At the time, the reservoir was the largest in Europe with the biggest masonry dam ever created. Villagers were re-housed further down the Vyrnwy Valley with a chapel on the edge of the lake the only visible sign of the flooded settlement
The estate owned by Severn Trent Water, which is available on a 125 year lease, is the largest disposal of land in England or Wales in living memory. The guide price is £11m with the surface amenity rights over the lake itself available by separate negotiation.
The sale has been split into four lots and offers a unique and diverse portfolio of property that will appeal to many different potential purchasers.
Lot 1 includes almost 12,000 acres of in-hand farmland farmed jointly with the RSPB on an organic basis with a strong emphasis on the environment. Lot 2 is a diverse portfolio of let farms and land ranging from under two acres to almost 1,000 acres. There are 14 farms in total with all bar one let under Agricultural Holdings Act tenancies. Lot 3 covers 5,000 acres of coniferous and beech woodland managed by Forestry Commission Wales. Lot 4 includes 31 residential and commercial properties let under a variety of different tenancies.
Tony Wray, Severn Trent’s chief executive, said:
"Severn Trent runs all its estates sustainably and responsibly, but our core expertise is in providing excellent water and wastewater services for our customers, rather than managing upland estates. Other organisations exist that can concentrate more intensively on running the land at Vyrnwy. A responsible transfer process will bring benefits for all those living, working on and visiting the estate.
"We are committed to continuing our operational role at Vyrnwy and will retain a site presence to ensure this valuable asset is managed effectively and sustainably.”
Clive Hopkins, head of farm and estate sales at Knight Frank, said:
“This is a fantastic sale that presents numerous opportunities to potential buyers. Never before has a property of this size come to the open market in one block under a single ownership, not in my lifetime anyway. Due to such a diverse portfolio of property we anticipate interest from a wide variety of sources, institutions, pension funds, private landowners and investors.”
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