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Little Impney, Worcestershire:

A mixed-use village of homes and business space within the grounds of a historic nineteenth century country estate

The ambitious plans to reinvigorate the historic Impney Estate, north of Droitwich Spa, have been drawn up through a comprehensive new Estate masterplan by LDA Design. Within this, Proctor & Matthews Architects have masterplanned and designed the new village of Little Impney, set in the Hall grounds. The planning application has been approved by Wychavon District Council in Worcestershire.

Little Impney is a new mixed-use village of 127 homes and business space to be located within the grounds of the historic nineteenth century country estate of Impney Hall, once the family home of the industrialist John Corbett and designed in the flamboyant Louis XIII style by the French architect Auguste Tronquois and the English architect Richard Phene Spiers. An existing disused yet large Conference centre built in the 1970’s will be demolished as part of a wider strategy by LDA to improve the setting of the original Hall and its potential future use as a boutique hotel.

The village is configured partially on the site of the conference centre and its predecessor - an extensive walled productive garden, demolished in the early twentieth century - and on an open field to the east of the existing bridleway, John Corbett Way. As a result, the village is configured in two contrasting halves: a formal geometric ‘parterre’ of courtyard homes (with green roofs) and public gardens to the west arranged across two distinct terraced levels, and a more relaxed geometry of housing clusters twisted in response to the folding topography of the eastern field. 

Custodians of the Estate, Impney Ltd, are looking to realise a sustainable future for Impney Hall and the wider 140-acre estate which surrounds it. The Estate masterplan, by LDA Design, includes an overall Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment, the restoration of Impney Hall, and the landscaping of the vast naturalistic parkland which ties the scheme together. Impney Hall, at the centre of the Estate, is a magnificent Grade II* heritage building built in 1873 for the saltworks magnate John Corbett - now in need of extensive restoration and improvement in the context of its parkland setting. Impney Hall had operated for some time as a hotel and conference centre, resulting in a number of unsympathetic extensions, many of which are now obsolete. Under the submitted plans, Impney Hall would continue as a boutique hotel and restaurant, with many of the more recent corporate add-ons demolished, and the historic external elevations restored.

The overall Estate masterplan aims to improve access and encourage sustainable travel. John Corbett Way, the public right of way across the Estate, will be enhanced and new pedestrian and cycle routes will connect with Droitwich and the rail station. The masterplan also aims to create new opportunities for recreation, enhance biodiversity and improve degraded landscapes with extensive new sustainable drainage basins and swales, complementing the existing river and ponds of the parkland.

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