Newham Farm planning application submitted to Cornwall Council

First published in News

The partners behind Higher Newham Farm and Village have submitted their plans to Cornwall Council’s planning department, following three months of public feedback.

The council will hold its own public consultation, likely to be in September, but comments can be submitted as soon as plans are made public.

The company behind the project said that if it is granted planning permission, Higher Newham Farm would become one of the largest community farms in the UK, with around 70 acres gifted to a new charitable trust and run by Duchy College as an educational facility.

Vicky Garner, project co-ordinator, said: “It’s been a busy few months behind the scenes as we gather as much feedback as we can around the proposals. We’ve been talking to schools and education providers, voluntary sector organisations and community groups and these discussions have helped shape our evolving plans.

“The plans have now been submitted and if all goes smoothly they should go before the Strategic Planning Committee later this autumn. As soon as the plans go up on Cornwall Council’s planning website we hope those who share our vision for Higher Newham Farm and Village will write or email Cornwall Council’s planning department, or their local planning councillor in support of the plans. We hope anyone who has questions or ideas will get in touch with us direct.”

Dr Phil le Grice, head of rural economy at Duchy College said: “The farming industry has warned of a skills shortage if the 60,000 new entrants we need in the next decade are not found.  The ethos at Duchy College is about making learning work - delivering young people with the right skills and experiences to help them progress in their chosen careers and Higher Newham is a fantastic location to deliver this.”

Matthew Thomson, chief executive of Cornwall Food Foundation, added: “The Higher Newham Farm and Village project offers us a unique opportunity to work with people and food to improve the economy, environment and health of Cornwall.”

The plans are for Higher Newham Farm and Village to become an agricultural education centre run by Duchy College offering land-based training and entry level courses aimed at people aged 16 and above with a restaurant and cook school run by the charity Cornwall Food Foundation.

It would include 155 houses, at least 30 per cent affordable, and 80 per cent of the 92-acre site would be gifted to the community of Truro, to be overseen by a charitable trust and be protected from any further development through covenants on the land.

The partnership has developed a Friends of Higher Newham network that interested parties can join and keep up to date with project proposals.

 A community fete is being planned for Sunday 7 September, 11am to 4pm, with free tickets available at www.highernewham.com.

To comment on the plans go to http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/environment-and-planning/planning/online-planning-register.

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