Covid may have thrown a spanner in the works for almost everything and Brexit may mean no more EU funding for Cornwall, but there are still some major developments planned which are set to transform the Duchy by 2030.
The next decade seems to be critical in Cornwall’s history – with new attractions, hotels, villages, housing developments, roads and even a hospital on the cards.
These multi-million pound developments will all have a huge impact on their area and on the potential for Cornwall as a whole.
These are 12 projects which will change Cornwall forever.
One of Europe’s ‘most beautiful’ outdoor leisure facilities
Sir Tim Smit has made it no secret in the past that he planned to expand in the county where the Eden Project and The Lost Gardens of Heligan all started.
This month he unveiled the name of a third Cornwall attraction in Lostwithiel.
The latest project to be unveiled has been named Gillyflower Farm, a site that will form a hybrid attraction with an ethos that very much links with that of the Dutch-born businessman and former rock star’s previous projects.
Sir Tim recently sat down in his Lostwithiel home to have an informal chat about plans for the project he calls “the daughter of Heligan”, which has been in progress since he purchased the old golf course four years ago.
He has spoken out about what local people and visitors from afar can expect from the site ahead of submitting the planning application early next year- also welcoming feedback on the plans.
The 66-year-old told viewers that the site – named after Cornwall’s native apple species – could become “one of the most beautiful outdoor leisure facilities in Europe”.
In the video, he said: “We really feel as if we could create a real national centre of first class horticulture and first class crop management and food production.”
He also believes the additions to the site, which include a ‘Hub’ building similar to that of the Eden Project’s Core building, will provide a very important facility and create around thirty jobs including a wealth of apprenticeship and training opportunities in the horticulture industry.
Opening the video he says: “I wanted to talk to my neighbours, my friends and my colleagues in Lostwithiel to explain the venture that we are hoping to embark on at the former Lostwithiel Golf and Country Club down Cott Lane.
“Many of you may know that at the end of 2016, beginning of 2017, we purchased the golf course not the golf club, with the ambition to build on at least two thirds of it, the greatest rare orchard in Europe.
“I have been working with The Lost Gardens of Heligan for the last 30 years in protecting rare heritage varieties of fruit and vegetable that have disappeared from the popular fruit cannon because I believe that they are important as a gene supply for the future.
“The project in Lostwithiel has a different ambition,” he explains. “Which is to put together fruit trees that no one in their right mind would plant for commercial reason because they take too long to arrive at a fruiting state.
“But we were very interested in the notion of legacy and what happens if we actually dared to wait and therefore create something very special here on the banks of the valley of the River Fowey. So that is what we have done.”
Hayle Harbour redevelopment
Probably the longest running saga of all those featured here there have been plans for the redevelopment and regeneration of Hayle Harbour stretching back decades.
Over that time the various plans and developers have changed and more than one masterplan has been drawn up for the area.
However the various developments are now underway and are starting to transform this important part of Hayle.
Work has started on the first phase of the major housing developments with 140 homes being constructed alongside shops and restaurants.
Stage two of the project will feature 377 homes – including 93 affordable homes – a hotel, a multi-function community hall on the beachfront, a cinema, and an art gallery on East Quay linked with a new pedestrian bridge, and a water sports centre.
The £200million development is seen as an opportunity to not only provide new homes and facilities but also to open up the area for local residents and visitors.
This month, the developers and workers celebrated a major construction milestone with the ‘topping out’ of its landmark first apartment building.
The topping out ceremony, the traditional celebration of reaching the highest point of construction, saw the completion of the concrete roof slab to the Block D apartments which will sit at the heart of the new scheme and will be named An Garth (The Yard).
David Speight, construction director for Corinthian Homes, said: “We are very pleased and proud to be celebrating this milestone at the end of what has been a transformative 12 months for the North Quay scheme.
“It represents not only a high point for this particular building but for the whole team of more than 100 construction professionals, local contractors and apprentices, which has worked so effectively, diligently and safely together in making such impressive progress during this extraordinary year.”
In addition to the successful work to the apartment building, there has been significant progress right across the North Quay development:
- The first block of new quayside townhouses has been largely completed, with all these homes now sold.
- Major infrastructure work is continuing to create underground car parking in preparation for further development along the quaysides.
- Site preparation and significant ecological work has taken place for a new spine road which will link the waterfront and hilltop areas of the site.
- A project to repair and repoint some of North Quay’s listed quay walls is under way as part of the Corinthian Harbour and Marine Programme.
- A new beachside restaurant – Lula’s – successfully opened at North Quay, with the support of Corinthian Homes, and had proved popular with local people and visitors.
West Carclaze Garden Village
Having previously been known as an eco-town, eco-community and everything in between West Carclaze Garden Village has been a long gestating project.
