Latest Public Consultation for Bramshill House, Hampshire

Introduction

The proposed redevelopment of Bramshill Park offers a once in a century opportunity to enhance the parkland and setting of the mansion, whilst providing a viable use for Bramshill House.

The Grade I listed Jacobean Bramshill House and the Grade I listed Registered Bramshill Park, within which it is located, are both outstanding and of national significance.  The park, garden and listed boundary walls are on the Heritage at Risk register and are in need of maintenance.

We recognise this site has been the subject of numerous proposals and planning applications as we strive to create a viable long-term future for the site.  This is an iterative process and we have taken on board feedback from previous stakeholder engagement, planning applications and pre-application advice from the local authority and other statutory bodies as we refine the scheme.  Today, we are setting out a new vision for Bramshill; a vision that is sustainable long term.

At City & Country, we take the views of the local community seriously and as such, we are carrying out a period of public consultation prior to submitting a planning application to Hart District Council.

As we ease out of social distancing guidelines imposed by the pandemic, we are undertaking this latest consultation digitally to ensure maximum levels of participation in a safe way.  Hard copies of material can be made available for those who need it.


 

The vision for Bramshill

City & Country’s latest vision for Bramshill focuses on four key aims:

1. Mansion

To carry out extensive restoration works, costing millions of pounds, to Bramshill House to ensure its unique and sensitive historic fabric is preserved for many more generations, and to enhance its setting, surrounding buildings and historic structures to support a wedding and film venue, which will allow greater public access to the mansion and grounds.

Cope wedding at Bramshill, early 20th Century
Mansion and Mansion Drive today

2. Landscape

To repair many lost and largely hidden 17th and 18th century elements of landscape to allow these wonderful and rare landscape features to be enjoyed and understood again. These include Reading Avenue, lime avenues, chestnut avenues, a hollow way, a maze, a Ferme ornee (otherwise known as an ornamental farm) and circular walks, as well as allowing better views of Bramshill House and the lake.  This will also include extensive ecology enhancements including the creation of a nature reserve and a SANG. The grounds would be open to the public during Heritage Open weekends.

1699 map showing Mansion, lake and avenues
Lake, Mansion in distance and police college development

3. Development

To demolish a number of environmentally unsustainable, harmful and generally poor quality buildings and add carefully considered new dwellings that work within the heritage landscape, take inspiration from local architecture and materials, and reduce carbon emissions by a minimum of 30% over the current Building Regulations for new dwellings, in order to create an attractive place of high-quality design.  Development will provide seed funding for the use and restoration of the mansion, and enable the viable restoration of key elements of the 17th and 18th century landscape lost over the centuries, including repairing damage caused by the police college expansion in the 20th Century.

Sketch perspective showing scale and vernacular influence to take inspiration from local architecture. *Indicative image and not the final proposal.

4. Viability

To provide a viable proposition for the site, by providing a significant investment in repairs to Bramshill House and the creation of a permanent wedding/events and film use and carefully considered new dwellings that work sensitively with the existing heritage assets, thus creating a sustainable long term future for the site that builds on its inherent qualities and history.

Drone photo with the Mansion on the right and police college development beyond

 


Our team

This is a complex and challenging site and we have appointed a highly-skilled consultant team to work alongside us in creating proposals.

Summary of recent history

The concept of Bramshill House being returned to a single dwelling, or for commercial use in the form of offices, was approved by the Planning Inspector in 2019 at Public Inquiry.  The Planning Inspectorate also provided useful feedback on the rest of the site during this Inquiry, stating that the reuse of brownfield land was positive, along with the removal of modern police buildings and hardstanding.  The reinstatement of Reading Avenue was also seen as a key landscape and heritage benefit.

At the start of 2020 we consulted on a scheme to create approximately 230 traditional family homes and a residential care village on the site.  This scheme did not go before the local planning committee for consideration.  At the time, Bramshill House and Gardens were excluded from this consultation as they, along with 92 acres of historic gardens and various outbuildings, were being marketed for sale.

Following a further period of review, City & Country is bringing forward a revised set of proposals for the site.  Advice from the local authority and other statutory bodies over the last nine months has informed the latest proposals, which we are presenting to you today.

Image of the scheme which was submitted to the Planning Inspector at Inquiry
Image of the scheme which was submitted, then withdrawn, in 2020, including a residential care village on the site

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The latest proposals

We are proposing that Bramshill House and Gardens are repurposed to become a wedding venue and filming location.

The UK weddings industry is worth approximately £14 billion per year and, according to industry experts, the exceptional grandeur and impressive state rooms at Bramshill House would make a very attractive wedding venue.

Bramshill House would be an ‘exclusive use’ wedding venue; hired by a couple for a wedding or partnership ceremony with overnight accommodation within the Mansion house for guests.  Additional guest accommodation and ancillary services could be provided in the stable block and other outbuildings.

In conjunction with the wedding provision, Bramshill House and other ancillary buildings in the grounds have been successfully utilised in recent years as a temporary filming venue, ensuring the buildings remain in a positive use and providing creative employment. We now wish to formalise this arrangement and capitalise on the current interest in the site as a filming location by repurposing existing buildings for a permanent filming use.

We are also proposing circa 200 new homes, which comprise a mix of traditional family dwellings and apartments.  These will be provided on previously developed land, following the demolition and clearance of some more-modern existing buildings on site.

Together, these income-generating schemes will safeguard the future of the Grade I listed Bramshill House, Gardens and Park by providing significant cross subsidy to cover the extensive repairs required to the House and other structures.

The masterplan

Image of the proposed latest masterplan

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Creating a Cohesive Scheme

We see the complementary nature of the proposed uses for the mansion and surrounding buildings as a strength of the new planning proposals. Weddings and events tend to book 12-18 months in advance and are typically held over weekends, whereas filming enquiries tend to be shorter notice and operate on a more standard working week. We are therefore confident that the core exclusive wedding use and event business can operate from the site alongside the filming use without conflict.

This land use diagram shows how these elements are brought together, along with the proposed residential development, to create one cohesive scheme.

Land use diagram

Public consultation period now closed

The public consultation period has now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted feedback. A Statement of Community Involvement will be prepared in order to inform a planning application.