Plans to expand River Cottage HQ in Axminster

PUBLISHED: 12:59 26 June 2017 | UPDATED: 09:14 05 July 2017

The designs will be determined by district planners at a later date.

The designs will be determined by district planners at a later date.

Archant

The proposals include a 16-room guesthouse and cookery school.

An artist's impression of the new development's farmyard garden.An artist's impression of the new development's farmyard garden.

Plans have been submitted for a 16-room guesthouse and cookery school close to Axminster’s River Cottage headquarters.

The project has been created to provide additional event space, cookery facilities and help secure the ‘long-term viability’ of the business.

The new development, if approved, will also create new jobs in the residential and event departments of River Farm.

According to the application, the cookery school will act as a ‘living room’ for the wider farm location, while the guesthouse design mirrors an existing two-storey farmhouse which makes up part of River Cottage’s current HQ.

The proposed guesthouse will accommodate people who undertake courses at River Cottage – which with other events attract 12,352 visitors annually.

Satellite Architects, who have designed the development, say the proposed buildings take their influence from ‘contemporary, light, framed agricultural structures’ to set them apart against the ‘solid historic stone buildings’.

They added: “Within the new yard, there will be a sheltered and relatively unshaded kitchen garden which will be maintained by the River Cottage team.

“On the far side of the yard allows for informal teaching, cooking and outdoor eating.”

The new development, which will be opposite the current River Cottage HQ, will link with its counterpart through an all-seasons footpath.

The path is intended to keep the space ‘wild and meadow-like’, according to the architects.

The application’s fate will be decided by East Devon District Council planners at a later date.

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