Derbyshire farm could be converted into new boutique hotel and sheep dairy

Plans have been submitted to transform a historic farm in Derbyshire into a new hotel, restaurant and sheep dairy, to be debated by councillors over the next few months.

John Bailey and Heather Benbow have put in a proposal to convert Wakebridge Farm near Crich and its surrounding derelict farm buildings and former pig sties into a new hotel and eatery, to bring a ‘field to plate’ ethos to the area.

If given the go ahead, the main Grade-II listed farmhouse building on the site would be restored and given new life as a hotel, while the prefabricated farm buildings would house the sheep dairy and creamery.

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Meanwhile, the former pig sties would be restored and repaved with cobbles to provide an outdoor seating area.

Two timber cabins would also be built on the site, to cater for dairy workers. The application states that ‘the farm is extremely well situated in terms of catering for tourism demand in the area’.

The official application stated that ‘the redevelopment proposals offer the opportunity to restore the buildings, reinstate lost features, better reveal and celebrate their historic significance.’

The business would make artisan cheese, including from sheep’s milk, and would offer opportunities to the public, particularly children and people from non-rural backgrounds, to get involved and observe how products are made.

It also aims to provide agricultural and veterinary employment and training opportunities.

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