Private island off coast of England seeks green owner

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 May, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 May, 2005, 12:00am

Private islands are hot property again. Man-made islands are selling like hot cakes in the Arabian Gulf, the Bahamian market has jolted back into life, developers are busy in the Caribbean and islands are coming on the market in Europe.

The latest to come up for sale is Green Island off the southern coast of England. This wooded, 18 hectare islet would suit a nature lover: designated a protected Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it is home to red squirrels, roe deer and 96 varieties of bird.

Neighbouring islands, Dorset's Purbeck Hills and Poole Harbour can be seen from its sandstone cliffs and sandy beaches.

Situated in a secluded grove, is a two-bedroom house and there is planning consent to replace a second, single-storey property with a 2,000 sqft dwelling.

There is an open grass landing site for helicopters and a jetty.

Nick Sweeney of sales agent FPDSavills said: 'This is an extraordinary opportunity to acquire one of the very few private islands off the south coast of England. And with the new Bournemouth International Airport nearby, we are expecting considerable interest in this highly unusual property.'

Elsewhere, the agent is marketing islands off the coast of Sardinia and in the Seychelles.

The biggest market is for man-made private islands off the coast of Dubai. The giant Nakheel Corp is creating The World archipelago of 300 artificial islands, each one shaped to resemble a country or region, laid out as a map of the globe, 4km from the emirate's coastline.

The project is proving popular with the super-rich: one third of the private islands had been sold at prices ranging from US$7 million to US$35 million.

With 70 per cent of the reclamation work complete, Nakheel has built a show villa on one completed island.

Nakheel expects investors to develop their islands to reflect the country its shape is based on with some including replica monuments and other landmarks. Owners can use these islands either for private residential or public commercial purposes.

Each island will range in area between 250,000 sqft and 900,000 sqft and there will be about 50 to 100 metres of water between them.

The entire 54 sqkm development will be surrounded by an oval-shaped breakwater, when it is completed by the end of this year.

Access to the development will be by marine transport only.

In the Caribbean, upmarket estate agencies, Sotheby's International Realty and Vladi Private Islands, said developers had been snapping up private islands to build multiple homes and hotels on them.

Estate agents on the 700-island chain of the Bahamas, one of the biggest sources of naturally occurring islands, report a revival in interest.

The market was lean last year, when prices were slashed for some islands.