The diary of the build


31st October, 2011

The doors are now open!

After a roller coaster journey and against all odds we've finally got there, what an achievement! This is just the beginning, the start of a whole new exciting venture at Cross Lanes, do come along and visit us, grow with us and watch us develop. We've got a fantastic friendly team and our green man carved by Steve Holliday heads up the team and is now in place on the east elevation watching over us all. We opened the doors on Thursday 27th October and a huge thank you goes out to everyone who helped us achieve this.


21st October, 2011

Deliveries of food stock are starting to arrive, and we lit the wood fired oven!

What a week, day shifts finish and night shifts start, and the weekend is set for a lot of activity. During the week we had the celebratory lighting of the wood fired oven, the barista machine was installed along with the cafe till, this all making the cafe servery starting to look complete. We have been busy placing orders with suppliers some of which have already started to arrive!


15th October, 2011

The shelves are going up and we are busy ordering stock from suppliers!

All the final touches are being made in preparation for opening. We have just taken delivery of our hand made wooden boxes to display the bread, fruit and vegetables, wicker shopping baskets have arrived and we await the delivery of the Italian counters for the butchery and delicatessen. Looking around the building the contrast between the oak tops and handmade brick work looks fantastic. The solar panels, air source heat pumps and underfloor heating have now been commissioned and the place is as warm as toast! If anyone has noticed there is a gap in the east elevation stone work, it awaits our 'Green Man' that is currently being carved by Steve Holliday, one of Peter's best friends.


26th September, 2011

Retail floors cleared and car park looking vast!

We are clearing the floors as the sub contractors are finishing off in the various areas. The retail space is looking fantastic and we are busy talking to suppliers in readiness for stocking the shelves. Final works are being made to the electrics and plumbing, with lights being hung and sinks being fitted. Dancing diggers, boys and their toys, call it what you like but the contractors seem to have enjoyed themselves laying the car park, its vast, bring in the buses! For the car park we have used local waste standstone which has been rolled, a layer of geotextile fabric, followed by a layer of crushed local waste limestone and then rolled planings (again a waste product, all part of our recycling). A 10,000 litre grey water tank has been installed into the ground to store the rainwater collected off the roofs. This coming week all the kitchen equipment is being installed, we've even brought a few pots and pans onto site!


16th September, 2011


This week saw the recruitment process get well underway, we had many valuable candidates and conducted two full days of interviewing, thank you to all those involved. We have some very difficult decisions to make now.


31st August, 2011

Painting and decorating

We now have plastered and decorated walls!!.... this has transformed the interior making it look bright and airy.  Food preparation areas are now lined with whiterock hygienic cladding and the kitchen canopy has been installed. Our contractors are moving forward well with the plumbing and electrical works, there is a maze of wires and pipe work running through the building! All the doors have been hung apart from those at the entrance, as these could still be susceptible to damage with the daily flow of contractors and equipment in and out of the building. The ground works are ongoing which involves levelling areas, forming roads, paths, car parks and generally tidying the site up. The drainage is nearly complete, with just the linkage to the reed bed to install. The greenhouse heating system is progressing really well with the intricate piping system being laid.

We have had an overwhelming response to our job advert and would like to thank all those who have applied for showing an interest in our new venture. We are currently reviewing all the applications and selecting individuals for interviews, we wish everyone good luck. 


14th August, 2011

Rapidly approaching completion

The new innovative building is going through its final fit out stages. On the outside, the scaffolding has been stripped away allowing the external features of the building to be revealed, with the walls of recycled sand stone fixed with traditional lime based mortar and the living roof of meadow turf and sedum. On the inside of the building there is ongoing work with the services (electrics and plumbing) and this coming week the decorators will start to make good progress. A new electric cable has been installed to increase the supply to the site, this has now been energised and a meter fitted, so we now have power, which means all the generators can be packed away! External works are ongoing tidying up the site and excavation is taking place for a future building. In the greenhouse a network of pipes are being installed for the thermal store system.


23rd July, 2011

Our living roof has been planted

Each day now when you walk around the buidling you can see the changes happening. The framework for the glazed atrium and the glass panels have been fitted on the south facing roof. Joinery work is ongoing making and fitting the internal doors, the external wooden door and window frames have been fitted and there is ongoing work to the internal walls, mechanical and electrical works and balcony wall. The wood fired oven is now complete and looks amazing, the team have had to work against the clock as all the brick work for the oven had to be built up inside, an outlet made through the roof and the chimney completed outside and sealed prior to the living roof installation. Also before the living roof was planted an outlet in the roof had to be made for the kitchen extraction canopy with a roof cowl fitted and the 2 solar panels on the south facing roof had to be fixed in place. The roofing contractors arrived on site this week with all the materials for the living roof, one ton dumby bags of soil substrate, freshly cut meadow turf and sedum. A black membrane was laid on the roof and then two by two the dumby bags of substrate were lifted by a crane, the contents emptied and raked into position. The crane then hoisted the meadow turf and sedum up on to the roof and the planting began, with meadow turf laid on the north facing side and the sedum on the south side and over the roof ridge. A roof irrigation system will enable watering of the roof using water from the harvested grey water. We are really pleased with the green roof, it finishes the building off and looks great against the stonework.


