Fancy living in a home on Prince Charles’s Cornwall housing estate? If you do make sure your washing line can’t be seen from the street, you don’t have a satellite dish and don’t make any unnecessary noise by arguing or slamming doors.
For some people the idea of living on a development backed by Prince Charles and in one of Cornwall’s prime locations is a dream.
But people looking to move into a house in Nansledan in Newquay may want to take a look at the rules before picking up their keys.
A 38-page document – the Design and Community Code – has been revealed detailing some of the rules and restrictions on living in the Duchy of Cornwall development.
They include making sure that your bins and washing lines are not visible from the street and strictly no individual satellite dishes will be permitted.
While for some the rules may seem strict for others they could be seen as a way of ensuring that the character of the development is retained for future generations.
The document, which is dated 2018, opens with a cheery introduction to new residents: “Welcome to Nansledan! We hope very much that your decision to live here reflects your appreciation of what we are trying to do to make Nansledan a genuinely liveable community – a place that will continue to be treasured as it matures over the centuries that lie ahead.
“This booklet is really important as it explains the philosophy and reasons behind the strong controls that the Duchy of Cornwall retains in Nansledan. If you have ideas on how to improve your property or are planning on making any alterations to it please make contact with the Duchy of Cornwall first so that we can help guide you forward with a successful application for consent.”
In the opening paragraphs of the document it is stated that the code applies to both freehold and leasehold properties at Nansledan.
It adds: “The Stipulations are binding for all properties, their owners and occupiers. As and when new buildings are completed, purchasers are supplied with the Stipulations so that all owners and occupiers are aware of them. Breaches of the Stipulations could result in enforcement action and may prejudice the sale of individual properties.”
And it warns that the stipulations are enforceable by the Duchy of Cornwall.
A pencil drawing shows a new house captioned 2017 showing it without any additions. Below this is a house captioned 2027 and the words “It couldn’t happen here…?” showing the house with added satellite dish, skylights, conservatory, plant pots and a car on the driveway.
The guide includes rules for extensions which state that each property has been designed to provide enough room for residents and suggests “it may be possible to reorganise internal space, without affecting the exterior of the building”.
It then states that any plans for extensions, conservatories, car ports, loft conversions, solar panels “or indeed anything that may alter the external
appearance of the property” will require consent from the Duchy before applying for planning permission.
The document says that rear extensions are the most likely to be acceptable but then provides a list of restrictions on how they can be built and what materials could be used.
This leads onto the next section of the code which covers building materials and details.
When using stone it has to come from a west country quarry and all slate has to be Cornish slate.
Buildings can be clad with weather boarding but paint colours have to be approved by the Duchy – an appendix provides details of colours which have been pre-approved by the Duchy.
This list explains: “In the course of constructing Nansledan, a palette of paint colours has been selected to accentuate the seaside character of the area. The colours are varied but emphasise schemes of white, cream or pastel colours. If you wish to paint your house a new colour, consent from the Duchy is required. However, selecting a choice from the colours below will lead to a likely consent by the Duchy provided it is both acceptable to your neighbours and, in the Duchy’s opinion, is sympathetic to the composition of the street scene. A change of colour to render or painted brick houses may necessitate a change of colour to the front door.”
There are limits on what doors can be used for homes as well, again with colours approved by the Duchy.
The code also states: “Ironmongery shall be solid brass, bronze or black iron of a type appropriate to the style of the door and house. Plastic and chrome
numerals, letterboxes and knockers will not be permitted.”
Gutters and drainpipes have to be made of aluminium with the code stating that UPVC and plastic “are not acceptable”.
On private gardens the code states: “Pathways, visible from the street shall be gravel, cobbles, stone or brick construction. Pathways adjoining the public, but not visible from the street, may additionally be soft landscaped with planting on soil pockets.
“Existing trees have been planted to complement the urban character of buildings and enclosed public and private outdoor spaces. Additional planting of appropriate indigenous species should be preceded by arboriculture advice on height, rate of growth, spread of canopy and roots. Hedges should be of an appropriate indigenous species, as listed in the Pattern Book, and be trimmed regularly to avoid loss of light to neighbouring properties. Cuppressus Leylandii, or similar, fast growing species, are not appropriate.”
A section then covers “ancillary elements” with details of some of the things which are not allowed.
Some are “strictly forbidden” – bubble skylights, prefabricated accessory buildings, permanent plastic sunblind/awnings, plastic commercial fascias and lettering and internally illuminated fascias and signs.
While others should not be located so that they are visible from the street – Clothes dryers, meter boxes, air extractors, dust bins, rooftop solar collectors.
The code notes that: “House builders will provide communal aerial systems serving each phase of the development. External individual television aerials and satellite dishes are not permitted.”
External houselights are not allowed on walls facing the street – other than those which have been provided.
In Appendix A residents are provided with the Estate Stipulations which set out what is and is not allowed with most requiring “the prior consent of His Royal Highness”.
For those taking up commercial units at Nansledan they are reminded: “Not to do or permit to be done in or upon the Unit anything which may be or become a nuisance annoyance or inconvenience or cause damage or loss to His Royal Highness or the owner or occupier of any other part of the Estate.”
Residents are also reminded: “Not to expose any washing or clothes on or from any front elevation or front garden of the Unit.”
There are rules for animal lovers as well who are told: “Not to keep any bird dog or other animal on or in the Unit other than the usual domestic pets.
“Not to keep or permit to be kept on the Unit any bird dog or other animal which may cause annoyance to any owner or occupier of any other part of the Estate or to the general public.”
And make sure you always put your rubbish out on the correct day: “Not to keep or leave any rubbish or refuse on or near to the Unit other than in a proper receptacle and only on the day stipulated for the collection of the same by the relevant collector of rubbish on the Estate.”
Appendix B lists “Community Stakeholders Covenants” which include a number of guidelines.
These include: “Not to make any unnecessary or excessive noise including by arguing or slamming of doors.”
And: “Not to use or allow any part of the Site to be used for dealing in, or the illegal use of, any controlled drugs; or prostitution.”