Situated on the edge of St Austell, the development is set to have 1,500 homes which are built on land which was formerly used by China clay firm Imerys.
Some works have already started after planning permission was granted for the first phase of the development.
Like the Langarth project a big emphasis has been placed on the open space which will be retained and enhanced as part of the development with 66% of the site – around 350 acres – set to be green open space.
There will be a village centre as part of the new community which will include health facilities, a community centre, shops and a 420-place primary school.
The development is being created by Eco-Bos – a company created by a partnership of Orascom Development and Imerys in 2010.
Under the plans for the garden village they are planing provide 450 affordable homes which will also include opportunities for self-build schemes.
The China Clay Heritage Park will be a key feature of the development with open space along with sports and recreational facilities.
It will also incorporate the iconic Sky Tip on the site which some feared could be lost.
Outline planning permission for the overall development was approved in September 2018.
Reserved matters planning applications have started to be submitted to Cornwall Council for individual phases of the project.
A first reserved matters application for phase one – including 338 homes as well as a local centre, health and retail facilities – was approved in April 2019.
The application for the first phase of the development – which includes 169 homes – was submitted in January and approved in June 2020.
An application for a sub-phase of phase two – including 127 homes – was submitted to the council in July and is awaiting a decision.
Situated in the heart of Truro this city centre site is seen as a key part of the future of the city.
A masterplan has been drawn up with proposals for new homes, a university campus, workspace and leisure facilities.
And a planning application includes 300 new homes, accommodation for 400 students, and 21,000 sq m of employment space including leisure, office, hotel, community, small retail, education/innovation and food and beverage units.
The site is currently home to four car parks; Carrick House, the former offices of Carrick District Council; Truro Bowl; retail units and empty and partially derelict warehouse units.
A design and access statement included with the planning application states: “The proposed scheme will regenerate a run-down area of the city and help create a vibrant new neighbourhood and destination for Truro. Pydar Street will deliver new homes, innovative work and learning spaces, together with an exciting riverside park and range of engaging leisure, hospitality and cultural facilities and events.”
Under the plans 30% of the new homes will be affordable and there are plans for open spaces and play areas as well.
A key part of the development is The Hive which is “a digitally focused and entrepreneurial new innovative learning and living environment that will help create jobs in high-growth, high-value business that will benefit Cornwall’s wider economy”.
This will “bring together education, research, innovation, business, entertainment and community facilities in a unique environment, and will become a hub for the creative industries, creating jobs and wealth, while ensuring top talent stays in Cornwall”.
Nansledan is a major expansion of Newquay and will eventually have around 4,000 homes.
Led by the Duchy of Cornwall its masterplan set out a 50-year vision for the area.
It divided the 540-acre site into eight different areas – or quarters – and work is already underway.
The first quarter – Trewolek – was started in 2014 and the second phase – Kosti Veur – is well underway.
A new primary school has been built as part of the development which is now open.
The whole development – which will include shops, employment spaces, a Methodist community centre and public open space – is expected to take 30 years to complete.
Of the homes that are being built 30% will be affordable and made available for local people.
And a new road – the Newquay Strategic Route – is also being built to provide a link to existing developments in the town.
A new women and children’s unit will be built at Royal Cornwall Hospital, Treliske.
In Augus 2019, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust will receive £99.9 million which will go towards a new Women’s and Children’s Hospital in the centre of the current site near Truro.
RCHT has already revealed its plans for the new unit.
The £100 million investment will see the construction of a new building between the existing Tower Block and Trelawny Wing.
This will house women’s and children’s services including maternity, neonatal care and gynaecology.
These will be moved from the Princess Alexandra Wing; a building that has been criticised during Care Quality Commission inspections and which, due to structural defects, has a limited life-span.
“Our recent refurbishments to keep the old building going, and to give families now the very best that we can, were always carried out with a bigger scheme in mind in the years to come,” head of midwifery Jane Urben previously said.
“Knowing the new build is now going to be a reality is an amazing boost for us all and such brilliant news for families and our future generations.”
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The building will also become the new main entrance for the hospital with plans for changes to the layout of roads and a pedestrian zone to improve the environment and accessibility.
The next step will be for plans to be further developed and a building programme determined.
Children’s services will also transfer from the top floors of the Tower Block to the new building.
Clinical Matron, Mary Baulch said: “It is more than 20 years since there has been any major investment in children’s facilities at the hospital and their co-location with maternity and neonatal services will allow our teams to work more effectively, to provide safer care and to meet national guidelines. It really is fabulous news!”
There are plans to create a new dual carriageway for the constantly congested section of the A30 between Chiverton Cross and Carland Cross.
The proposed dualling project, which has been designed to get rid of one of Cornwall ’s worst bottlenecks, would create a new two-lane road.
