Artist Damien Hirst Will Build Eco-Friendly Town in British Countryside

Artist Damien Hirst Will Build Eco-Friendly Town in British Countryside

Locals worry that plans for 750 new homes might not be all that sustainable

Ross Brooks
  • 1 august 2014

Damien Hirst is the world’s richest living artist, which might explain why he’s now turning his hand to property development. The British-born artists has plans for 750 eco homes in the North of Devon, England. Complete with wind turbines on the roof, photovoltaic solar panels and state-of-the-art insulation, Hirst wants to try and provide a blueprint for other parts of the country. Even though the development plan is well-meaning, there has already been strong opposition from some locals.

Known as the Southern Extension project, the development includes plans for a school, playgrounds, stores, office buildings, and a health center. While it might sound good on the surface, one of the main concerns is that proposals developers are only set to provide 75 affordable homes.


On top of that, there are worries about how much employment will be available in the village once the development is complete. There are plans for a business park extension, but exactly how many jobs that will provide are unclear. One local told the North Devon Journal: “That’s not sustainable, it’s disgraceful.”

Mike Rundell, an architect involved with the project explains to the Telegraph that Hirst conceived the project with the best interests of the local community in mind:

“He wants these buildings to be landmarks that will stand the test of time and create a blueprint for quality, environmentally sustainable developments across the country.” The architect went on to add, “Damien is a local developer. He lives locally, shops locally, owns local businesses and his children go to local schools.”

Philip Webb, a member of the Ilfracombe Regenration Board, said:

“All the groups that I work with recognise that we need to grow Ilfracombe. 2,500 extra people in the town, that’s considerably more spending power. This will create further jobs in our restaurants and shops, it will create a stronger economy.”

While it might be true that the village needs to grow, trying to do everything is one go doesn’t sound like the most sustainable option. The houses might be eco-friendly, but a more gradual development plan that allows for changes along the way sounds like a better way to put the locals minds’ at ease. Growth is important, but so too is preserving the way of life that sets towns like Ilfracombe apart from the sprawling, unaffordable mass that is London.


Damien Hirst

[h/t] Telegraph, North Devon Journal

Images by Suzanne Gerber and Miranda Wood


PSFK's Workplace Vision: How The Nurturing Of Seeds Will Come To Define The Onboarding Process

Brand Development
Media & Publishing Yesterday

CNN Launched An Entire Drone Division Of Their News Network

CNN AIR incorporates aerial footage into the corporation's ongoing news coverage

Advertising Yesterday

Uber’s Breathalyzer Cards Let You Know If You Are Sober Enough To Drive

A new campaign from the ride-sharing service raises awareness about the importance of a safe trip home


Get PSFK's Latest Report: Future of Work

See All
Design Yesterday

Milk Proteins Could Be The Packaging Material Of The Future

A newly discovered casein-based alternative is biodegradable, sustainable and even edible

Technology Yesterday

Intel’s New System Will Help Technology See And Understand The World

Joule is a tiny board for developers designed to bring powerful computer vision to cheap and easy-to-make prototypes


Nuala O’Connor

Internet Law, Policy, Advocacy

Design Yesterday

This LA Hotel Is Designed Specifically For Cocktail Drinkers

The Walker Inn is a new Los Angeles "Bed and Beverage" experience that offers guests an intimate setting for their night cap

Education Yesterday

Bringing Virtual Reality And Telepresence Robotics To E-Learning

This Learning Management System is embracing new technologies to reallocate teaching resources to where they should be going

Advertising Yesterday

Interactive Art Exhibition For Dogs Provides Endless Fun

Installations created by artist Dominic Wilcox are based on activities loved by canines, such as fetching tennis balls and splashing in water


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

PSFK Op-Ed august 24, 2016

Why Building Better Offices Is The Key To Employee Engagement

Interaction Designer and Audio-visual Technologist at ESI Design illustrates the value in creating environments filled with surprise and delight

PSFK Labs august 24, 2016

PSFK’s Workplace Vision: The Annual Review Becomes An Everyday, Collaborative Activity

Our Future of Work vision is a web-based platform through which teams can collaborate on and monitor performance reviews across all channels, ensuring a happier workplace

Beauty Yesterday

Design Your Own Custom Watch Faces

Customize your wrist device with Garmin's new app that lets you display personalized images or patterns

Syndicated Yesterday

How The Olympics Taught Us Lessons In Cloud Analytics

Dan Vesset, group VP for analytics and information management at IDC, tells how cloud-based business analytics support decision-making

Beauty Yesterday

Retail Expert: What Sustainability Means To The Millennial Generation

Jo Godden, Founder of RubyMoon, discusses how brands can limit their environmental impact worldwide

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Artist Shuts Down Sexist Comments By Turning Them Into Images

Rora Blue explores social stigma in a photo series titled 'Handle With Care'

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Japanese Face Wash Creates A Perfect Rose Every Time

Kanebo's latest addition to the Evita line includes an application that dispenses cleanser in the shape of a flower


Innovation Debrief: Boston
Business Concepts Born In 'The Hub'

Mobile Yesterday

Twitter Bot Will Warn You If You Are A Troll

An online tool developed out of Intel's Hack Harassment movement helps filter out or notify cyber bullies

Retail Yesterday

Passengers Can Now Earn Airline Miles For Sharing Their Location Data

The Frequent Flyer app measures background data and gives travelers points that can be exchanged for tickets with participating airlines

Advertising Yesterday

The NBA Is Releasing Two Original Shows To Stream On Twitter

The sports league announced a deal that demonstrates an interesting expansion of its content strategy

No search results found.