Over 1,000 people turn up to see Truro housing development plan

7:00am Wednesday 4th June 2014

More than 1200 have turned up to see plans for homes and land for "food and farming education" at Higher Newham Farm near Truro.

A public consultation event that saw the transformation of an empty Truro shop into a pop-up farm experience to share plans for the development, with organisers saying 86 per cent of visitors said they would support the plans.

The four-day event presented plans to gift 80 per cent of the land at Higher Newham to the local community for food and farming education, managed by Duchy College and made accessible to the public.

Developers behind the Higher Newham Farm and Village project say there would also be a cook school and restaurant run by local charity the Cornwall Food Foundation.

The project would be funded by 155 homes on 13 acres of the 92-acre site, and include 46 homes available within Cornwall Councils affordable housing scheme, and all 155 homes would be for "full time occupation only".

The developers say that of the 1208 people who attended, 624 feedback questionnaires were completed- many by couples and family groups.

Of these, the "overwhelming majority – 86% - said they would support the plans. Just 6 % said they would not support, with the remaining 8 % undecided".

The partners – Duchy College, Cornwall Food Foundation and Living Villages – transformed the former Spar Shop on Back Quay into a farm experience complete with hay bales, animal encounters and farmyard sound effects.

A vintage tractor was brought onto Lemon Quay to attract people into the space and offer their views on the plans, which are due to be submitted later this summer.

The events, which ran from Wednesday to Saturday, with an evening event on Thursday for councillors, interest groups and businesses, also featured free children’s activities and specialist talks from horticulture experts at Duchy College.

Vicky Garner, co-ordinator for Higher Newham Farm & Village, said: "We set out to make this a consultation event with a difference. We wanted it to be welcoming, family friendly and individual, just like the project itself. “Our ambition was to bring people who might not usually think about setting foot in a public consultation in through the door. We were overwhelmed by the response, with so many ideas and thoughts being put forward.

“Like the great majority of those who came to learn about, question and challenge our proposals, we very much hope that the planners will consider our plans carefully and also say yes to creating a permanent new living and learning resource for local people on the doorstep of Truro City centre."

Although the 3 week public consultation officially closed on the 2nd June, there is still chance to off feedback at: http://www.highernewham.com/have-your-say.

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