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'Masterplan' revealed for new garden village near Truro

'Masterplan' revealed for new garden village near Truro

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 8:44am 16th March 2020. (Updated at 10:56am 16th March 2020)

Written by Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

“A distinctive community on the edge of the city of Truro where people will live, work and thrive.”

This is the vision that Cornwall Council has for Langarth Garden Village which could eventually be home to around 10,000 people.

It is by far the biggest single development project in Cornwall and is envisaged to rise out of the ground over the next 25 years.

The green valley on the outskirts of Cornwall’s only city will be transformed with houses, schools, health facilities, open spaces, sports facilities, shops, restaurants, care homes and hotels as well as, oif all goes to plan, the long planned Stadium for Cornwall.

When it first decided to intervene in the development Cornwall Council said the “new town” would be similar in size to the likes of Liskeard or St Ives.

The seeds for this garden village were first sown many years ago when a rash of planning applications were submitted to build thousands of homes and various other facilities.

This included the so-called supermarket wars where there were plans submitted for up to four supermarkets to be built along the A390 corridor between Threemileston and Highertown.

As a result various permissions were granted to different parties for different applications which had come forward from a number of developers.

And then, nothing. As the recession continued to bite, supermarket giants put plans to open new stores on hold, many of them scrapped altogether.

langarth garden village

The various developments came to a standstill and, with the 2,700 homes which had planning permission being a major part of the Cornwall Local Plan which had set a target of building 52,500 homes in the county from 2010 to 2030, the council decided to stage an “intervention”.

This, it said, would help to ensure that the developments were delivered as well as making the various plans more joined up and coherent.

The council also said that by taking a lead on the scheme it would be able to ensure that vital infrastructure – such as schools and medical facilities – are put in place in time for when people started living in the garden village.

As it states in the displays which were exhibited at consultation events in and around Truro last week:

“Our involvement means high-quality, well-designed homes which are affordable for local people. Schools, health and play facilities built at the start of the scheme rather than at the end. We want to create a sustainable bus service and cycle paths and walkways. This will connect homes within the garden village and out into neighbouring communities and places of work. This is a community for all. It works during the day and the night, where people can get together with their family and friends. Langarth is a place where people will live, work and thrive.”

In order to do this the council has allocated £159m towards coming up with the masterplan and putting the required infrastructure in place.

It has also secured £47m from the Government to build the Northern Access Road which will run right through the garden village from the A390 in the west to the Royal Cornwall Hospital site in the east.

The masterplan exhibition revealed that this road will have a 20mph limit on it and that it will also come with cycle and footpath provision in a bid to encourage people out of their cars – a key priority for the council and the general garden village ethos.

langarth garden village

In addition the council is aiming to ensure that 35% of the homes in the garden village are affordable with a mix of tenures from social rent to shared ownership.

It is also looking to provide homes for older people, those with special needs and homes for key workers and students.

And the garden village is aiming to create employment opportunities for the people who will live there.

In drawing up the masterplan the council has been considering different options for the layout of the garden village and where facilities would be provided for those who will live there.

I looked at having one main village centre and three smaller local centres or five small local centres.

The masterplan is based on having five local centres which would ensure that facilities are spread across the whole garden village.

In identifying the strength of this the council states: “A greater number of centres allows for more flexibility in terms of use and character; and a greater number of centres means more of the population are within the catchment of a centre.”

The masterplan has given each of the five local centres an individual identity – it names them as Village Common, Broadway Park, Village Square, Village Park and Market Square.

It also identifies that the nearby Threemilestone village centre also has a role and that garden village residents will use those services as well.

langarth garden village

This is how the masterplan characterises the different village centres:

Village Common

The Village Common will have a rural character, with low-density housing arranged as modern interpretations of farmstead clusters within the landscape. Community spaces are strategically located within the Village Common to act as a focal point for the local residents and wider community. Key views into the surrounding landscape are maintained, and walking and cycling links into the natural park along the Kenwyn River valley are created. Buildings that front onto the common have a rural character and could hold community uses and workspace, as well as small cafes.

Broadway Park

The Broadway Park forms a series of generous and interconnected green corridors spanning over a northeast-facing hill. A natural valley provides views and walking and cycling links down into Kenwyn Valley. Edges of the Broadway Park are clearly defined by buildings, with gateways into the park emphasised by stronger frontages with a formal character. Able to hold larger events for the community, the Broadway Park is envisaged as an active public space surrounded by vibrant facilities, utilising the added footfall of people arriving to the stadium and primary school.

Village Square

The Village Square is clearly defined by existing hedgerows and mature trees forming a ring around the edge of the square. The arrangement of buildings and stepped public spaces on the sloping site provides informal meeting spaces with views into the surrounding landscape. Stronger frontages form gateways at the entry points of the square. Connections to the quiet lanes and (Northern Access Road) provides easy movement for cyclists and pedestrians to help ensure activity within the square. The formal square typology brings opportunities for multiple diverse building uses and services to create a livable and social public square with urban vitality.

Village Park

The Village Park spreads over a series of natural ridges and valleys creating the opportunity for a range of landscapes. A series of well-defined block buildings define the edge of the park, with stronger frontages forming gateways at the entry points of the park. A small square to the north of the park gathers buildings and people, with activity spaces spilling out into the park. Mixed use community buildings act as focal points for local residents and the wider community. Sports pitches, broadleaved woodland and a variety of other green spaces provide outdoor opportunities for all walks of life.

langarth garden village

Market Square

The Market Square is located at the steepest part of the site, with its urban and stepped buildings reflecting the landscape setting. Formal buildings with strong frontages form the corners of the square helping to instil character in a predominantly residential area. The square will be a flexible space able to host a variety of events from farmers’ markets to outdoor cinema events. Located close to RCH Treliske, the Market Square includes a hotel along with cafes to maximise potential opportunities.

Threemilestone Village Centre

The Threemilestone village upgrades will allow for a restructured village heart; creating more parking spaces, improved pedestrian and vehicular access through Hugus Road. Safe and accessible pedestrian access is a vital part of this development, alongside updated bus stops and a direct connection to Langarth Garden Village. Improvements to the community centre will provide essential space for the local residents, including public accessible WC facilities and improvements to enhance its aesthetic appeal as the focal point at the centre of the village. The health and well-being hub will house a four- court sports facility providing changing rooms and an option for a café kiosk. Alongside new football pitches, a restructuring of the car park and a newly-equipped play area with an informal field for community events. All of these are to be accessible to local residents, the school and sport teams.

The masterplan provides a timeline for how the garden village will take shape with the first phases set to be completed between  2020 and 2024.

Second phase developments are expected between 2025 and 2029; the third phase would be constructed between 2030 and 2034; phase four from 2035 to 2040; and the final fifth phases from 2040 to 2045.

The next stage in the Langarth Garden Village will be for the council to submit new planning applications which will be based on the masterplan document.

Cornwall Council is also inviting people to give feedback on the masterplan – an online questionnaire is available for anyone unable to attend the community events last week.

Go to www.cornwall.gov.uk/langarth to find information and the questionnaire.

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