It is estimated to cost at least £290m and would see the current A30 downgraded to a local road. The new road would be located south of the current one.
Work is set to step up on the much anticipated upgrade in the new year. Main earthworks and construction of new structures will be starting in early 2021.
Closures and speed limits will be put in place to allow the works to be carried out safely.
What the road scheme includes:
- A new 8.7-mile road
- A 70mph high-quality dual carriageway
- A two-level junction at Chiverton Cross and a new roundabout to ensure the free flow of traffic on the A30
- A new partial junction at Chybucca built on two levels with west-facing slip roads to provide access on to the dual carriageway from local routes
- New bridges at Tolgroggan Farm, Pennycomequick Lane and over the Allet to Tresawsen Road to provide local access
- A two-level junction at Carland Cross with a new roundabout north of the dual carriageway and re-using the existing roundabout to the south
- Keeping the existing A30 as a local route with new sections where necessary to provide continuity and connectivity for local communities
What to expect
A number of unclassified roads will be closed in areas alongside the existing A30 carriageway, to allow for clearance and construction work, and all residents and businesses directly affected have been informed.
These include roads at:
- Silverwell: closed between 11 January and 6 August
- Marazan Farm: closed from 18 January, 2021, to 28 January, 2022
- Trevalso: closed between 19 January and 19 July, with signed local diversion routes in place.
It was previously said that speed limits were also being considered until 2023, when the works will be completed.
St Austell link road
This is a new 3.9 mile road which will link the A391 at Carluddon with Victoria.
It will run from the Singlerose Roundabout south of Stenalees, bypassing to the west of Roche to link to the A30 via the Victoria junction.
Cornwall Council says that when the new road is complete, there will be new routes for walking, cycling and horse riding with 5 ½ miles of new paths to give greater opportunities for leisure and recreation.
Additional measures to improve the environment and reduce traffic speeds for residents through Roche, Bugle, Stenalees and along the B3274 Bodmin Road, will also form part of the project.
Cornwall Council’s Cabinet portfolio holder for transport Geoff Brown said: “This in an important milestone. The new road will boost business, inward investment and job growth as well as improving access to Cornwall Airport Newquay.
“This is a vital scheme which will boost economic growth in the mid Cornwall corridor between Newquay and St Austell.”
The road could be completed in 2022.
Hall for Cornwall
Hall For Cornwall, the county’s major theatre, will now reopen in September 2021 thanks to a £2m grant to help kickstart arts and culture in the country following the Covid pandemic.
The Hall, based in Truro, has been shut since June 2018 for a total refurbishment costing over £20m. It was due to reopen next spring but due to social distancing measures and the continuing pandemic, will now reveal its new look in the autumn.
The £2m Arts Council England grant from the Capital KickStart fund is part of the Government’s £1.57 billion package to protect the UK’s culture and heritage sectors from the economic impacts of Covid-19.
Hall For Cornwall is one of 74 organisations receiving grants totalling £58.9 million today.
The Capital Kickstart fund was launched in August to help existing holders of Arts Council capital grants to complete building projects that would otherwise be stalled by the impacts of the pandemic.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund has also confirmed today that it is providing an additional £231,000 to Hall For Cornwall, bringing its total investment to £2.8m to support the restoring and promoting of the building’s 175-year history and its importance as a civic and municipal space.
Truro and Falmouth MP Cherilyn Mackrory said: “This is a hugely important project for Cornwall and I’m delighted that Arts Council England is using some of the Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund to offset the impacts of Covid-19. Once complete the Hall For Cornwall is expected to bring over £35m to the Cornish economy in the first five years and create 165 jobs, and play an important role in our post-pandemic economic recovery.”
Hall For Cornwall is undergoing an ambitious transformation which has seen the Grade II listed building entirely gutted to make way for a greatly enlarged auditorium, new cafés, bars, and creative business space.
But the £21.6m project has been hit by delays after the site was forced to shut down entirely for a month during the first lockdown, and since then has been impacted by social distancing rules, slowing construction and increasing costs.
Julien Boast, Hall For Cornwall’s chief executive and creative director, said: “We’ll soon be announcing details of our first major co-production for next year and we’re hugely grateful to Arts Council England for stepping in with this vital grant from the Cultural Capital KickStart Fund to cover extra Covid-related project costs. We’re also grateful to the National Heritage Lottery Fund for an additional £231,000, which has also been announced today.
“The virus has delayed our reopening but that has only hardened our resolve to put together a fantastic programme of entertainment for our inaugural season. While we work towards completing the build we are continuing with our community activities across Cornwall, supporting local talent, young people and schools.”
