Home Farm in Hayes End sold for £6.35m to the Church of England (CoE)’s investment arm in September 2016, Friends of Hayes End has learned.
The organisation, better known as the Church Commissioners for England, has acquired all five Lots that were originally listed for sale back in July 2015, according to The Land Registry.
Lots (two through five), incidentally, contain the majority of the area’s Green Belt land, and are outlined below.
This means the organisation now own the Home Farm buildings, along with the fields lining Mellow Land East and Charville Lane, including the ones that surround the Heinz site.
In a statement to Friends of Hayes End, a spokesperson for the Church Commissioners said the purchase marks a continuation of the organisation’s long history of rural investments.
“The Church Commissioners have an extensive rural land portfolio, and Home Farm was purchased to become part of that. We are long-standing rural landlords and this is a long-term investment for us,” the spokesperson said.
Lot 1 (outlined in green on the map above) neighbours Paddocks Farm, and contains the 48 acres of green space that surround the Hayes Park Business Centre (AKA Heinz), as well as a couple of out buildings and Hayes Park Cottage.
As stated in the original sales brochure for the site, whoever acquires that Lot must provide “estate services” to the business centre, and assist with the upkeep of the land surrounding it.
Who are the Church Commissioners?
News of Home Farm’s sale first came to light in March 2016, when the estate agents overseeing the purchase confirmed an offer to acquire the site had been accepted.
Until now little has been known about who acquired it and what their plans for the land might be. While Friends of Hayes End has requested further details from The Church Commissioners about its long-term plans for the site, no details were forthcoming at the time of writing.
What we do know is the organisation has a wide and varied investment portfolio, which it draws on to generate income for the CofE. Its property and land investments make up a sizeable portion of its asset base.
The organisation’s 2015 annual report states rural properties, like Home Farm, make up around 9% of its total investment portfolio, which it strives to derive value from in several ways.
According to the report, these include: “Working with farmer tenants to maximise the capital and rental value of the holdings, exploring value-adding opportunities, and completing a number of selected sales across the portfolio.” .
It is worth noting, however, the organisation has been embroiled in a multi-year battle with the residents of Chidswell in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, who are desperate to stop the local council pressing ahead with plans to build 1,500 homes on a piece of Green Belt Land owned by the Commissioners.
There is no suggestion at this stage the Church Commissioners have similar plans in mind for the Green Belt contained within the Home Farm site.
However, until we get further confirmation of their plans for the site, it is fair to say the local community will be keeping an even closer eye on their activities from this point on.
At the time of writing, Hillingdon Council is not known to have received any planning applications pertaining to the site, and the Office of Hayes and Harlington MP John McDonnell are also keeping close tabs on the situation.
What you can do to help
- Fill in our survey, telling us how you use Home Farm/Hayes Park and why you love living near it.
- Tell your neighbours about what’s going on with the site.
- Share our Facebook updates/blog posts far and wide to spread the message.
- Working with us to get local schools, businesses and other community groups involved.
- Keep your eyes peeled for any planning permission notices that go up in the area.
Or, if you want to lend us a hand in some other way, email us: firstname.lastname@example.org