In early May, West Dorset District Council granted Reserved Matters permission and pre Commencement Conditions for Silverlake Village 1. This was a significant milestone in Landmark’s client Habitat First Group’s strategy to develop a holiday resort and nature reserve at Warmwell Quarry near Dorchester. The hybrid planning application comprised an outline application for development, supported by a Landscape Masterplan and Design Framework for the overall development, and a full detailed application for 31 holiday units.
The Landmark Practice has worked alongside Willmore Iles Architects to design the landscape framework to create an overall sense of unity and
cohesiveness with opportunities for visitors to enjoy nature, open space, landscape and recreation.
The design approach not only reflects the character of the West Dorset landscape. It also pays careful attention to Silverlake’s proximity to sites designated for their nature conservation interest, including the Dorset Heathlands Special Protection Area (SPA). The development will therefore include dedicated areas of Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANGs), as well as extensive landscape and woodland planting, informal nature conservation areas, bird watching hides, and facilities for informal and formal recreation.
Landmark’s Landscape Masterplan and Design Framework together detail the design approach, outline the
development framework, and define the design treatment for each character area via a suite of overriding site principles. Silverlake carries forward the ethos of Habitat First Group, which is to create sustainable holiday home communities within ecologically rich environments. The Group has developed the Lower Mill Estate in the Cotswolds Water Park on the same principle over the past two decades and purchased the Warmwell sand and gravel quarry in 2012 as an active extraction site. Quarrying activities at the site, which was formerly a World War 2 air base, will cease 2016. The Silverlake community will eventually provide up to 1,000 holiday chalets and lodges including “island” homes, numerous beaches, a hotel and country club and spa, set within large areas of the 560 acre site managed for long term nature conservation benefit. Village 1, now known as Beaumont Village, formalised the first steps in implementing the scheme and includes a spa, recreational play area, sales centre, car parking, entrance gates, access road, landscape works and a permissive footpath. For more information see: