Nansledan is being built in accordance with architectural and urban design principles advocated by The Prince of Wales and evolved by the Duchy of Cornwall over more than two decades.
Central to these principles is the notion that many modern built environments have promoted fragmentation and isolation by failing to put people at the heart of the design process. Towns often feature housing that is far removed from shops, commercial buildings and leisure facilities, which sit on urban fringes only accessible by car.
Nansledan is different because it has evolved from engagement and discussion with local people so that by design it can meet the needs of those living in it or adjacent to it.
In practice this means taking a common-sense approach to urban design by creating a series of walkable neighbourhoods where people can meet their daily needs on foot within a short distance of their home or workplace.
With the encouragement of the local planning authorities the whole of Nansledan has been designed from scratch. This masterplanning approach, which looks ahead some 50 years, is essential to achieve a coherent development that is both beautiful and equally very liveable.
It also allows for the early provision of social infrastructure. One of the Duchy’s first projects at Nansledan was to build an allotment garden for local people, and a community orchard is underway. Essential road, services and drainage infrastructure has already been built, and among the first public buildings will be a new Methodist church and community centre, and a new primary school.
Architecture is another vital ingredient. The Prince of Wales has long advocated that buildings should look as if they belong in the landscape in which they are set, reflecting local styles and using local materials which not only reduce carbon emissions but spread the economic benefits of the development through the community.
Nansledan embraces these principles by reflecting traditional local styles through calm, simple and coherent architecture that is brought to life with colour, texture and a palette of local materials including Cornish granite and slate, mined from within an hour of the development. Attention to detail including cornices, railings, balconies and door casings, knits together the whole.
That strong sense of place is reinforced by Nansledan’s naming strategy, inspired by The Prince of Wales, which draws upon Arthurian legend and local place names, all of which have been translated into Cornish.
Nansledan is being built by the same consortium of local building companies for the lifetime of the build, which allows for the best solutions and long term arrangements to be put in place. This not only sustains local businesses and suppliers, but also traditional skills, training and apprenticeships.
Nansledan endeavours to set new standards for urban development, not just in the way it is designed and built, but in the way it enables and encourages people to lead their lives in a more sustainable way.
The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community has published a prospectus called ‘Building A Legacy, the Landowner’s Guide to Popular Development’. It makes the point that landowners ultimately have total control of how their land is developed, and therefore have a choice right at the start of the development process about taking a longer term approach and building communities, rather than just houses.