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kcm 016Farmland prices hit yet another record high in the South East during the final six months of 2013, having jumped over ten percent in the space of a year, says the latest RICS/RAU Rural Land Market Survey H2 2013.

During the second half of last year, the average cost of farmland in the region rose to £7,750 per acre*, hitting a record high for the eighth consecutive period. The cost of land is now 10.7 percent higher than during the same period in 2012 when an acre cost, on average, £7,000.

Growth in prices has been driven by the on-going surge in demand from farmers looking to expand their operations, while the amount of land coming up for sale is continuing to lag well behind, with the shortage being seen across the board. However, with many areas such as the Thames Valley having been subject to severe flooding in recent weeks, it remains to be seen what impact this will have on the price and saleability of farmland in some areas.

Despite remaining unchanged on the first half of the year, prices in the North West were the highest in Great Britain with the cost of an acre coming in at £8,813. Meanwhile, land north of the border, in Scotland, was the least expensive with an acre costing around £3,750.

Looking ahead, chartered surveyors are predicting prices to continue to rise over the coming year, given the significant supply-demand imbalance. That said, with floods having swept across the country, markets in the southern regions could well be significantly affected in terms of both transactions and prices.

Jeremy Blackburn, RICS Head of UK Policy, commented:
“Farmland price growth has been enormous in recent years. With commodity prices now having remained strong for some time, many farmers have been looking to expand their businesses and, with so little actually coming up for sale, competition for good land is fierce.

“Although, with floods having devastated large swathes of southern England, what remains to be seen is the impact this has on the market in these areas and further afield. It will not be surprising to see this have a negative effect on transactions. In fact, a lot of the best quality and highest value agricultural land in the UK is located close to rivers and on floodplains so this too could potentially have an impact on food production.”

See the report HERE

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Two Hoo Peninsula firms are among the first in Kent to successfully apply for a Tiger loan in Kent – receiving a combined total of nearly £250,000 to help grow their business.

TIGER – Thames Gateway Innovation, Growth and Enterprise – is a regional growth fund offering low-cost loans allowing businesses to invest in new products and services. Read More

Over the last year Hoo Peninsula residents have been meeting with local farmers, environmentalists, businesses and planners to discuss what the Hoo Peninsula could be like as a place to live and work.

Key to this is thinking more about how we can use “greening” projects to improve your quality of life as well as that for wildlife and business. A greening project could be the planting of more trees in villages to reduce temperatures in the summer. Such work could also improve local pride and provide a home for wildlife. The following link to a short video shows other examples of greening projects and their wider benefits http://vimeo.com/38736492.

These local meetings (called Community Conversations) have been organised as part of a larger EU funded project called GIFT-T! (Green Infrastructure for Tomorrow – Together!). The end goal of this work is to see if we can demonstrate what a strong social, economic and environmental future for people, wildlife and business could be.

GIFT-T! is at an early stage but we are really keen to hear the views of lots of local people – of all ages and interests about the Peninsula’s environment and future. To make this as easy as possible an on-line questionnaire has been set up where you can tell us your thoughts. The link is http://139.165.29.43/Gift/Hoopeninsula/

What next?

1. Your information will be saved and will form a key part of the information directing our work.
2. It might be possible to show the results in a future addition of the Peninsula Times.
3. You could attend a future Community Conversation meeting – email Martin.hall@gtgkm.org.uk or call 01634 337593 with your contact details.

Oct Poster

This is a link to a story by Alan McGuinness of the KM, please click HERE

Please reblog, retweet and like this to spread the word as quickly as possible

Following the Mayor of London’s announcement on airports and aviation capacity for London and his submission to the Davies Commission, please see a statement from Medway Council below. More

thames crossing

mrphoebusGravesend shoppers will be treated to the charming spectacle of a penny farthing in motion, ridden by the very dapper Mr Phoebus – dressed head to toe in Victorian finery at ‘Music & Motors – Festival of Transport’ in the town centre on Saturday 15 June.

With a bunch of balloons in hand and coattails trailing merry cheer, Mr Phoebus will delight you with the folly of bell-ringing and horn-hooting as he cycles by in elegant form on the saddle of a modern penny farthing bicycle, pedalling old-fashioned Victorian whimsy. More

As the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) releases its summer statistics today, it has emerged that the charity’s second busiest coastal lifeboat station was Ramsgate.

Aside from the ever-busy stations on the River Thames in London at Tower and Chiswick (with 160 and 73 launches respectively), Ramsgate’s 49 launches made it the second busiest lifeboat station in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, after Southend-on-Sea. More

A new and novel idea Boris and friends, I think not! This site or close to it on the North Kent Marshes was suggested, in 1947, and again in 1963 and 1974 then in 2003 every time it was rejected. More

Following stories published in the Sunday Times and London Evening Standard about architect Lord Foster’s plans to build the world’s biggest airport on the Isle of Grain, in Kent, please see a statement below from Cllr Rodney Chambers – the Leader of Medway Council. More

The village of Cliffe is situated on the Hoo Peninsula and overlooks the Thames Estuary. Early records suggest that Cliffe would have originally been known as Cloveshoo (Cliffe-at-Hoo). More

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