Strong support for village plans

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A public consultation event that saw the transformation of an empty Truro shop into a pop-up farm experience to share plans for Higher Newham Farm & Village welcomed more than 1,200 people through its doors last week

Matthew Taylor explains the plans for Higher Newham at the public consultation in Truro
Matthew Taylor explains the plans for Higher Newham at the public consultation in Truro

The four-day event presented plans to gift 80% of the land at Higher Newham to the local community for food and farming education, managed by Duchy College and made accessible to the public.

There would also be a cook school and restaurant run by local charity the Cornwall Food Foundation.

The project would be funded by a 155-home village on 13 acres of the 92-acre site, designed by Living Villages – which specialises in creating communities which fit into the landscape.

Of the 1,208 people who attended, 624 feedback questionnaires were completed- many by couples and family groups.

Of these, the overwhelming majority – 86% – said they would support the plans. Just 6% said they would not support, with the remaining 8% expressing no view either way.

The partners – Duchy College, Cornwall Food Foundation and Living Villages – transformed the former Spar Shop on Back Quay into a farm experience complete with hay bales, animal encounters and farmyard sound effects.

Vicky Garner, co-ordinator for Higher Newham Farm & Village, said: “We set out to make this a consultation event with a difference. We wanted it to be welcoming, family friendly and individual, just like the project itself.

“Our ambition was to bring people who might not usually think about setting foot in a public consultation in through the door. We were overwhelmed by the response, with so many ideas and thoughts being put forward.”

Although the 3 week public consultation officially closed yesterday (June 2), there is still chance to offer feedback.