Wales

Sully island back on market with new £95K price tag

Sully Island
Image caption Sully Island is approachable via a tidal causeway that is exposed for around three hours either side of low tide.

An island yards from the south Wales shore that was for sale of £1.25m has gone back on the market for £95,000.

Sully Island, just off the Vale of Glamorgan coast near Penarth, boasts 14.5 acres (six hectares), including a Viking-era hill fort and a shipwreck.

It was first put up for sale in May 2009 but its seven-figure asking price failed to find a buyer.

It also failed to sell at auction last year with a £150,000 guide price, said Chris Hyde, who is handling the sale.

Chartered surveyor Mr Hyde, an associate at Cardiff estate agents Cooke and Arkwright, said the island was unlikely to gain planning permission for turning the island in to a private residence but something to cater for the site's many visitors might be approved.

He said: "I believe it is priced realistically with a view to finding a buyer. Hopefully we can find someone who wants to buy themselves a rather lovely island."

A former haven for a Norman pirate and Middle Ages smugglers, Sully Island is classified as a site of Special Scientific Interest by the Countryside Council for Wales.

Sited about 400m from the mainland shore, it offers views to the west stretching up the Second Severn Crossing, and to the east people can see the hills of Devon.

Visitors can inspect a Danish Iron Age hill fort and step over the remains of a Victorian-era ship which ran aground.

But the only way to reach the island on foot is via a rocky causeway which is exposed for around three hours either side of low tide.

Image caption The causeway to the island is covered by a powerful tide

For that reason, whoever buys it must also expect some of the island's visitors to be more unexpected than others.

The Coastguard and Maritime Agency said it is alerted to "a lot" of people being cut off by the tide.

Sometimes it is only fishermen who are well prepared to spend several hours alone on the island which offers little shelter.

On other occasions, Swansea-based coastguards have to call out Penarth RNLI inshore rescue lifeboat to rescue unwary - and often ill-equipped - daytrippers who have become stranded.

A spokesman said: "People get stuck on the island when the tide comes in. They can be cut off for a number of hours and the might have inappropriate clothing.

"It's a very fast tide there. If they were to try and cross [the causeway with the tide coming in] they could well drown."

Propeller

The tidal range in that area is the second highest in the world, behind only that of the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia.

The dangers were highlighted again at the weekend when a 28ft cabin cruiser with two adults and two people on board became stuck on the causeway after a rope was apparently caught round its propeller.

The four people on board were rescued by the lifeboat on Sunday and a salvage operation on the vessel was underway on Monday.

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