LHC were commissioned by the Dartington Hall Trust to develop a vision for part of their estate including Webbers Yard, Higher Tweed Mill and Sawmills Field. The aim was to create a sustainable and beautiful mixed-use place that meets the social, economic and environmental demands of contemporary living and work, whilst also feeling like a ‘natural’ extension to the commercial heart of the village. Sawmills Field was developed by Cavanna Homes, delivering 63 beautiful homes including bespoke house types designed by LHC especially for this site.
Dartington Hall Trust and Cavanna Homes
Architecture, Urban Design & Masterplanning
Mixed Use, Residential
The overall masterplan was an exemplar of its type – borne out of extensive collaboration and consultation, with sustainability at its heart. It includes new homes at Sawmills Field with much needed affordable housing; the regeneration and redevelopment of the existing employment estate at Webbers Yard; with a further 30 new homes at nearby Higher Tweed Mill; plus green space, bat corridors, new woodland and a community green.
LHC led the pioneering Collaborative Masterplanning Process, which had been adopted by South Hams District Council and developed by CABE, and worked together with the community and a Steering Group to draw up the development brief and masterplan. Taking part in the collaborative planning process over a series of five in-depth workshops, has helped the community influence the facilities, appearance and character of the development.
The new homes built on Sawmills Field by local developer Cavanna Homes, were carefully designed to respond to the architectural and landscape features that are locally distinctive to Dartington and surrounding hamlets. Cavanna’s standard house types were adapted and bespoke designs were introduced. The local vernacular was respected with the use of simple terraces with dormers; long pitched roofs over short runs of 2-3 terraced houses; porches with simple small lean-to roofs; casement windows; slate tiled roofs; rendered walls and random coursed local stonework, with a palette of muted, natural colours.
Landscape design, also by LHC, sought to maintain and build upon the existing landscape character and setting. Communal green space, a species rich wildflower meadow and new birch tree planting will not only help to increase biodiversity, but develop a partial visual screen of the development. Existing hedgerows have been retained and new hedgerows planted with a native mix of tree and shrub species.