This morning Archbishop Justin Welby visited Nansledan, the community development pioneered by HRH The Prince of Wales on Duchy of Cornwall land at Newquay in Cornwall, to look at examples of best practice in housing. This follows the publication last year of the landmark ‘Coming Home’ report on the housing crisis, commissioned by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.
During his visit, the Archbishop saw Newquay Community Orchard, where he heard about their environmental education and social impact programmes, before touring Nansledan and The Hub, a Methodist community space for activities including a faith-based youth group.
The Archbishop also visited Pras Trewolek, local Duchy-owned farmland which has been transformed into wildflower meadows and wetland areas now managed for biodiversity and for the local community to enjoy.
In February 2021, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York published ‘Coming Home: Tackling the Housing Crisis Together’. The report urged the Church of England to lead by example, including delivering more truly affordable homes on its own land.
The report called for a collective effort at all levels of society including Government, local authorities, landowners and property developers as well as the Church is needed to help tackle the housing crisis. It said good housing should be sustainable, safe, stable, sociable and satisfying.
This work is now embedded within a team led by a new Bishop for Housing, the Bishop of Chelmsford Guli-Francis Dehqani, as part of the Church’s commitment to using its land well and building strong communities.
Archbishop Justin Welby said: “It’s been wonderful to visit Nansledan today and see not just new housing, but homes that provide jobs, build strong community and work in harmony with the natural environment. I’m deeply impressed by the work the Duchy of Cornwall have achieved, their engagement with the local community and commitment to biodiversity.
“The necessity of staying at home during the Covid-19 pandemic has shown us just how important our homes are to our lives. Where we live is so vital to our health, wellbeing, opportunities and flourishing. Following the publication of the ‘Coming Home: Tackling the Housing Crisis Together’ report last year, I hope the Church can be inspired by what’s been achieved at Nansledan - and use its land and resources to build homes that encourage neighbourliness, commitment to place and sustainable futures.
“It is the poorest and most marginalised people who are suffering the burden of our housing crisis. That will only change if we take collective responsibility and action. My prayer is that together we reclaim the very purpose of housing – as the basis for community, and a foundation for human flourishing.’
Nick Pollock, Head of Planning for the Duchy of Cornwall and executive team lead for the Archbishop’s initiatives on housing and community, said: “Nansledan is an example of how the Duchy of Cornwall is using its land to create a sustainable and inclusive community for social and environmental benefit. By embracing sustainable land stewardship, major landowners like the Duchy of Cornwall and the Church of England can play a vital role in delivering the vision outlined in the ‘Coming Home’ report.”
Ben Murphy, Estate Director at the Duchy of Cornwall, added: “We were delighted to welcome Archbishop Justin and show him the strength of community at Nansledan and the role landowners can play in building mixed use, mixed income communities that meet local housing need, create jobs and help improve people’s quality of life and opportunities. We hope that what we are learning at Nansledan and at other Duchy of Cornwall developments can inform the housing debate in the UK and help create vibrant and inclusive communities.”
Notes on Nansledan:
- Nansledan is a mixed-use community for around 4,000 homes with employment space for a similar number of jobs integrated within the development so that local goods and services can be accessed within a five minute walk of every home. Affordable housing is provided at 30% which is indistinguishable from market homes, and there is a range of community facilities including a new primary school, nursery, play areas and green space for ecology.
- The Duchy of Cornwall is committed to achieving net zero carbon in construction and operation by 2030 and is looking to achieve RIBA 2030 and LETI 2030 in new buildings at Nansledan by 2025. Provision of Biodiversity Net Gain will far surpass the 10% required under the Environment Act. Around 500 homes have been completed at Nansledan to date and there almost 30 small businesses based in the development.
- The Duchy leases land to Newquay Orchard, which has grown into a successful community enterprise providing mentoring, skills and social prescribing. https://nansledan.com https://newquayorchard.co.uk/