From £1.25m to £95,000: the island that's a drop in the ocean

14.5 hectare island has a few key selling points, including a Viking-era hill fort and a shipwreck

By Rob Sharp,Arts Correspondent
Sunday 23 October 2011 04:23

Now is the time to put that spare £95,000 to good use. An island off the coast of South Wales has come up for sale for just that sum, with its plummeting price meaning that you too can now join the coveted company of the island-owning elite.

The small and windswept Sully Island, 450m off the northern coast of the Bristol Channel, was advertised for £1.25m just last year. Nor did it sell at auction, where its guide price was £150,000 – suggesting it might not be the most watertight of investments as it failed to find a buyer.

The 14.5ha island does have a few key selling points, however, including a Viking-era hill fort and a shipwreck. It is being sold by Cardiff-based estate agent Cooke & Arkwright. The agent handling the sale, Chris Hyde, said that as building is restricted it's most likely buyer could be someone with an interest in local wildlife.

"Patently it didn't attract enough interest," Mr Hyde said. "We have recently received the instruction and have been a bit more grounded on the price; hopefully we are now in the market to sell."

Mr Hyde explained that the island is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, meaning any purchaser is unlikely to win planning permission to turn the complex into a chilly version of Richard Branson's private Caribbean island, Necker. That retreat is part of the wealthy British Virgin Islands, where Branson has built a portfolio of luxury properties.

Instead of Branson's views of a clear blue tropical sea, Sully Island boasts panoramas of the somewhat less exotic River Severn and Devon hills. The buyer will also need to rely on a rocky causeway, exposed for just three hours either side of low tide, as the only way to reach their new getaway.

"It will appeal to private individuals or companies with an interest in environmental issues," continued Mr Hyde. "It has premium environmental designation, and as such we have had interest from all over the world. There are those who want to build on it but in my opinion I don't think that will ever happen."

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