Bore Hill Farm

Redevelopment of a redundant smallholding on the southern edge of Warminster in Wiltshire.

The site consists of a farm house, disused outbuildings and 12 acres of hilly land. Bore Hill Farm is located at the junction of the busy A350 and A36 trunk roads on the southern urban fringes of Warminster, Wiltshire. The farm house was renovated in 2009 having been vacant for several years. The remaining disused buildings and land next to the A36 is being redeveloped in Phase 1 to provide an innovative and integrated biogas plant (Bore Hill Farm Biodigester) and visitors centre. In Phase 2 the disused farm buildings will be redeveloped into a group of zero carbon business units to provide new employment opportunities for the local area using heat and power from the biogas plant.

Planning consent was first granted in July 2010. A summary of the proposals is given below.

Waste Diversion & Green Energy Proposal

Using its' experienced sister company Malaby Martin as the main contractor, Malaby Biogas is installing the Bore Hill Farm Biodigester. Using UK designed anaerobic digestion (AD) technology and a combined heat and power (CHP) plant it will process waste diverted from landfills to provide renewable energy to the farmstead redevelopment as well as exporting the excess power to the local electricity network. The plant will generate enough renewable electricity for the equivalent of approximately 1,000 houses. The biogas plant will be sited on the land closest to the A36 to ensure minimal visual impact to the residential neighbourhood to the north. There will be minimal noise or odour effects on neighbours and its surroundings. It is being established as an exemplar project to operate in conjunction with the redevelopment of the redundant farm buildings to use all the energy generated as efficienly as possible.

Farmstead Redevelopment

In phase 2 the traditional farmstead layout will be retained and redeveloped to provide modern, sustainable business units powered and heated by the CHP plant. Drawing on Malaby Martin's previous experience in redevelopment of rural sites will allow it to retain the original character of the complex - a central courtyard surrounded by farm style buildings but fitted out to modern energy efficiency standards. This will provide new employment opportunities to Warminster and, by using, the existing excellent road connections there will be almost no additional traffic through the town centre. The exemplary nature of the redevelopment will rest on the efficient use of energy, the integration of different uses on one site and the educational potential of the visitors centre in promoting sustainable waste management & renewable power to the public, the local community, business partners and industrial and educational research bodies.

Design through Consultation

Malaby Martin's track record in collaborating with  stakeholders such as officials, neighbours and project professionals at the early stages was recognised in previous schemes such as the nearby redevelopment of West Farm Barns at Knook. Engaging in similar close consultation has ensured that an acceptable and cohesive scheme was planned and delivered at Bore Hill Farm. Balancing diverse opinions, technical requirements and economic demands while maintaining an overarching vision requires consideration and commitment. The comprehensive consultation process during 2009 and 2010 has provided a greater insight into the demands that are placed upon the scheme. The input received during consultation led to significant changes in the design to provide reduced impact on the neighbours and significant ecologcical improvement to the poor habitat quality on the site.  

Education and Community Benefit

The consultation process proved that a great deal of time had to be spent educating various groups about the importance of sustainability, renewable energy generation and anaerobic digestion in particular. This provided the opportunity to create a fully integrated educational resource on site which would benefit industry and the local community through collaborative work with schools and broader professional development. The visitors centre will be a truly unique resource on the door step and has already been of interest to local schools and groups who have visited during the construction period. By providing a visitor centre on site and an integrated viewing space in the biogas plant, interested parties will visit Warminster to learn about this renewable project in the wider context of waste management, sustainability, energy security and global warming. Additionally, providing such an innovative facility will assist in the economic growth of Warminster by attracting visitors from further afield.