NEVER mind the credit crunch, or falling house prices, the value of land has risen to a new high in North Devon. An acre of sloping pastureland with an old harvester's caravan and store shed just outside Croyde sold at auction on Friday for an incredible

NEVER mind the credit crunch, or falling house prices, the value of land has risen to a new high in North Devon.An acre of sloping pastureland with an old harvester's caravan and store shed just outside Croyde sold at auction on Friday for an incredible £247,000.The buyers, from Hertfordshire, won't even be able to replace the old green caravan with a log cabin or static home from which to enjoy the sea views.Planners have stipulated that the 18ft caravan can only be replaced by a van of the same size.Auctioneer Andrew Levick, of Stags in Barnstaple, said the auction outcome was "a quite amazing result."He told the Gazette: "In all probability, this is the most expensive acre of agricultural land to be sold in North Devon."Although supported by the value of the existing caravan, which is for holiday occupation only, there is very little hope of any development potential."It just proves the popularity of Croyde Bay and how the village has developed over the years."The well attended auction was held in Church Rooms, Barnstaple, on Friday afternoon and featured spirited bidding until the land - on the market for the first time in 35 years - was knocked down for £247,000.Mr Levick said land prices in North Devon had crept upwards, while house prices were falling, and had now reached a rough average of £5,000 an acre."It was the combination of factors which gave this land its value," he said. It overlooks Croyde Bay and had the caravan."The timber caravan on a steel chassis, was converted some years ago into a cosy caravan with metered water.The vendors had used it for many years for holidays.