Today’s Impney Estate constitutes the remains of John Corbett’s estate, which includes substantial brownfield land, gardens, parkland and farmland. It comprises approximately 140 acres, sits in Green Belt and includes a Grade II* principal heritage asset and other associated listed features. Several businesses continue to operate from the estate, as well as there being several residential dwellings.
Our vision is to see the restoration, enhancement and rebirth of: Impney Hall, its parkland setting and the wider Impney Estate. Our mission is to realise a sustainable future for the estate as a whole.
Our planning application for the Impney Estate involves the regeneration of the estate through, amongst other things, the:
- Retention of Impney Hall as a hotel and restaurant.
- Demolition of obsolete buildings, including the removal of unsympathetic extensions to Impney Hall itself and buildings within the Hall’s immediate setting.
- Restoration of the external elevations of Impney Hall where extensions are removed.
- Reinstatement of Impney Hall’s setting through the creation of historically informed parkland where buildings and carparking are permanently removed.
- Reinstatement of South Drive as Impney Hall’s principal entrance as was historically the case.
- Replacement of large conference and exhibition facilities with a planned estate village (Little Impney) of 127 dwellings and 4 new commercial premises, comprising less built volume than the existing buildings on site and repositioning this redevelopment in what would have historically been the working area of the estate and outside the historic parkland.
- Retention of existing businesses and their associated premises on site. Existing businesses include: financial services, retail and healthcare supplies, automotive services and sales. An existing storage business will not continue to operate from the estate as part of the proposals.
- Retention of Middle Drive as the principal entrance for the wider estate, including existing businesses and the new estate village, Little Impney.
- Introduction of new pedestrian/cycle routes along South Drive to allow for greater access and appreciation of Impney Hall and its picturesque parkland as well as improving transport links and encouraging sustainable travel.
- Delivery of 42% biodiversity net gain for habitat areas and 990% biodiversity net gain for hedgerows as well as significantly improving the value Impney Estate provides to bats and other protected species.
- Retention of all high quality trees and trees associated with the original parkland assemblage as well as the beneficial removal of hard surfacing within many tree root protection areas and conversion to soft landscaping.
- Financial contributions to local services affected by the redevelopment as prescribed by Wychavon District Council.
- Delivery of a highly sustainable community through the enhancement of existing and creation of new sustainable transport links alongside a comprehensive transport strategy.
- Improved surface water drainage of the Impney Estate and thereby a reduction in the surface water runoff on the downstream catchment compared to the current situation.
- Improved artificial lighting to enhance and not detract from the heritage of the site and reduce the existing impact on ecology and neighbours.
- Pedestrian routes will provide leisure walks around Little Impney, such as a circular walk, as well as connections to the John Corbett Way bridleway and access onto Middle and South Drive.
- Provision of amenity and semi-natural greenspace, play space, civic space and allotments all exceed Wychavon District Council policy.
- Achieves a total reduction in CO2 emissions of 32.5% on delivery, exceeding the proposed uplift to comply with ADL2021 (interim regulations for the Future Homes Standard 2025).
- Details of our full planning application and listed building consent application can be found on the Wychavon Planning portal, respective links below:
Our objective has been to prioritise Impney Hall and its setting, taking it a step closer to John Corbett’s original creation, whilst redeveloping the existing built volume within the site to create a revitalised estate - a beautiful place where people will aspire to live and work - a place that will attract long-term investment and foster a sense of community.
The historic routes across the estate will be improved and enhanced, such as the introduction of a new pedestrian and cycle route along South Drive, enabling people to enjoy views of the historic parkland and experience the original arrival route to Impney Hall.
The continued use of Impney Hall as a hotel and restaurant, but with a model of boutique hospitality operation concentrated within the original footprint of the building, rather than the previous model of a large events venue, along with the sense of arrival to the Hall, will better align customer experience with expectation.
While Little Impney will have its own identity, range of homes, mixed uses and open spaces to meet the needs of its residents, it will also retain a strong relationship with the wider Impney Estate.
The created historically informed parkland that has previously been lost will be used to connect Little Impney and Impney Hall.
Little Impney mirrors lost historic features of the Impney Estate. The historic pattern of the land will be reflected in the new streets and homes, drawing on inspiration from the historic walled garden of fruit trees which once existed, as well as the sloping arable fields and hedgerows.
Little Impney places key ecological and historic features of the estate as focal points within the redevelopment, allowing them space and visibility they currently do not enjoy, such as the remarkable line of Wellingtonias, the chimney and the original house’s stable block.
Residents will be able to enjoy the surrounding magnificent parkland, river setting, deer park, avenues of trees, play areas, fruit and vegetable growing, fields and hedgerows.
With pedestrian and cycle routes linking Little Impney to the wider community of Droitwich Spa, the beautiful parkland setting of Impney Hall will be visible along these routes for more to enjoy.
Each house is designed to meet the National Housing Design Standards and include, amongst other things, the following features:
- Home-working spaces have been incorporated with an aspect in every home, that can either be used as a working-from home space or as storage space.
- Most houses have gabled roofs and attics which will provide additional storage to the national standard requirement.
- Each house has two on-plot car parking and cycle parking spaces.
- A fabric first approach has been taken to work with the strategy of an electric only supply.
- The use of low or zero carbon technology will include the installation of air source heat pumps in the properties.
