Alan Brown Developments | Higher Newham Farm
Higher Newham Farm
If you drive into Truro from Morlaix Avenue and look down along the river, all you will see is a pretty standard industrial estate. Not very exciting, unless you are collecting a parcel or are looking for a new bathroom! However, this area of land on the outskirts of Truro is steeped in history dating right back to 1153. This 92 acre plot is set to become a new ‘Living Village’ which is a specialist residential design subsidiary of LXB Group. The idea is an ‘educational community farm with a village at the heart’ with investment partners such as Duchy College and Cornwall Food Foundation. Living Villages has a vision to create;
- A community farm run by Duchy College and providing accredited training for local young people in agriculture, land based and food related skills. The College would also run short leisure courses.
- A restaurant run by Cornwall Food Foundation, serving local, seasonal food, grown and foraged from the farm, the allotments and surrounding area.
- A cook school run by Cornwall Food Foundation providing hands on learning for all ages.
- 80% of the 92 acres to be gifted by Living Villages to the local community via a charitable trust, with the intention to preserve 70 acres of Higher Newham, for farming and food education forever.
- A network of footpaths and cycle trailways which will open up the green space for the community to enjoy and link the village to Truro.
- A new exemplar village of 155 individually designed homes– at least 30% of which will be available within Cornwall Councils affordable housing scheme
- A community hub with space for meetings and clubs, as well as for workshops and a gallery
- A wildlife rich environment of woodlands, orchards, fields, hedgerows and wildflower meadow.
- 2 acres of allotments for the village and wider Truro community.
- Play areas for small and big kids
There are plans to build 155 new homes with a substantial portion being under the affordable housing umbrella. Homes will be provided for people from the agricultural community including those retiring from agriculture and those handing down their agriculture business to their children.
The chair of the committee and local councillor Rob Nolan believes the area to be ‘very attractive development and much better than the 1,100 homes we might have had there if the secretary of state had not stepped in five or six years ago’.
Developments like this are becoming more attractive over large housing estates and it’s clear to see why when you look at their website. It makes sense not to cram every square metre with as much brick and mortar as you can, but let the landscape speak for itself and serve a purpose for those living there so they may actually get something out the community and not become another segregated concrete community.
Living villages have another spot on the other side of Truro in Threemilestone which is of similar design. Residents of the local area seem to be far more accepting of the plans over large corporations with 1000s of identical dwellings. More projects like this should be given the go ahead to create educational communities where homeowners optimise the surroundings.
This project is very exciting and could start the ball rolling for others. I personally, would very much like to see more agricultural communities, especially as the West Country plays an integral part to British farming.