Plantation and Paddock

The Plantation and the Paddock are two sites on either side of Dartington Lane on the edge of Totnes in Devon. They lie just outside the gates of the Dartington Estate and are owned by the Estate. The Plantation was previously developed as a commercial nursery. The Paddock has never been built on, and more than half its area, adjacent to the River Dart, lies in a flood zone. The sites are bordered by twentieth century housing developments to either side.

We were initially asked by the Dartington Estate to design a co-housing layout for both sites using our Lightbox House custom-build product, with 46 homes on the plantation site and a further 8 homes on the Paddock site. We created a layout of short terraces of two and three storey homes. Car parking (the county highways authority required two car spaces for every house) was run along the edge of the site enabling a car-free, child-friendly landscape. The whole site was designed as a playable landscape, with specific play areas in addition: the Wilderness in the flood-prone wooded part of the site for older children, and a designated playground for younger ones. Communal facilities included a communal refuse and recycling area, shared garden plots and a toolshed.

Later, in response to an older people's co-living group who called themselves The Elders, we developed a new layout for The Paddock, a cluster of fifteen small terraced cottages laid out around a courtyard. All residents had access also to The Barn, a common house with communal cooking and ding space, a studio for yoga, painting, etc, a communal laundry, and spare bedrooms for visiting friends and family.

Client: The Dartington Estate

Appointment: 2016 - 2018

A view almost unchanged from existing, showing how the mature planting, coupled with new screening will make the development almost invisible from key viewpoints, in this case, from the listed lodge and gates of the Dartington Estate.

A view along Dartington Lane, with the Plantation to right and the Paddock to left.

The entrance to Dartington Lane, showing the Plantation development hidden behind existing trees.

A view of the main Ashburton Road, with the development behind trees to the right.

The entrance to the Plantation site.

The life lived. A playable landscape.