- Water butts for rain water storage for garden reuse.
We have spent many months drafting our planning application for the Impney Estate with the support of our experienced project team.
We really appreciated receiving your thoughts about our proposed masterplan.
During our pre-application discussions with Wychavon District Council we undertook a variety of consultation activities, before making our full planning application. We wanted everyone who has an interest in Impney Estate to feel part of the process and have the opportunity for their views to be heard and considered.
In August 2021 we carried out public consultation, pre-planning application submission and as part of this public consultation process, provided opportunities for interested parties to attend a consultation visit to Impney Estate. Out of the 163 feedback forms received following the public consultation, there was not a single outright objection to the proposed masterplan. A copy of the public consultation report is attached and provides more details as to how the public consultation was conducted, the feedback received and how this feedback has informed our proposals.
In 2021, we set out our estate masterplan which was referenced throughout our pre-application consultations. It received such positive support from stakeholders, all of the masterplan concepts have been incorporated into the final planning application submission for Impney Estate, whilst including additional benefits. Take a look at our masterplan strategy below:
We realise the most sustainable future hospitality model for Impney Hall is one that plays to its strengths – its unique architectural grandeur. A boutique product concentrated within the footprint of the original house would align customer expectation with experience.
To demolish much of the development attached to Impney Hall and within its immediate vicinity would move the hall a step closer to John Corbett’s original creation and give the core architectural form, space to breath in its intended landscape.
Demolition of obsolete buildings, restoration of parkland setting and the hall’s external fabric (where demolition has occurred) are pre-requisites for remodelling Impney Hall’s large events model into a boutique hospitality operation.
We further recognise the undeniable advantage to redeveloping the previous development into something more sustainable and complimentary to the wider Impney Estate. The existing sterile commercial landscape is not complimentary to the principal heritage asset nor its parkland setting. Redevelopment could replace existing built form with smaller buildings of a more sympathetic architectural style.
The proposed masterplan offers an opportunity for transformational enhancement of Impney Hall that would not be undertaken without a wider commercially driven redevelopment of previous development.
Our proposed masterplan would revitalise Impney Estate. It would: replace obsolete and dilapidated built form with: a new mixed-use redevelopment, alongside existing employment uses, sympathetically repositioned further away from Impney Hall and create a small residential community – a place in which Impney Hall and its setting could be uniquely appreciated. The scale, massing, positioning and appearance of the redevelopment would maintain a subordinate relationship with Impney Hall and its setting.
As part of the 2021 estate masterplan proposals for the redevelopment, we undertook to:
Enhance the current public right of way – the John Corbett Way
Generate significant increases in biodiversity introducing new horticulture and green landscaping as well as restoring original parkland previously lost
Ensure the level of urbanised human activity would be less than the extant use and therefore have less impact in terms of activity than the current use
Reflect the historic form of the walled garden
Sensitively position the redevelopment to work with the site’s topography - in the lowest elevation and most enclosed area of the estate. In fact, this could result in a reduction of overall inward-looking visibility of development from what exists today
The key principles of redevelopment within the Impney Estate are:
As custodians of the Impney Estate, we at Greyfort Group are committed to ensuring the preservation and enhancement of one of Worcestershire’s most iconic buildings, as well as addressing one of Droitwich’s largest brownfield regeneration opportunities.
The Impney Estate was historically part of the Manor of Impney and can be dated back to as early as the thirteenth century. In the 1870s John Corbett, a local industrialist, purchased the land and created an iconic estate consisting of a new mansion; Impney Hall, designed in the French Louis XIII revival style, with ornamental gardens and a landscaped parkland setting. The land to the east of the main house performed a more functional role, including walled gardens and farmland.
Impney Hall began trading as a hotel in the 1920s, following John Corbett’s death in 1901. After WWII, during which the estate had been requisitioned by the government, Impney Hall was reopened under the name of the Chateau Impney Hotel.
Over the following decades there was substantial development, expanding the hotel and wider estate campus, as it evolved into a venue for predominantly large events. The modern additions, built during the latter half of the 20th century, included: vast exhibition and conferencing facilities, accommodation blocks, residential properties and workshops. Unfortunately, many of the facilities constructed were poorly designed and resulted in the loss of many historic features, such as an iconic porte-cochere on the main house, a walled garden and some of the landscaped parkland. Sadly, the estate suffered from chronic underinvestment from the late 1990s until it entered receivership in 2009.
Impney Estate was purchased from receivership by us (the Greyfort Group) in 2012.
Through multi-million-pound investment, we made considerable effort to develop the existing estate into a sustainable large events venue, as well as diversifying activities to include commercial (industrial/office/agricultural) and residential rentals. Substantial improvements were achieved, however the estate’s then principal model of a large events’ business proved unsustainable.
• The model could not provide the estate’s required ongoing investment.
• Many customers expected to experience the grandeur of Impney Hall rather than the poorly designed and obsolete functionality of the wider campus and 20th century alterations.
The business fundamentally suffered from the need for wholesale redevelopment of the site. The large events business ceased trading in March 2020, following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic which had accelerated the need to strategically address the structural challenges of the business model. The existing development on site, which is extensive and, in many instances, unsympathetic to Impney Hall, is largely composed of an obsolete and dilapidated campus of buildings. Sensitive redevelopment is vitally important to safeguard the whole estate’s future.
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