fields which surround the farm.
Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Epping Forest & Commons Committee, Graeme Doshi-Smith, said:
“The City Corporation is keen to find the right owner for this farm who will work with us to ensure continued protection of the site and the surrounding area and Forest.
“We are proud to invest millions in Epping Forest and in our protection of this iconic ancient woodland.”
Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Corporate Asset Sub-Committee, James de Sausmarez, said:
“My colleagues and I are excited to review proposals for this important project and welcome appropriate bids from prospective buyers.
“We look forward to taking these plans forward and working with the new owner of this site.”
Woodredon Farm is home to Woodredon Equestrian Centre, which was leased in 2002 on a 25-year term under a protected business tenancy. It will be sold with the tenant in place.
Notes to editors
The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK – www.cityoflondon.gov.uk
Kristina Drake| Media Officer, Public Services
City of London Corporation
D: 020 7332 1125