The Duchy of Cornwall has unveiled striking new designs for the High Street at Nansledan, its sustainable mixed use development on the edge of Newquay.
Designed by Hugh Petter of ADAM Architecture, master-planner and co-ordinating architect for Nansledan, the plans show a broad and inviting market street lined with three and four storey mixed-use buildings to include shops, offices and homes.
The High Street will be built by the Duchy and its developer partners, and forms part of the Newquay Strategic Route being delivered by Cornwall Council to ease congestion in Newquay and strengthen transport connections to Cornwall Airport Newquay and the Aerohub Enterprise Zone.
For the High Street the focus will be on retail premises that encourage independent local traders and artisans with their own unique character.
In common with all of Nansledan, the pedestrian friendly High Street will encourage people to travel on foot or by bicycle, and for those travelling by car there will be plenty of diagonal parking spaces to give ease of access. High quality public spaces together with mature trees and the use of Cornish slate and granite, will all add to the attractiveness of the High Street.
Publication of the plans follows the launch of a year-long campaign by the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce to look at what can be done to reimagine and revitalise towns and town centres in Cornwall. The campaign started with a conference earlier this year.
Ben Murphy, Estate Director for the Duchy of Cornwall, said: “HRH The Duke of Cornwall has long believed in the importance of creating a quality of place with architecture that responds to its local context in style and choice of materials, and that strengthens the bond of community by mixing residential with retail, business and community uses, supporting a range of work and lifestyle choices that benefit the local economy and promote sustainable living.
“A clear message from the Chamber’s conference was that retail is not as important as the experience people have, and that town centres should be more about place and community by shaping them around that experience. It’s about creating a place that people want to visit, and attracting small businesses and start-ups rather than big brands to give it distinctive character and variety. Our role as a major landowner with a long term interest in building communities means we can work with local authorities, local businesses and the community to really shape a place and that’s what we are doing throughout Nansledan.”
Hugh Petter from ADAM Architecture said: “Nansledan is the result of the inspirational vision of HRH The Duke of Cornwall, and strong collaboration between the Duchy and its consortium of developers, Cornwall Council, the people of Newquay, and many businesses across the county over many years. The High Street will form the beating heart of this new community, and will be the first new High Street to be built in the UK for some time. It will demonstrate that it is still possible to create viable commercial areas at the core of new speculative development, so creating properly sustainable new communities.”
The designs have been warmly welcomed by Cornwall Chamber of Commerce. Chief Executive Kim Conchie said: “The rapidly changing face of the High Street means we really need to think what they are for and how we can put them back at the heart of communities. The Duchy of Cornwall is doing just that at Nansledan and we think many of the principles they are using can be applied elsewhere.”
Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council cabinet member for transport said: “As Cornwall Council’s portfolio-holder for transport and a local Newquay Cornwall Councillor for many years, I look forward to the opening of the new High Street through Nansledan. It will benefit residents and form a key element of the Newquay Strategic Route, linking the A392 at Hendra through to Hendra Road via Trevenson Road and also to Cornwall Airport Newquay and the Aerohub Enterprise Zone. In doing so, this will provide much needed new infrastructure to deliver new homes, jobs, health provision and education through this key scheme for Newquay that has long been an objective of Cornwall Council.”
A recent survey by Penryn-based market research company PFA Research into shopping habits in Cornwall showed that 87% of people make an effort to shop locally but they feel deterred by limited choice, parking and poor access to their local high street. The three most popular shops for those who have visited their high street in the last month were a pharmacy, bakery and minimarket.
Nansledan already has a recently-opened bakery as part of the first phases of the development, and residents are supporting plans to secure a license for a pharmacy. The High Street will include many more retail and leisure opportunities including a small food supermarket to meet the needs of local residents.
The eastern end of the High Street includes a public square called Plen Eglos that will be an events space in front of the new Newquay Methodist Centre and include stepped granite terraces in the manner of Mount Folly Square in Bodmin.
Moving west, the street will open out into the wider market area before narrowing again towards a granite bridge that will cross the Chapel Stream. A pub/restaurant and hotel on the corner will help form the western boundary of Nansledan and have commanding views over the surrounding countryside.
The High Street has outline planning permission and the plan is that construction will begin in the next two years, with the first high street shops opening in around 2022. Nansledan has already attracted ten new businesses including a café, barber, beauty salon and bridal gown shop, with several more soon to be announced. The new primary school, Skol Nansledan, will open in September.
Nansledan is being developed on Duchy-owned land to the east of Newquay and will eventually comprise around 4,000 homes mixed with retail, offices, workshops, green spaces and a range of community facilities. It is being built by a consortium of South West building companies which includes Wainhomes, CG Fry & Son and Morrish Builders. So far 230 homes have been completed.