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Allotments Flourish Under Plans for a Sustainable Urban Extension to Newquay

Tomatoes and strawberries are among the fruits grown on the allotments

Tomatoes and strawberries are among the fruits grown on the allotments

New allotments created by the Duchy of Cornwall and Tretherras Allotment Association have proved a great success as plans for a sustainable urban extension to Newquay begin to take shape.

Nansledan - which is Cornish for 'broad valley'- is a 218-hectare site that has been earmarked by local authorities as a way to meet the future business, housing, educational and health needs of Newquay.

At the heart of the design plan is sustainability, community and well-being. One feature of this is a focus on creating allotments and green spaces that make a practical contribution to the everyday lives of local people.

Potatoes, onions, carrots and peas are among the vegetables grown by Andrew Champion

The new allotments have been created from an old pony paddock and mark the spot where Newquay will meet Nansledan. They are the first of hundreds more allotments planned for the area in the future.

Duchy of Cornwall Estate Surveyor, Tim Gray said: "It was a happy coincidence when Newquay Town Council proposed the idea that the Duchy might be able to help find a site for the Tretherras Allotment Association (www.ttaa.org.uk) which is very admirably run by John Young. It meant that the first foundations for Nansledan were literally in the soil, thus emphasising the core philosophy that we should put sustainability first."

43-year old father-of-three, Andrew Champion from Newquay, is disabled and suffers from diabetes and a heart condition. He took over one of the allotment plots in July 2013 to teach his children aged one, three and four, how to grow fruit and vegetables which they could then take home and eat. He also tends to his sister's adjoining allotment. Among the many things they grow are broad beans, peas, carrots, swede, runner beans, spinach, cauliflower, parsnips, onion, beetroot, potatoes, marrows, courgettes, tomatoes, cucumber, strawberries and onions. Andrew has also planted apple, peach and cherry trees, as well as tulips, chrysanthemums and honeysuckle.


Andrew said: "I go up my allotment every day. My wife and three kids come with other family members to help and pick all the fruit and veg.  It relaxes me and I like to watch it all grow and to be able to bring my children up there so they can watch things grow too. I also applied for the allotment to help me stay healthy."

Potatoes, onions, carrots and peas are among the vegetables grown by Andrew Champion

Allotments are part of plans for a sustainable Nansledan

Using GPS technology, the Duchy has been able to place the allotments precisely on a field that will tie in with a bus route to follow later. The boundary with the bus route will be a new wall which bring additional shelter and enable plot holders to build lean-to sheds and grow more fruits.

The allotments are deliberately positioned near schools to promote learning and there are plans afoot for a nearby community orchard. As Nansledan progresses, people can also expect to see the creation of 'edible streets' whereby roads are lined with trees that produce apples, pears, plums, nuts and cherries. The trees have a relatively short life span - approximately 20 years - and the plan is to use their wood for fuel in local houses before replanting and starting the process again.

Tim Gray said: "The allotment scheme has been so successful and gives us confidence that our Masterplan for Nansledan - which provides for other allotment gardens, community orchards, an urban farm, and edible streets throughout - is likely to strike a chord with the way we all wish to live our lives nowadays. I hope that this will be one of the reasons people might choose to live or to work, and preferably both, at Nansledan."

Nansledan will take approximately 40 years to build and will eventually comprise 4,000 homes as well as a high street, new primary school, church, live-work quarter, recreation ground and an estate yard for training and apprenticeships in traditional building trades. A Masterplan for the site was evolved over a number of years following an Enquiry by Design in 2004, led by The Prince's Foundation for Building Community, and endorsed by Cornwall Council in 2011.
 

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