The masterplan for the Eco-Leisure Proposal is the result of considerable site and local analysis, consultation, and design development. It creates a sustainable design foundation for all the proposals within the project. The various elements within the masterplan can be described as follows:
Visitors are greeted with glimpsed views through trees to the market yard. The car park is laid out rationally, but is broken down into small ‘pockets’, defined by landscape bunds. This means that visitors will be able to easily park their car, but as opposed to walking over a large area of asphalt, they will move along landscaped routes to the Market Yard at the centre of the scheme.
2) The Market Yard
The Market Yard can be used equally well as an informal gathering space, and for more structured events such as farmers’ markets. The space is enclosed by existing trees to the south and the central buildings to the north and east. These buildings (containing restaurant, farm shop, conference spaces, treatment rooms, swimming pool and community hall) give activity and vibrancy to the market yard and create the public heart of the masterplan.
3) The Holiday Accommodation
This area is laid out to ensure that all visitors can interact with the landscaped gardens, while also benefitting from very high-quality self-catering holiday accommodation. The buildings have been located to sit between an existing raised bund to the south and new raised bunds to the north (all planted with trees) to ensure that all the buildings nestle into the landscape – giving only glimpsed views from the periphery of the site. They also connect, through breaks in those bunds, to the wider parkland/golf course landscape.
4) The Former Driving Range
The existing landscaping of this space creates a strong sense of enclosure. The masterplan proposes that this space performs two functions. Firstly, a market garden providing very local produce for the restaurant and farm shop. Secondly, this area creates a sports/games area, giving a great recreational amenity. This space is adjacent to a landscaped walk/sculpture garden to the south (which would connect to larger walking circuits around the park) and the staff accommodation to the north (which is largely concealed from view by sitting in to an existing hollow in the topography).
5) The Parkland
This large area extends out to the periphery of the park. The proposal works with and supports the existing ‘estate’ landscape character; of open areas with scattered trees. There will be a low key, informal golf-course for visitors to ‘pay and play’ (as opposed to operating as a formal golf club). The golf course, and a walking path network, will form part of a landscape management strategy which will seek to improve the quality of the grassland; maintain and enhance the existing pond wetland; support the peripheral native woodland and create destinations to encourage walking and recreation.