New ‘village’ proposal for Truro

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Up to 70 acres of farmland on the edge of Truro could be turned over to the community for access and education in a “national exemplar of sustainable development”.

The proposal at Higher Newham Farm, just off Morlaix Avenue and Arch Hill, is at the core of a partnership between Duchy College and new community development company, Living Villages.

Public consultation will begin next week (May 12) to share plans for the project, with a four-day pop-up shop exhibition taking place in Lemon Quay, Truro, from May 28-31.

HigherNewhamMap

The proposed scheme will see 70 acres of green space gifted to the local community for the purposes of food and farming education.

This will be complemented by a development of 155 homes designed to create a sustainable community.

The land gifted to the people of Truro will provide woods, orchards, allotments, fields and growing areas protected from future development, through its permanent transfer to a specially formed community trust.

Tim Walton, spokesman for Living Villages, said: “Ever since we acquired Higher Newham Farm we have asked ourselves how can we ensure that this stunning site is used to maximise the benefit of its location for all, whilst enhancing its capacity to act as a working farm.

“The partnership with Duchy College is the first step toward achieving our aims and we hope to be in a position to announce further exciting partnerships to enhance the delivery of further educational opportunities in the coming weeks.”

Matthew Taylor, former MP for Truro and St Austell, is working as a special advisor to Living Villages on the project.

He said: “Having opposed former big developments on this site in Truro, my particular interest in Higher Newham Farm is to create something fantastic and open it up to the community so they can access this beautiful green space and all it has to offer whilst creating an exemplar sustainable village affordable for all income groups.”

The project is being managed locally by Vicky Garner, former chief executive of environmental charity Surfers Against Sewage, and a campaigner for affordable housing in Cornwall.

She said: “This is a truly exciting project, the first of its kind. We hope that this will lead the way in establishing a better approach to creating places to live, work, learn and enjoy. But most importantly, it will open up this beautiful green space for public access and protect it from further development in the future.”