(Agder newspaper) It is Melvin and Bjørn Terje Galdal who have put up Knabenesheia, a beautiful mountain landscape by the Kvifjorden, for sale via Metra real estate brokerage.
Several people have shown an interest in the unique property, but Melvin Galdal does not want to say anything to Agder until the sale is settled. Real estate broker Odd Groth at Metra real estate brokerage recently confirmed that some processes are underway, but that nothing has been decided.
– There is great interest and ongoing dialogues, but no binding agreement has been made, so Knabenesheia is still available in the market, Groth told Agder.
Selling mountain area of 42,000 acres with four hunting cabins and three security cabins
Since the area at Knabenesheia is a large “agricultural property”, permission (concession) from the municipality is required for the purchase. The matter will be on the table of the politicians in the administrative committee in Kvinesdal on 29 September.
The applicant for the concession is the limited company Neseheia AS, which is 100 per cent owned by Skeiegruppen AS, which in turn is owned by Bjarne Skeie and his three children Trym, Stina and Lena.
Bjarne Skeie is originally from Eiken. He has become one of Southern Norway’s richest businessmen through activities in the supplier industry. He has created several thousand jobs. He has also been involved in Eiken Mekaniske and Eikås Sagbruk, and is now involved in a new project related to offshore wind power in Farsund municipality.
Kvinesdal municipality is restrictive in granting licenses to limited companies because it is then difficult to maintain future control of possible changes of ownership. In the application, it appears that Skeiegruppen is willing to accept conditions that Kvinesdal municipality can require new license processing in the event of future changes of ownership in Nesheia AS.
The reason for buying the property as an AS is that the total investment in the property, planning and development of the property with commercial activities and tourism will be over NOK 100 million.
Agder has tried to contact Bjarne Skeie about the matter, but lawyer Sverre Bragdø-Ellenes informs Agder that Skeie has no comment on this.
The property, which is located near the Solhom power plant, may have opportunities for the development of facilities to increase the production of electricity from the waterways. In the application from Skeie, it appears that it is one of the first things to be investigated and applied for. Previous cost estimates made for this show that there are investments of over NOK 70 million.
The other thing Skeie is looking at is opportunities to include parts of the property in power-intensive industry in the form of data storage centers and the like. It is pointed out that Solhom, with the Fjotland substation at Nesjen, is a major hub on the power grid between Duge, Tonstad and Arendal. Kvina Energy Park has had a dialogue with the sellers of the property about possible collaboration and Skeie is prepared to look further into these possibilities.
Skeie further states in the application that it is appropriate to develop the property further for tourism, hunting/fishing and leisure purposes. By developing existing hunting cabins and facilitating group trips with guests from business and abroad, Skeie wants to create more business on the property. Skeie refers to the cabins that the Skeie family has set up on the farm in Hægebostad as an example of the plans that the family has.
Cabins, dogs and agriculture
Parts of the property at Maurholdtjødn on Nesjen are set aside in the municipal plan for cabins/leisure purposes. Skeie wants to look at the possibilities of building holiday homes for sale and the possibilities of establishing rental cabins, or so-called “warm beds”.
A collaboration with Jan Telhaug/ Berkjestolen kennel is also planned for the use of parts of the property for professional dog breeding and dog training.
Skeie also states in the application that the agricultural area outside the conservation area is to be cultivated and improved with facilities to continue agricultural operations.
“Various tax and support schemes for, among other things, power development indicate that ownership and operation must be seen in context and that operation and ownership are combined in one company… We believe that Neseheia AS with Skeiegruppen AS at its back will be a good future owner of Neseheia, both out of consideration for the property’s resources and the local environment. The Skeie family has shown long-term and serious ownership in all businesses the family has invested in, and through family roots and the farm in Hægebostad, has a long and close connection to inner Agder. Now the family, through the Skeie Group, wants to invest more in the property for which a license is being applied for,” reads the summary in the application.
Proposes to say no to concession
The municipal director’s recommendation to the meeting of the administrative committee in Kvinesdal on 29 September is that “Kvinesdal municipality, based on the Licensing Act, shall not grant Neseheia AS a license to buy the property.” The reason for the refusal is that “the acquisition of the property as a whole does not have such special considerations as should be the basis for granting a license to a limited company”.
In his assessment, the director of the municipality points out that the purposes of the Concession Act are to protect and take care of, among other things, agricultural areas, the industry and the settlement.
“The proposed acquisition will result in the ownership of a 38,000-acre property being outside the influence of the authorities. Shares can be traded without the Licensing Act having an impact. The applicant proposes as a condition that Kvinesdal municipality can require new license processing in case of future changes of ownership in Neseheia AS. This seems unconstructive, as the sale of shares does not go via the mapping authority and land registry, such as a change of ownership of real estate between private individuals. The municipality will therefore find it difficult to follow up on the conditions that are proposed. The applicant’s plans for further development of the property can be resolved by dividing specific areas for relevant purposes such as power plant installations, cabin fields and other things without transferring the ownership of the entire property to AS”, the municipal director asserts.
The area is located in a beautiful mountain terrain from 600 to 1000 meters above sea level with associated hunting rights. There is a road right into the area via the road that Sira-Kvina has from Risnes to Nesjen and on to Kvifjorden, which forms the power storage for Solhom Kraftverk. It comes with four hunting cabins and three security cabins. The area is just south of the tourist cabin Kvinen and west of Lakkenstova. This means that the property is located in the very north of Kvinesdal and borders both Sirdal and Bygland.
The property has hunting rights for big game, birds and fishing rights. In the 2021 season, 326 grouse were caught and registered in a period of about three weeks. The property also has hunting quotas for deer, moose and reindeer.
The four hunting cabins are approx. 62 square meters with installed water and electricity. All the cabins contain three bedrooms and were built by Nesjen in the mid-1990s. In addition, three safety cabins have been built inside the area with four beds, a wood stove and a gas cooker. The security cabins were also built in the mid-1990s.
At the southern end of Kvifjorden, Sira-Kvina has built a boat house and boat slip. The property being sold disposes of one of a total of ten sections in the boat house.
About 80 percent of the property lies within the protected areas in the Setesdalsheiene.