Care Village: Largest application ever approved in Dartmoor National Park

Local Authority

South Hams


Applications, Heritage and Conservation
  • Health and Care Facilities
  • Heritage and Conservation
Decoration Decoration

Permission secured for a major redevelopment scheme adjacent to Buckfast Abbey to provide new care facilities

Client Buckfast Abbey
Architect KWL Architects
Author Iestyn John

Project Overview

Acting on behalf of the trustees of Buckfast Abbey, Bell Cornwell’s Devon office has helped secure planning approval for a new care village at Buckfast within Dartmoor National Park. The scheme, the largest ever considered in the National Park, comprises the redevelopment of the former Axminster Carpets’ spinning mill factory and will see the construction of 124 extra care apartments, a 92 bed care home including a specialist dementia care centre, a communal hub and a new community centre together with new retail units and open space.

It is difficult to overstate the sensitivity of the location. In addition to being within the National Park, the land is also adjacent to the historically sensitive Abbey, which contains many different listed buildings and scheduled ancient monuments and also to the River Dart, a key habitat for Greater Horseshoe bats and other protected species.  Addressing these matters, alongside all the other considerations needed to support a planning application, required the team to deploy considerable expertise. We worked in close partnership with both the design team, which included amongst others, specialist care architects KWL, and the senior team at Dartmoor National Park Authority. Bell Cornwell worked on the scheme from inception onwards and were involved in all aspects of the project including the discussions with senior officers and Members, community consultation and the completion and submission of the planning application and environmental impact assessment (EIA) which was needed.

It is expected that delivery of the scheme will begin in the near future. Once completed, the care village will be an exemplar in the provision of high quality care and will make a strong contribution not only to the character of the area but to local communities within the park by providing a large number of new jobs and helping to address the acute need for new care facilities which exists in the area.


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