Richest artist in the world appoints MRJ Rundell & Associates for scheme to build hundreds of landmark eco-homes

Artist Damien Hirst has unveiled plans to build hundreds of landmark eco-homes on the north Devon coast.

Hirst, the richest artist in the world, has appointed London firm MRJ Rundell & Associates for the scheme, at Winsham Farm, near Illfracombe, close to his family home.

Architect Mike Rundell of MRJ Rundell Associates, addressed a meeting to discuss Ilfracombe’s southern extension last week.

The extension plan, which could include up to 1,000 new homes, a primary school, sports facilities, small business units and a medical centre on 32ha of land, is already well advanced but was not known to include Hirst’s involvement until now.

Rundell told the meeting: “I’m a representative of Damien Hirst. He owns 40% of the land we are talking about.

“As you know, he is a very successful artist and has very high ambitions for this project. He has a horror of building anonymous, lifeless buildings. He wants these houses to be the kind of homes he would want to live in.”

Rundell said Hirst wants the development to regenerate Ilfracombe and create a new gateway to the town.

“Damien is a local developer,” he said. “He lives locally, shops locally, owns local businesses and his children go to local schools.

“He cares about Ilfracombe and wants this project to have a positive effect on the town.

“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.

“Ilfracombe will be a pioneer and Damien is incredibly excited about it.”