Gunnigarth, West Sandwick, Yell, Shetland, ZE2 9BH
Offers Over £465,000
Available as a whole or in three lots
Lot 1 –offers over £400,000
Lot 2 –offers over £50,000
Lot 3 –offers over £15,000
Whole Offers over £465,000
An opportunity to acquire a substantial area of grazings and degraded peatland which may lend itself to remediation, surrounded by some of the county's most breath-taking coastal scenery, with West Sandwick Beach a stone’s throw to the north and fine views out across Southladie Voe immediately to the south
Mid Yell 7 miles, Ulsta Ferry Terminal 6 miles, Lerwick 37 miles, Sumburgh Airport 58 miles (all distances are approximate)
-Extending in total to approximately 348.71 Acres (141.12 Ha)
- Around 157.7 Acres (63.54 Ha) designated as Grade 4.2 with the rest being Grade 5.3
-A traditional stone and lime U-shaped steading with courtyard that may provide scope for conversion/development, subject to securing the requisite planning permission.
- Ownership of the foreshore along with sporting rights across the total area.
- Opportunity to integrate into a small community.
-Separate lot with development potential
- Scope to establish a Natural Capital / Sustainable Investment or Biodiversity Net Gain project, capable of generating carbon credits or other funding streams
- Access to some of Scotland’s exceptionally beautiful countryside and coastline from which to enjoy the abundant and diverse wildlife it supports.
Situation and Location
The Island of Yell is covered in peaty moorland, interspersed with coastal crofting communities, the largest being Mid Yell which is the main hub on the island. The land is predominantly used for sheep grazing although surprisingly there has been success to the north of the isle with strawberries. Around the coast the powerful tidal currents offer an ideal natural environment for rearing some of the best salmon in Scotland. In addition, the pure waters also make this an ideal spot for cultivating mussels, with some 81% of Scotland’s mussels produced around the Shetland Isles.
Measuring around nineteen miles long by eight miles wide, the island of Yell has a population of approximately 950 and has been inhabited since Neolithic times with around twelve known historic ‘broch’ sites. The second largest of the Shetland ‘north isles’, Yell sits between mainland Shetland and the neighbouring island of Unst separated by the Yell Sound and is connected to the mainland by a regular ro-ro (roll on/roll off) ferry service. The three-mile-wide crossing typically takes twenty minutes and runs throughout the day from Toft, approximately 27 miles north of Lerwick to Ulsta in the south of Yell, approximately ten miles from Graveland.
The island has a breadth of services beyond what one might expect. The village of Mid Yell, which is approximately four miles from Graveland, is the main population centre on the island and provides a medical centre, dental surgery, general store, leisure centre with indoor heated pool, squash court and gym, as well as a Junior Highschool with a current roll of 106, providing education from nursery to fourth year secondary. An EV charging point is available at the school with a further station at Ulsta Ferry Terminal. An additional general store, petrol station and the local post office can be found at Aywick, approximately a ten-minute drive south of the village.
The area is home to an abundance of wildlife, especially in the summer months when otters may be seen digging their burrows into the low-lying peaty shorelines or playing in the crystal-clear waters beyond. There are also many nesting birds in the area, including Whimbrel, Red-throated Divers, Dunlin, and Golden Plover. Porpoises, dolphins and even orca whales may be spotted when walking along one of the many beaches or coastal trails and if you're lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the aurora borealis of an evening.
The land at Gunnigarth extents to approximately 342.26 Acres (138.51 Ha) and sits approximately six miles north of the ferry port of Ulsta, close to the settlement of West Sandwick on the west of Yell, with the Northmavine peninsula on Mainland Shetland being visible out over the Yell Sound on a clear day. This lot includes a small uninhabited island, Holme of West Sandwick, located approximately 800 metres northwest of the headland of the Ness of West Sandwick and lying in the Sound of Yell. The islet which extends to approximately 12.63 Acres (5.11 Ha) including the foreshore, is uninhabited and only accessible by private boat. Approximately half the land at Gunnigarth is considered good quality grazings with the balance considered rougher grazings, albeit still of reasonable quality as they extend out onto the peninsula to the south.
