Could Cowstead Farm, Sheppey, become another housing estate?

One of Sheppey’s biggest farms has been put on the market for over £2.5million which could mean more homes for the island.

Estate agents boast that Cowstead Farm, which greets motorists as they drive towards Minster and Leysdown from Sheppey Way, has ‘significant development opportunities’.

Google Earth view of Cowstead Farm on Sheppey

Also up for grabs are portions of Minster and Cheyney Marshes and a semi-detached cottage with a tenant covering a total of 249 acres. They could be sold together or split into five lots.

The sale is being handled by estate agents George Webb Finn of Park Road, Sittingbourne.

Partner Stuart Mair says: “This represents an excellent opportunity to acquire a highly sought after farm comprising a farmhouse, ancillary accommodation, agricultural buildings and land with development potential subject to planning permission, together with two blocks of marshy pastures.”

Online information speaks of “significant development opportunities” and indicates that the first two lots closest to the roundabout at Cowstead Corner are being sold subject to a “30% overrun of the increase in value if the land is developed for non-agricultural use or development over a period of 25 years.”

It is currently owned by P&H Johnson.

Aerial view of Cowstead Farm in Minster, Sheppey, which is for sale by George Webb Finn for £2.5million. Planning permission for 700 houses has already been granted for the fields at the top left of the image, which also shows the lower road. Photo: George Webb Finn
The five lots at Cowstead Farm in Minster, Sheppey, which are for sale by George Webb Finn for £2.5million.  Photo: George Webb Finn
The five lots at Cowstead Farm in Minster, Sheppey, which are for sale by George Webb Finn for £2.5million. Photo: George Webb Finn
Seven hundred homes are planned for the cornfields along Lower Road in Minster, Sheppey
Seven hundred homes are planned for the cornfields along Lower Road in Minster, Sheppey

Almost next door is a 38-hectare site owned by farmers SW Attwood and Partners who have successfully secured permission to build 700 houses on their cornfields. It is planned to double it.

They were refused planning permission by Swale Council in 2019 despite the land being on the local plan.

Artist's impression of what the new estate on Lower Road in Minster might look like
Artist’s impression of what the new estate on Lower Road in Minster might look like

Their appeal was cleared by Inspector Martin Whitehead in 2020 who said: “I find that the negative impacts of the proposed development would not significantly and manifestly outweigh its benefits.”

The lower road is one of the busiest roads on the island, particularly in summer when thousands of visitors use it to reach the holiday homes and beaches of Leysdown and effectively block Cowstead roundabout Corner.

Traffic jam at Cowstead Corner roundabout, A249, Sheppey
Traffic jam at Cowstead Corner roundabout, A249, Sheppey
Aerial view of Cowstead Farm in Minster, Sheppey, which is for sale by George Webb Finn for £2.5million.  Photo: George Webb Finn
Aerial view of Cowstead Farm in Minster, Sheppey, which is for sale by George Webb Finn for £2.5million. Photo: George Webb Finn
Cowstead Farm in Minster, Sheppey, which is for sale by George Webb Finn for £2.5million.  Photo: George Webb Finn
Cowstead Farm in Minster, Sheppey, which is for sale by George Webb Finn for £2.5million. Photo: George Webb Finn
Cowstead Farm in Minster, Sheppey, which is for sale by George Webb Finn for £2.5million.  Photo: George Webb Finn
Cowstead Farm in Minster, Sheppey, which is for sale by George Webb Finn for £2.5million. Photo: George Webb Finn

Cowsted Farm – what you get

Lot 1 – Cowstead Farm – £1,250,000

An 1883 farmhouse with dining room, living room, family room, storage room, kitchen and four double bedrooms. The converted stables offer two further bedrooms and an open plan living room/kitchen. Steel and concrete farm buildings including Dutch barn, grain store, hay store, dairy building, lean-to, yard and pasture with grade 3 soil. The land is crossed by the public footpath ZS11.

Aerial view of plots of land between Sheppey Way and Ferry Road which are being sold as part of the Cowstead Farm sale.  Photo: George Webb Finn
Aerial view of plots of land between Sheppey Way and Ferry Road which are being sold as part of the Cowstead Farm sale. Photo: George Webb Finn

Batch 2 – £135,000

Two grazing plots measuring 5.49 hectares (13.56 acres) overlooking the Sheppey Way.

Marshland to be won as part of the Cowstead Farm sale on Sheppey.  Photo: George Webb Finn
Marshland to be won as part of the Cowstead Farm sale on Sheppey. Photo: George Webb Finn

Lot 3 – Cheyney Marshes – £275,000

Grassy marsh extending over 22.68 hectares (56.04 acres) east of Sheppey Way and south of Cowstead Corner. The land is within the Swale Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest. The soil is grade 4.

Lot 4 – Minster Marshes – £650,000

Grassy marsh including salt pans extending over 59.92 hectares (148.06 acres) south-east of Ferry Road and within the Swale Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest. The ground is grade 4. The ZS19 public footpath crosses the land for a short distance along the seawall.

Semi-detached house as part of the Cowstead Farm sale.  Photo: George Webb Finn
Semi-detached house as part of the Cowstead Farm sale. Photo: George Webb Finn

Lot 5 – 2 Cowstead Farm Cottage – £275,000

Semi-detached three-bedroom cottage north of Queenborough Road built circa 1950 and rented for short term rental.

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