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Work begins on Cotswolds farming centre

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Work has started on a farming education and enterprise centre designed by Timothy Tasker Architects (TTA) in the Cotswolds

Cheltenham firm Nesbitt Restorations got the project under way last month at Honeydale Farm near Chipping Norton, which is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The London practice, founded by former WilkinsonEyre architect Timothy Tasker in 2016, got the go-ahead for the project from West Oxfordshire District Council earlier this year.

TTA will create a centre for demonstrating and promoting methods of diverse and sustainable farming comprising four farm buildings plus two homes.

One farm building will feature an innovation space with a free-standing fireplace and information wall and a cookery teaching kitchen with space for up to 15 workstations. A hall within this building could hold events for up to 500 people, according to the design and access statement. 

Another will accommodate businesses including a micro-dairy and a honey processing unit. 

Two family homes will be repositioned to the south-west of the farmyard, giving more privacy and better enabling the working of the farm.

Sustainability measures throughout the scheme include using sheep’s wool to insulate deep cavities and re-using rainwater within the buildings.

Solar panels will provide electricity to run much of the farming equipment, while heating will be provided by renewable sources including air source heat pumps. Zinc is used for roof cladding and local Cotswold stone for walls.

TTA said it drew inspiration from medieval farm buildings, clustering the four farm structures around a courtyard.

‘The design of the roofs is configured to break up the volume and ensure that, no matter where you are in the valley, the centre appears in harmony with its surroundings,’ added the practice.

Tasker said: ‘We were acutely aware of our need to be sympathetic to the local environment. Working with the sun and the rain, introducing natural patterns and using local materials – these have all helped to make the centre feel an integral part of the land.’

Project data

Start on site date September 2018
Phase 1 October 2019; phase 2 October 2020
Honeydale Farm, Shipton Under Wychwood, Oxfordshire
Type of project Agricultural, commercial, residential
Gross internal floor area Commercial 583m2 / Residential 200m2
Form of contract Construction management
Client Cotswold Seeds
Architect Timothy Tasker Architects
Landscape architect Timothy Tasker Architects
Planning consultant Timothy Tasker Architects
Structural engineer O’Brien & Price
M&E consultant Project Design Services
Main contractor Nesbitt Restorations
Funding Private
Tender date June 2018

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Readers' comments (1)

  • 'Two family homes will be repositioned' - no explanation, or even site plan, and it would be instructive to know why.

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