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Follow the Duchy of Cornwall’s lead and create better housing, says Welby

17 January 2022

Hugh Hastings/Duchy of Cornwall

The Archbishop of Canterbury on his visit to the Nansledan development, in Cornwall, last Friday

The Archbishop of Canterbury on his visit to the Nansledan development, in Cornwall, last Friday

THE Archbishop of Canterbury has praised a community housing development on Duchy of Cornwall land at Nansledan, in Newquay. The project was devised by Prince Charles, the Duke of Cornwall, to pioneer best housing practice.

A year ago, Archbishop Welby and the Archbishop of York published the report Coming Home: Tackling the housing crisis together (News, 26 February 2021). It urged the Church of England to lead by example, including delivering more affordable homes on its land. It also called for a collective effort at all levels of society, including the Government, local authorities, landowners, and property developers, as well as the Church, to tackle the housing crisis. It said that good housing should be sustainable, safe, stable, sociable, and satisfying.

Nansledan is a community of about 4000 homes, with employment space for a similar number of jobs, integrated within the development so that local goods and services can be accessed within a five-minute walk of every home. Almost one third is affordable housing, which is indistinguishable from open market homes. The development also incorporates community facilities, including a primary school, nursery, play areas, and green space.

During a visit to the Duchy on Monday, Archbishop Welby said that it had been wonderful to see not just new housing “but homes that provide jobs, build strong community, and work in harmony with the natural environment.

“Where we live is so vital to our health, well-being, opportunities, and flourishing. Following the publication of Coming Home, I hope the Church can be inspired by what’s been achieved at Nansledan, and use its land and resources to build homes that encourage neighbourliness, commitment to place, and sustainable futures.

“My prayer is that together we reclaim the very purpose of housing: as the basis for community, and a foundation for human flourishing.”

The report’s findings are now to be implemented by a team led by a new Bishop for Housing, the Bishop of Chelmsford, Dr Guli-Francis Dehqani,

The Duchy’s head of planning and executive-team lead for the Archbishops’ initiatives, Nick Pollock, said: “Nansledan is an example of how the Duchy of Cornwall is using its land to create a sustainable and inclusive community for social and environmental benefit. By embracing sustainable land stewardship, major landowners like the Duchy of Cornwall and the Church of England can play a vital role in delivering the vision outlined in the Coming Home report.”

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