Rob Kendall of Wealden AM says he is delighted to be awarded the prestigious project, by Hadlow College. “This is a great project to be involved with and we appreciate the confidence that the college have in our company.”
Hadlow is one of Rob’s regular and most important clients, and over the past 25 years he has constructed sheep and cattle housing, fodder storage, equestrian buildings and workshops for the college.

Through Wealden AM, he is offering a complete package to farmers who are looking for a carefully thought out, well-designed agricultural or industrial building.

With his long-term project associate Simon Kenny from Rural Partners continuing to provide the planning and design for new schemes, Wealden AM is able to tackle the whole job, from groundworks through to completion and the electrical fit-out, bringing in competent and well trained contractors to work as a team on the contracts.

“We provide the kind of attention to detail that comes from a relatively small family-owned business and we deliver high quality building projects by working and utilising the skills of specialist contractors and suppliers for each project. Relationships are key to our business, firstly with clients who are our life blood, but also most importantly with the contractors and suppliers we use and work closely with,” said Rob.

The attention to detail starts with the design, which is where Simon Kenny’s expertise comes in. “It’s down to simple things like door sizes, position access and eaves height,” he explained. “If you put the downpipe on the corner of the building it’s only a matter of time before it gets wrecked by a cow or a tractor. If you move it back one bay it’s out of the way.

“Careful design makes life better for the animals, if it is a livestock building, and for the farm workers, who can enjoy a stress-free building that is designed to facilitate a better workflow. Things like including the right squeeze gaps to allow herdsmen to get in and out of pens without having to open and close the gate every time can make a real difference.”

Past projects include a comprehensive high throughput grain store built for SW Attwood & Partners on the Isle of Sheppey. This grain store included the provision of a new cleaner and dryer and 150 tonnes per hour handling equipment, as well as a number of vineyard projects and industrial buildings.

Now Hadlow’s assistant director, estates strategy and commercial development; Dave Hammond has turned to Wealden AM for their next new facility, a cubicle building and straw yard to house his award-winning 120-strong herd of pedigree Holsteins.

“At Hadlow College, Dave Hammond knows that we have been providing quality buildings to Hadlow College over the past quarter of a century and so he has entrusted us with delivering a modern new building to house the herd he is so proud of,” said Rob.

“On the Hadlow project one of the first things we did was to arrange a meeting to plan the contract in detail involving, most importantly, Mike Deakins, Hadlow’s dairy herd manager, about how he wanted the building to look and feel, because he’s the man who will have to live with it day after day. We know that good design is about how the building works on a practical level for Mike and his herd as well as what it looks like.”

The 54m by 29m building will include the latest design in state-of-the-art cubicles as well as LED lighting, with Wealden AM installing the handling facilities and responsible for all the tubular and electrical work, as well as the groundwork and the building itself.

Wealden AM’s first task was to demolish the old building, which had housed the cattle since the late sixties and became very dated over the years. “It was built as a model farm building, but it doesn’t look like it today,” said Simon Kenny. “The new yard and building will be very different, providing a better environment for the cows, and Mike the herdsman and students too will value and benefit from the new resource.”

With demolition now complete, Wealden AM plans to have the project completed and ready for the herd by the end of September.

“We have worked hard to get the detail right and now we will focus on ensuring that the build progresses smoothly,” said Rob. “Because we offer the complete package we make sure we are on site virtually every day, keeping an eye on the small details that make a big difference to the overall quality of the project.

“It’s not just about delivering a building, but making sure it is the best possible building with the best ventilation, the easiest access and the right clearance for machines – all the things that make a building into a very good building and is at the heart of this project.”

Pictured: Mike Deakins, dairy herd manager at Hadlow with Nick Field from Wealden AM.