The transformation of the Hall For Cornwall includes a new three-tiered auditorium with an additional 300 seats, or 1,253 in total, which will attract many more national touring productions. There will be new bars, cafés and communal spaces and a creative digital business hub, which is a first for a UK regional theatre.
The aim is to attract 300,000 people annually and work with 50,000 children in every primary and secondary school in Cornwall in the first five years. Hall For Cornwall operates as a charity, with all surpluses invested in working with young people, increasing the impact of Cornish creative industries, and creating co-productions with Cornish and national partners.
Bodmin Jail hotel
Bodmin Jail’s brand new 70-bed hotel is set to open in February 2021.
The new £8.5m immersive visitor experience has Dark Walk opened earlier this year.
The four-star boutique hotel is being built within the walls of the Grade II listed building, retaining original features including bars on the windows, original brickwork and the original guard tower.
It has been designed with a view to retain and enhance the unique atmosphere and sense of history that exists in the ruins of the jail.
The old cells are being used to create 70 spacious bedrooms with three cells to a room in the original civil, naval and women’s wings, alongside an exciting new restaurant concept.
Stadium for Cornwall
Cornwall Council has secured the land needed for the stadium and is working on transferring it to the stadium partners which include the Pirates, Truro City and Truro and Penwith College.
The stadium, which is planned for a site at Langarth on the outskirts of Truro and close to the planned Langarth Garden Village, is yet to get underway.
Tim Dwelly, Cabinet member for economy and planning, said the Hall for Cornwall had been impacted by covid-19 and could see costs rise.
He said that while the project was not controlled by the council it was contributing funding and supporting it.
Probably the largest planned development in Cornwall, the Langarth Garden Village on the outskirts of Truro has previously been described as a “new town”.
As well as new homes there are all sorts of other facilities planned including schools, health centres, a hotel, shops, offices, employment spaces and care home.
In addition there are plans for a large amount of open space and play facilities.
And, of course, the Langarth Garden Village surrounds the proposed site for the Stadium for Cornwall which could provide a new home for the Cornish Pirates and Truro City Football Club as well as conference and hospitality facilities.
The garden village development is being led by Cornwall Council which decided to intervene after a number of separate developments in the area stalled.
Planning permission had been granted for a number of different sites which included plans for the homes and facilities which are now being included in the masterplan.
The council decided to get involved to not only ensure that the developments could be delivered but to ensure that the wider development was more co-ordinated and cohesive to prevent a “patchwork quilt” effect.
Councillors have also said that they want to ensure that the infrastructure and facilities that will be needed by people living in the new homes will be in place before they move in.
To help with this the council has successfully bid for £47.45million from the Government to build the Northern Access Road (NAR) which will run through the site linking the A390 at Langarth through to Treliske.
In January 2019 the council agreed to provide £159m for the development of a masterplan and for key infrastructure across the site.
Cornwall Council has now acquired 120 acres of land at Langarth which it says is a “major milestone” in delivering the scheme.
The council has promised that 35% of the homes at the garden village will be affordable and will include homes for older people and those with special requirements.
It is also looking to provide homes for key workers and students as well as council-owned rented properties.
Under its plans the council is aiming to have 15% of the homes detached, 25% semi-detached, 55% will be terraced and 5% will be bungalows.
The masterplan includes plans for two new primary schools with one to be built and open at the start of the scheme.
In addition there is work being done to provide a new secondary school on the north coast which will help create places for children living at the garden village as well as those living in and around Perranporth.
The council is also working with Richard Lander School in Truro to create additional capacity for children living at Langarth Garden Village.
A number of benefits have been provided by Cornwall Council for its involvement in the project including protecting at least 48% of the existing green space across the site – they state that it would have just been 19% under the previous planning applications.
The council is also planning to plant at least 50,000 new tress which will be part of its Forest for Cornwall project.
Allotments, a community farm, community gardens and orchards are also going to be provided.
It is also looking to use low carbon energy sources such as ground source heat pumps and solar panels to heat the whole development and to have electric charging points for every home and high levels of insulation.
The council is also looking to provide health facilities for the new residents and wants to improve transport links with streets which are walking and cycling friendly.
Investment is also being provided for community projects in nearby Threemilestone and Highertown which include a new community hall at All Saints Church in Highertown and a new hall at Threemilestone School, upgrading the community centre and providing new playing pitches.
An outline planning application for the Langarth Garden Village, including the construction of the NAR, is set to be submitted this summer.
If approval is granted then work is set to start on the new road in 2021 and completed by spring 2024.
When the masterplan was exhibited earlier this year it was revealed that the garden village would be developed in phases.
The first phase could be completed by 2024; the second phase between 2025 and 2029; the third phase would start to be built in 2030 and completed by 2034 while the four stage would take shape between 2035 and 2040 with a fifth and final stage being built between 2040 and 2045.