Cornwall LivingIssue #125

Discovering Nansledan

If you’ve yet to discover Nansledan on Cornwall’s north coast, perhaps it’s time you paid a visit?

One of the first things that strikes you when you visit Nansledan is that, for a newly built community, it looks very Cornish. And that’s no accident. Just two miles from Newquay’s town centre, the Duchy of Cornwall’s award-winning extension to Newquay has been meticulously fashioned to reflect the character of the area, with a design that has been honed with local input since 2005. 

Work started on Nansledan in 2014, but it was in the planning long before then. In fact, the development is inspired by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, whose Duchy of Cornwall estate owns most of the land in the area. The Prince’s vision was to create a vibrant, mixed-income community with homes, shops, offices and green spaces, all within walkable neighbourhoods. It was to create a place that could meet growing local housing needs, but also generate a more diverse range of jobs for Newquay’s highly seasonal economy. 

Today, Nansledan already contains almost 600 homes, more than 30 shops and businesses, as well as a primary school (with a nursery school currently under construction) and plenty of green spaces for the public to enjoy. When it’s finished, it will have 4,000 homes, providing around 4,000 new jobs and a resident population of almost 8,000 people. 

Next year, work will begin on Market Street – an inviting new high street lined with three- and four-storey buildings to include a mix of shops, offices and homes, as well as events and leisure activities. And whilst this all is yet to come, when you walk around Nansledan today, there’s already plenty to see and it changes all the time. It has become a magnet for independent traders and artisans, and is fast becoming a lifestyle shopping destination, with many young businesses that place sustainability at the heart of what they do, be that sourcing locally or going plastic free. From Cornish homewares and artisan hats, to vintage clothing and beauty boutiques, Nansledan is already home to an exciting – and growing – mix of shops, not to mention the various cafés and eateries specialising in delicious, local Cornish produce. 

Spread over 540 acres, Nansledan is built with leisure, health and wellbeing in mind, with plenty of outside space, community allotments, adventure playgrounds and footpaths for the community and visitors to enjoy. This includes 75 acres of wildflower meadows and farmland right on the doorstep at Pras Trewolek (Trewollack Meadow), which is perfect for walking, cycling or exercising your dog. In actual fact, when finished, Nansledan will boast the equivalent of 180 football pitches of natural open space, and it’s not only through its green spaces that the site is blazing an environmental trail. It’s also leading the charge when it comes to wildlife, pioneering the use of built-in nest boxes for migratory birds (an average of one per home), as well as bee bricks. Hundreds of trees are being planted, too, and there are even ‘edible’ streets in the plans that will be lined with fruit trees and herbs. 

For anyone thinking of moving to Nansledan, it offers a range of beautiful, architect-designed homes, each built to the highest quality by a team of award-winning south-west housebuilders. From apartments, coach houses and cottages, to large detached family homes, each is finished to the same exacting standards. The development’s low-carbon homes are constructed with local, natural materials like slate, granite and recycled aggregate blocks, and some of the highly energy-efficient buildings are pioneering the use of solar slates, with ground and air-source heat pumps planned in future phases. This means that homes here are already exceeding the 2030 climate change targets as set by RIBA and LETI.

A third of the new homes are set to provide affordable housing for local people, making an important contribution towards Cornwall’s housing needs. Almost three quarters of the open market houses sold at Nansledan have gone to people with a Cornish postcode; around half of those have been bought by people in the Newquay area; and holiday lettings are forbidden, a policy aimed at fostering a community spirit and providing a year-round feeling of vibrancy and vitality.

In fact, it is the creation of a community that lies at the very heart of this exciting development. “Nansledan is designed to meet local needs and we want people living and working here to have a stake in their community,” says the Duchy of Cornwall’s Estate Director, Ben Murphy. “That’s why it’s thriving. We’re providing a mixture of new homes to suit people at all stages in their lives. We’re creating new habitats and access to nature for local people, and we’ve put in things like schools, exciting shops and business space early on, to create a buzz and diversity that you just don’t get with most modern developments.”