Inside King Charles’s sustainable housing estate in Cornwall

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People looking to follow the Monarch’s ethos of sustainability began moving into Nansledan, near Newquay in Cornwall, in 2015.

Paula Payne, in her 70s, lived nearby for 40 years but decided to move to the green neighbourhood two years ago.

Talking about energy bills, she said: “It’s so much cheaper because the houses are so well insulated. They’re designed to be as efficient as they can.

“It’s much easier to be green out here because it’s sort of set up for the whole thing. I was in a Victorian house before which wasn’t really designed for that sort of thing. Victorians didn’t have those sorts of ideas.”

Garages in the neighbourhood already include ducting for electric vehicle charging while Nansledan’s nursery and neighbouring shops will use ground source heat pumps.

Town planners have also used the design of the community to encourage people to use active travel, such as walking or cycling, and enjoy time in nature.

Paula was walking her pup Pebbles in the “20 minute neighbourhood” when the Express spoke with her.

The Duchy of Cornwall – a major landowner in the south-west of England – owns most of the 540 acre site.

The role of Duke of Cornwall was previously filled by King Charles and has now been taken by Prince William.

Ms Payne said: “I’ve always thought he was well ahead of his time. He’s always been very much into these green ideas when everybody used to think he was quite silly. I have lots of respect for him.”

Businesses in Nansledan have benefited from the close-knit community being established in the area.

Aaron Smith, the 32-year-old owner of florist and home accessories firm Home, told how local support “definitely” helped them through the cost-of-living pressures.

The florist, who lives with his husband Matt Drohan, 45, and their toddler, added: “All the shops pretty much at this size are rate exempt and they’re very fair with the rents compared to town.”

He also told how his energy bills at home have been unchanged in recent months despite soaring gas prices because of energy efficiency measures.

Amanda Langley, 52, founded luxury Belgian chocolate brand Langleys which runs from a store in Nansledan.

The chocolatier moved there over five years ago after working in Poundbury, which was also built on the principles of architecture and urban planning advocated by the King.

She uses an electric vehicle for company deliveries and does the short walk from her house to work everyday.

Amanda told how her home’s energy efficiency is so good that her dishwasher can warm her kitchen.

Amanda said: “I hardly have my heating on. I have never put heating on the top floor of my house, it’s a three-story house.

“I’ve never had to put it on. It gets too hot. And literally, you put the dishwasher on and it heats the kitchen.”

An older couple, who did not want to be named, said they have struggled to adjust to the community.

They said: “Unless you’re prepared to go to the coffee shops all the time or you’ve got a dog or you’ve got a baby, there’s nothing else here for us.

The pair pointed out that a doctor’s surgery or pharmacy have yet to be built, meaning they need to trek further away

“They built the new great school there but nothing for our age group. It’s the least friendliest place I’ve ever lived in my entire life, and I was brought up in London.”

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