According to the James Hutton Institute’s land classification for agriculture system, approximately 157.7 Acres (63.54 Ha) is designated as Grade 4.2 with the rest being Grade 5.3.
Grade 4 land suitable for enterprises based primarily on grassland with short arable breaks (e.g. barley, oats, forage crops) with Grade 5.3 land widely regarded as capable for use as improved grassland.
The Soil Survey of Scotland suggests most of the ground is comprised of peaty gleys from the Arkaig Association with areas of Mineral Gleys.
There may be scope for a peat land restoration project across the peninsula “Ness of West Sandwick” with the potential for generating certified carbon credits. however, any such schemes would be subject to the proposed purchasers carrying out their own due diligence and satisfying themselves as to the veracity of any projects.
Gunnigarth steading and courtyard may provide development potential with conversion perhaps now a more realistic possibility under the new Permitted Development Rights which were extended in 2020, subject to obtaining the requisite approval from the local authority. The finished article, in whatever configuration was pursued, would offer fine views of the Southladie Voe and wide expanse of the sea beyond.
It should be noted that the residential element within the steading, as shown coloured purple on
the site plan, is not included in the sale. The steading is currently used for a combination of stock and general agriculture implement and material storage. Access is taken via a track leading down and linking onto the public road.
A generous 6.15 Acre (2.49 Ha) site affording panoramic views of Southladie Voe and bounded to
the north, east and west by an existing dry-stone dyke, with access via a shared track leading to the
Lot 3 includes the foreshore where there may be the potential to build a jetty or slipway (subject to
any consents) thereby facilitating direct access onto the Voe. It should be noted that this land is being sold without planning permission and may be suitable for multiple uses beyond its latent residential development potential (subject to securing the requisite planning permission).
The Local Development Plan (LDP) has identified Mid Yell (5.6 miles to the east) as an “Area of Best Fit” (AoBF) in order to provide a focus for growth within and adjacent to the largest community in each of the seven localities in Shetland.
Within AoBF amenities such as schools, shops, employment and essential infrastructure are readily available through a range of transport options. While West Sandwick is not included in this area, the LDP's policies and proposals seek to balance community and environmental concerns and benefits, allowing for opportunities for sustainable development in established settlements outside of AoBF. Planning applications will be evaluated in accordance with the applicable policies.
Although there are currently no service connections on site, connections are not expected to be a problem as water, electricity and telephone serve the neighbouring houses; however, prospective purchasers should make their own investigations and satisfy themselves in this regard.
Strictly by prior agreement with the selling agents who should be contacted in advance to advise on access arrangements.
For the personal safety of interested parties, please be aware of potential hazards at the property as the buildings and land may be in temporary use for livestock handling. Due to the remote location care should be taken and appropriate steps made to alert others to your whereabouts. Access to the site is taken over a combination of metalled roads, 4WD tracks and by foot. Prospective purchasers/those viewing do so at their own risk and must make their own arrangements in respect of any equipment, devices or transport required.
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FINANCIAL GUARANTEE/ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING REGULATIONS
Any offer by prospective purchaser(s), regardless of where they are ordinarily resident and regardless of whether on a cash or subject to loan finance basis, must be accompanied by a financial reference from a bank/funding source that is acceptable to the sellers. Prospective purchasers will also be required to produce identification sufficient to satisfy anti-money laundering regulations and checks against the intended purchaser or nominee together with other documentation that may be required, from time to time, in order to support any conditional offers submitted to the seller. Bidwells LLP accepts no liability of any type arising from your delay or other lack of co-operation in this regard. Failure to provide the requisite AML documentation with offers may result in them not being considered at the closing date or being superseded by an offer which is. Settlement may also be delayed or aborted due to non-compliance with requests for information or failure to deliver adequate information within the requisite timeframes. We may hold your name on our database unless you instruct us otherwise.
Udal (Absolute Ownership Interest – Freehold)
Because of the implications of udal law, special considerations apply to the mapping of coastal titles in Orkney and Shetland. The legal assumption is that a udal title adjoining the coast will include the foreshore. The Crown has no prior right to the foreshore under udal law.