4. (5) Viscount Portman £950m (£1.35bn)
Feb 3 2010 Rich List
The Portman Burtley Estate consists of 2000 acres of farmland and woodland in the Buckinghamshire countryside.
It’s home to an organic herd of 200 pedigree South Devon cattle, and it’s the latest venture by 51 year-old Viscount Portman, complementing his 3,000 acre Herefordshire estate.
Sales of organic beef are made directly by the farm, and early customers include Waitrose and the Hyatt Churchill Hotel.
It’s hardly surprising that a farm shop selling fresh organic produce is planned for the Viscount’s principal property holding – 110 acres of prime London estate north of Oxford Circus.
Viscount Portman is spending £40 million developing the estate, determined to make sure that the London properties maintain their high value, despite the general decline in property prices. The estate may have been in the family for nearly 500 years but the properties have the very latest in facilities including broadband technology and wireless internet.
Viscount Portman’s strategy includes the revamp of Portman Square. The proposals follow an estate-wide review by Dutch architect Jan Gehl and aim to make the busy square pedestrian friendly and more accessible from Oxford Street and Baker Street. The plans are likely to be implemented after the 2012 Olympics.
Christopher Edward Berkeley Portman – the 10th Viscount Portman – comes from a family who have been landlords of the 110-acre Portman estate in central London since the 16th century. It was bought by Sir William Portman in 1532 to graze goats. The Viscount is currently compiling a history of the family and its estates.
The Portman property portfolio, as well as the 3,000 acre estate in Herefordshire, includes a 17,000 acre farm in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia as well as shares in commercial properties in New York and Florida. The family also has homes in Antigua and Sydney.