Plawhatch Farm Dairy
Plawhatch Farm, West Sussex
Plaw Hatch Farm is a 200-acre community-owned farm on the edge of the Ashdown Forest near Sharpthorne. It has been a biodynamic farm for forty years and is owned by a charitable trust. In total they farm close to 500 acres within a 12-mile radius of the main farm. The tenant farmers aim to provide as wide a range of produce as possible, principally to the local community.
The proposal is to construct two small single story extensions to the rear and convert the existing attic storage space into a farm office. The plan form of the new cheesery is generated by the need to maintain rear access to the farm buildings via the track. The low sedum roof is intended not to conflict with the existing pitched roof forms. The new north facing attic dormer which serves the proposed farm office, is a reinterpretation of the existing loft dormer. The internal re-arrangement allows for a dedicated staff toilet within the main shop & dairy building. The creation of the new cheese store and cheese making space allows for additional processing facilities which will enable the dairy to transition from plastic packaging to re-usable glass potting for yogurt. In addition, this allows for the necessary separation between the production of cheese and yoghurt, both of which are made from milk from the farms herd. The space released by the relocation of the cheese store allows for the shop too have a more generous layout, which is presently too compact.
The cheese store needs constant and controllable temperature which necessitates high levels of insulation and materials with high thermal mass. Construction for this element is intended to be Porotherm clay block as the inner leaf of the cavity walls which will assist breathability. The remodelling of the main shop, attic and workshop/store will allow for significant upgrades to the thermal performance of the building fabric.
This project is currently awaiting planning approval.
Design Team: Nic Pople, George Sinclair