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357 HECTARE COASTAL FARM

Thornhill, Thornhill

ZAR - 22,000,000

REF - 67725

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Property Description

Coastal Farm for sale

Location
The farm is situated on the coast, 5km south of Thornhill, 44km from central PE and approx 32km from Jeffreys Bay.

Size
Comprised of one title, the property is 357ha in extent. Of this, it has 1.6km of truly pristine beachfront.

Description
For any developer looking for a truly unique, discreet, up market eco tourism location, one would be hard pressed to find better. It is one of the few sections of Cape coastline that can genuinely offer the best of both in terms of high carrying capacity, diverse game country coupled with remote and expansive white beaches. I am aware of only one other location where one could create a product where giraffe and whales could be captured in the same photo, and in terms of location and accessibility, the other cannot compare.
The topography is diverse enough to be interesting while still being accessible. The North western end (entrance) of the farm is elevated and then the property slopes down through a series of tertiary, secondary and then primary dunes to a very wide sandy beach.

Veld types
This property is in the epicenter of this somewhat unique piece of habitat that is Thornhill and its? immediate surrounds. Travel 15km in any direction from here one is back into the sub optimal sourveld that is common to the South Eastern Cape. By contrast however, the Thornhill region boasts amongst the highest, sweet veld carrying capacity in the province. Couple to this truly superb browse, with the highest ratio of palatable to unpalatable trees that one will find.
Grass species here include Chenchrus Cillaris, Pannicum Maximum, Coloratum & Repens, Stenotaphrum Secundatum and Cynodon. While the latter is often considered marginal in poorer soils, here it is very well used by all grazers and becomes invaluable in winter when some of the more glamorous grasses lose palatability. The farm is currently run to beef cattle. Conservative stocking ratios and sound management have ensured that this unparalleled cocktail of sweet grasses remains healthy.

The browse and diversity thereof is similarly impressive. The farm has some of the largest wild olives that I?ve ever seen and a surprising number of Scotia Afra, Cape Ash, White Stinkwood, Wild Fig, Milkwoods, Candlewoods, Acacia Karoo and even impressive Yellowwood trees. Unlike some of the areas in the Thornhill sweetveld belt which can become totally overgrown, this property has a very pleasing mix of dense forest (especially on the south facing dune slopes) open grass patches, thorn savannah and intermediary open canopy forest, where the filtered light and nitrogen enriched soils create the ideal conditions for the pannicum that carpets the ground below the trees.
The net result of the above is a habitat that is ideal for an almost unparalleled diversity of game at a stocking ratio that is going to ensure very impressive densities.

Rainfall / Water
The farm falls in a transition summer / winter rainfall area with an annual average of 920mm. The farm has a borehole and the exact capacity of the boreholes is in question, but given the norm in this area, my feeling is they will be approx 1800 L/hr. There is a very reliable spring that feeds a small pool which has held consistent water throughout this past drought which was the worst drought in recorded memory. Water is pumped from this pool to then supply all household and stock water requirements.

Of significance to a developer though is the fact that the subterranean Churchill dam pipeline traverses the property and as such a metered, treated water tap off point is available. Emanating from the Churchill Dam treatment plant, this would ensure a guaranteed supply for any eco tourism development that may be envisaged.

Game species
As discussed the farm has been run to beef and is not game fenced. The usual compliment of limital species like bushbuck, common duiker, cape grysbuck and the much sought after blue duiker are numerous. The available browse and grazing however will support a very broad spectrum of species. Ones ultimate development plan, more than habitat compatibility will dictate the ultimate species selection. For example, while things like buffalo, white and black rhino would all do exceptionally well here, they would limit some eco tourism activities, taking the fun out of nature trails, mountain biking etc. These considerations aside there is very little in terms of species, with the exception of perhaps elephant (feed ideal, but too great an impact in too small an area) that one couldn?t stock. One great tourism draw card and live sale money spinner that would excel here is Oribi. Couple to this their high conservation status and a successful Oribi breeding program would undoubtedly open the door to some valuable strategic alliances with global and national conservation bodies like WWF, EWT etc

Improvements
The farm has a 3 bedroom house on it and the interior of which is adequately appointed. In addition there are the usual assortment of outbuildings, sheds, workshops etc. On an investment of this size, none of them have any real bearing on the overall value, but are well built, maintained etc and would be more than adequate for manager/owner accommodation. The house has power from a 50kva transformer.

Development potential
This section of coastline between the Gamtoos mouth development and the Van Stadens river mouth is pristine, and as such appears to have a very elevated conservation status. Obviously mine, and any other opinions other than the final decision makers, as to what type of development footprint would be approved, are purely speculative. Conversations with some stakeholders as well as the limited research I have been able to do, would indicate that the whole area has been earmarked for exclusive eco tourism products. As such, applications for this type of development would be actively supported, and anything more intrusive on nature like a medium density housing project would be vigorously opposed. It is my feeling too that even with ?in principle?consent, the EIA recommendations for any proposed development would no doubt be dictatorial and restrictive, though infinitely possible.

The beach here, while stunningly beautiful, healthy and very exclusive, is very wide. This is a bit of a double edged sword. On the down side, it means that anyone wanting to get their feet wet would have a considerable walk across the sand in order to do so. This could be easily overcome though with horses and the associated beach/game viewing horse rides. On the up side, the primary dune which is the ideal development location is the mandatory 1000m above the high water mark. As such, ones product would have the advantage of uninterrupted sea views to the South and the best game country to the North as well as great views of the mountain ranges of the Greater Baviaanskloof Mega Reserve.

Approval for a very up market housing estate has just been obtained some 8km north of this property. This will serve to put the area firmly on the map, and bring the right type of demographic in. Its success can only compliment the potential for an adjacent hospitality product.

Conclusion
Given what I?ve said about the conservation status, no attempted development here will be a walk in the park. The right product however would have the considerable backing of the decision makers and local government. Despite its well developed and lucrative tourism market share, the region lacks a flagship product to really put it on the map, and this is what the authorities are hoping to get out of this stretch of coastline as discussed above. Couple this to its proximity to PE airport and ease of access and it simply doesn?t get any better.

Price
R 17 300 000.

ID 6526

Agents Details

The Susan Deacon Property Group

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The Susan Deacon Property Group

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Email

info@susandeacon.co.za

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Area

Thornhill

Property Type

Agricultural

Suburb

Thornhill

Reference

67725

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