‘Strategic land’ on edge of Ipswich acquired by property management company Pidgeon

From left, property seminar speakers Peter Harrup (BDO), Mark Sargeantson (Fenn Wright) and Stuart R

From left, property seminar speakers Peter Harrup (BDO), Mark Sargeantson (Fenn Wright) and Stuart Raven (Birketts) outside Birketts' new office, currently under construction in Princes Street, Ipswich. Picture: Birketts - Credit: Archant

A 220-acre parcel of land on the southern edge of Ipswich which has just changed hands is likely to be of strategic significance in meeting future demand for commercial property, according to a leading surveyor.

Mark Sargeantson, consultant surveyor at Fenn Wright, said the land – recently acquired by Bury St Edmunds-based property management company Pidgeon, which acts on behalf of a range of investors – was important as the Ransomes Europark estate is now almost fully developed.

The site acquired by Pidgeon lies on the other side of the Orwell Bridge from Ransomes Europark and involves land either side of the A12/A14, extending from Wherstead village towards Ipswich and including the dry ski slope off Bourne Hill.

Pidgeon said in a statement: “Pigeon has acquired 220 acres of strategic land on the southern edge of Ipswich. Located either side of the A14 between Ipswich and Wherstead village, the land has short and long term development potential for a range of uses.

“It includes a dry ski slope, woodland and meadows. A phased planning strategy, including residential and commercial uses, will be implemented over the next five years.”

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On the residential side, Mr Sargeantson said there was currently a “sweet spot” for properties worth up to £350,000 but the market for properties valued above £500,000 was being dampened by Stamp Duty Land Tax, which was making buyers highly selective when trading up.

He was speaking at the annual Ipswich Property Seminar hosted by law firm Birketts in partnership with Fenn Wright and accountancy firm BDO.

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Stuart Raven, a partner at Birketts, outlined some of the legal duties of landlords and tenants including those relating to fire safety which have come into sharp focus following the Grenfell Tower tragedy in June this year.

He also explained the division of duties between landlords and tenants in respect of repairs and compliance, including the scope for dispute over whether work constitutes “repair” or “improvement”.

Peter Harrup, a partner at BDO, highlighted the creation of a corporate criminal offence allowing for the prosecution of businesses deemed to have encouraged tax evasion, such as making payments in cash which it knows will not be declared.

To protect themselves, businesses needed to carry out a risk assessment and to keep a record to demonstrate the action taken, Mr Harrup said.

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