8th July, 2011

Work has started on our wood fired oven

This week there has been an immense amount of progress inside the main building. Once again the team have worked long hours, the straw bale wall insulation is nearing completion, the stud walls are being fitted and where the straw bale walling is complete the plaster boards are being fixed. The work to the handmade brick dwarf wall on the first floor is progressing well and works to the ducting, pipework, drainage and ventilation are ongoing. Oak beams have been fitted at the entrance to the building. The talking point of the week has got to be the wood fired oven, the team have designed the layout and started constructing it, it is really taking shape and will certainly be one of the main features inside the building.


30th June, 2011

The internal works are taking shape

The roof sheets and single ply membrane have been fitted with the living roof of sedum and meadow turf to be installed w/c 18th July. The team have worked long hours polishing the concrete floor on both the ground and first floor, water had to be put on the concrete to allow the machines to work to their maximum potential, 8 grades of polishing have taken place. The stone work on the external walls is now complete and looking fantastic, a stone pillar has been built at the main entrance of the building. The internal works are now really taking shape, inside the building is a hive of activity with a number of different trades working alongside each other. The straw bale wall is being built against the block work to act as natural insulation, the bales are being wired to the ties in the blocks and staked into each other using handmade wooden stakes. The internal stud walls are being laid out so now we can visualise the kitchens, stores, butchery, office and toilets, the stairs have also been installed. The mechanical and electrical works have started. A dwarf balcony wall made from handmade bricks is being constructed on the first floor. 


31st May, 2011

The roof is going on!

During May the under floor heating has been laid and the concrete floor poured and power floated.  The floor slab has then been prepared and expansion joints cut into it. The substructure work is now complete around the site.  The block work is complete on the external walls of the main building, and the stone work about 75% complete. Drainage to the greenhouse has been installed, manholes have been built in on the west and south elevations of the main building.  The septic tank has been placed into the ground and piped in, this will then be linked to the reed bed.  The water has been pumped out of the tanks which are to be used for the grey water storage and all the sludge removed (these tanks used to be used on the previous pig farm as slurry storage).  In preparation for the installation of the roof, safety nets have been fitted and alterations made to the scaffolding.  Unfortunately there has been a 2 week delay with the roof installation, but roofing sheets arrived on site w/c 30th May and are currently being fitted.


6th May, 2011

Under floor heating is being laid

Work is going well on the site, all the steelwork has been erected and the block and stone work for the external walls is nearly complete.  Substructure work is ongoing and drainage works are being carried out around the site. The site clearance is progressing to allow the external works to commence shortly.  Currently the under floor heating is being laid, with the concrete floor due to be laid w/c 9th May.  The roofing contractors will start work on site w/c 16th May.


15th April, 2011

Block work and stone work rapidly going up

The walls are rapidly growing in height as the team are working long hours laying the block and stone work.


31st Mar, 2011

Ongoing substructure, foundation and ground works

Work so far has included substructure work to the main building including all concrete foundations. The auction mart foundations have been excavated and stoned up to foundation level, rebar installed and concrete foundations part complete. Block work and stone work has started on the external walls for the main building and has been installed to DPC and work is ongoing. Groundwork and excavation works around the site are also ongoing.


21st Mar, 2011

The steel work arrived

The structural steelwork arrived on site Monday 21st March. S & A Fabrication Ltd have designed the steel frame for the main building and sub contractors are installing it. Now we are really going to see things moving!


14th Mar, 2011

Work is now well underway

Wharton Construction Ltd from Darlington are the main contractors for the site development, they started working on site week commencing 21st February. Substructure and foundation work is ongoing and the stone spoil material that was already on site has been sieved, crushed and recycled to be used in the base for the main building. We have tidied up the perimeter hedge of the site using a traditional method of hedge laying, this has been done by a local skilled hedge layer Philip White, the hedge will soon regenerate enabling wildlife to thrive. Off site we have started talking to and meeting suppliers of organic produce and we are continually developing the plans for the interior of the main building and overall site.



Opening hours

Mon - Sat 8.30am to 5pm

Sun 10am - 5pm

Bank Hols 9am to 5pm

(Jan to Easter 4.30pm close)

Tel: 01833 630619


Tickets now on sale for:


Bonfire Night Sun 5th Nov 17


Christmas Market Night with Wine Tasting & Canapes Fri 8th Dec 17


Festive Eve Brunch Christmas Eve & New Year's Eve


Jobs Available





Steel Framework


East Elevation


West Elevation



Free Parking

Free WiFi

Disabled access & facilities

Dog friendly

Coaches & bikers welcome


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