New Country Estate

Boksheide – 2017-present

In 2011 a project developer initiated plans for a so-called new country estate in Eersel, which proved unsuccessful. So, in 2017 a private party interested in the site asked P15 to draw up completely new plans for a new country estate here. Such a new country estate can be realised via a planning mechanism which provides building rights in greenbelt areas related to a change of use from agriculture to nature.

The starting point for the new design was an almost level parcel of arable land measuring over 15.5 hectares (38 acres), that is surrounded by woodland on three sides. A situational approach was taken, resulting in an informal, asymmetrical layout devoid of formal axes or lines. The new country estate was designed to form a rich tapestry of green, combine both nature and pasture, be visually attractive, be open to the ramblers and provide privacy for the owners. Any buildings should not stand out and only be approached indirectly.

The integral design was drawn up between 2017 and 2020 in several design sessions with the owners, with special attention paid to the future estate management. The spatial design was made parallel to the design of the buildings by an architect. The new country estate is geared towards providing habitat for a few specific species: Gray Partridge, wild bees, Common Brimstone butterfly, Dunnock and Little Owl. Special interventions for the benefit of biodiversity are a so-called bee-sconce (an earth-covered apiary set at the end of a tapering sunken area planted with blossoming trees), beetle banks, hedgerows, butterfly ribbons, wildflower strips, bee hotels and a hibernation pit for cold-blooded animals. The rest of the new country estate comprised of new woodland (Lime, Hornbeam, Sessile Oak, Aspen and Birch), flower meadows and pasture with shade trees. More than 8 hectares (19.5 acres) have been laid out as new nature. P15 has designed an integrated layout plan for this location and has also written an explanation for the zoning plan, drawn up a planting plan, written a management plan and supervised the implementation.