Working with our long-standing client Netherby Hall Limited, we are delighted to have received planning consent for the regeneration and diversification of Haithwaite Farm near Penton in Cumbria. The scheme, to create an outstanding tourism destination, will bring to life Netherby Hall Limited’s vision to create an attractive destination that meets the growing demand for tourism and leisure in the Borderlands region. We are particularly pleased to have achieved this transformational consent, considered a ‘strategic’ planning application by the newly formed Cumberland Council just five months after the initial submission.
The vision for the regeneration project centres on transforming the redundant and dilapidated farmstead buildings on the 4.35Ha site, into an eco-tourism, cultural and heritage hub. The proposals, for a carefully curated mix of retail, leisure, exhibition, commercial and accommodation facilities, received majority support from Cumberland Council who praised the quality of the long-term sustainable solution proposed for Haithwaite Farm.
The redevelopment will consist of self-catering holiday accommodation in the historic farmhouse and converted barn, a Heritage House will exhibit historic artefacts from the area, and the estate office will be onsite alongside a taphouse bar and restaurant. At the heart of Haithwaite will be the farm shop, café and exhibition hall, hosting large events or weddings. Craft units are to be provided which will help promote rural based crafts such as willow weaving using the locally grown willow. Use of farm grown produce will also extend into the boutique micro-distillery which aims to use specially selected botanicals from the local landscape to flavour the spirit. Haithwaite advocates a field to fork approach and so, produce will be sold onsite in the Taphouse and Farm Shop. The venture hopes to create more than 100 jobs in the local economy, providing a significant economic boost to the area. Vitally, staff accommodation has been included in the proposal to tackle a wider housing shortage issue.
Haithwaite will be a place for everyone to experience and enjoy. Maintaining and enhancing connectivity, the development will see the existing Right of Way joined by other newly created walks and paths connecting other site amenities such as the landscaped parking, wilding area, children’s play park, and toilets. Open to all, Haithwaite farm will attract locals and visitors from near and far. Another, the Wellness Lodge, a spa promoting health and wellbeing, will be open to day visitors and by membership to those who wish to visit more regularly.
A key focus throughout the development of the plans and design of Haithwaite has been creating a ‘green tourism experience’ emphasising the importance of sustainability in the overall vision. As such, the use of biomass, PV solar panels, anaerobic digestion, ground source heating and rainwater harvesting are all aspects of the zero-carbon energy strategy. Furthermore, the development will encourage sustainable travel with EV Charging facilities and a bike park for secure storage and charging for E-bikes too.
With planning now in place, the consultant team comprising of GLM (Architects and Project Managers), Curtins (Structural and Civil Engineers), Hawthorne Boyle (Mechanical and Electrical Engineers) and HarrisonStevens (Landscape Architects) are gearing up to start the development which is expected to commence in Summer 2023, and complete in 2025.