William to build homes on Duchy of Cornwall land

William to build homes on Duchy of Cornwall land

The Prince of Wales has announced plans to build homes on Duchy of Cornwall land to tackle homelessness in the South West of England.

Working with Cornish homelessness charity St Petrocs, the project will provide 24 homes in Nansledan, Newquay, with “wrap around support” for local people experiencing homelessness to create a path to a permanent home.

The development of “high quality temporary accommodation that feels like home” is due to begin in September with the first homes expected to be completed in the autumn of next year, according to a statement from the estate.

The Duchy of Cornwall is a portfolio of land, property and investments valued at more than £1 billion, which provide an income for the heir to the throne.

In a newspaper interview last year, William, who is also the Duke of Cornwall – a title inherited from his father after Queen Elizabeth II’s death – was asked if there were plans for affordable housing on his Duchy of Cornwall land and replied: “There is. Absolutely. Social housing. You’ll see that when it’s ready.”

Estate director Ben Murphy said: “As one of his key priorities for the Duchy of Cornwall, Prince William asked us to address the homelessness challenge within Cornwall and other areas where the estate resides.

“Today, we are excited to reveal plans for this innovative housing project to help break the cycle of homelessness in the Newquay area.”

Mr Murphy continued: “We will be helping people rebuild their lives, with training and employment opportunities alongside the provision of more permanent housing that we are building in Nansledan.

“The Duchy is well-known for integrating high quality affordable housing into the new communities built on its land, and Prince William is determined to ensure that we continue to be part of the solution when it comes to the housing crisis.

“The shortage of social rent and private rented properties are widely considered to be the main causes of increasing homelessness across the country, which is why we are proud to launch this project alongside ambitious plans to unlock more affordable and attainable homes across our estate.”

St Petrocs will help residents access training and employment “to provide a route out of homelessness for good”.

The charity’s chief executive, Henry Meacock, said: “Everybody at St Petrocs is delighted to be part of this collaboration with the Duchy of Cornwall.

“Our charity has been working in Cornwall for over 30 years and has supported many hundreds of people in this time. With the Duchy of Cornwall, we believe we can deliver a truly exemplary project embedded in the local community which will provide a route for many more people out of homelessness for good.”

“This partnership is an important step in achieving our shared goal of ending homelessness in Cornwall and across the UK,” Mr Meacock added.

However, anti-monarchy campaign group Republic have criticised the “very limited” scope of the scheme which it points out will earn profit for William who receives funds from the public purse.

Graham Smith, of Republic, said today: “The country will spend at least £3.4 billion on the monarchy over the next decade.

“That’s money that could be invested in homes for those who most need them, instead of two dozen palatial homes for one family.

“The public are well aware of the housing crisis because, unlike William, we are all dealing with the consequences of it. For William to trumpet this very limited scheme as a response to that crisis is nonsense.

“Rather than be thankful for a few homes built on Duchy land, which William will profit from, we all need to be demanding the return of the Duchy to full public ownership and an end to the monarchy.”

The Duchy of Cornwall confirmed its future housing projects in Nansledan will aim to increase affordable housing from 30% to 40%, which means up to 200 more affordable homes will be built on top of the existing 1,020.

The Duchy also said it plans to create a Private Rented Scheme for Nansledan, which removes barriers to entry for those on lower incomes, provides longer term tenancies and transparent rent increases.

The estate further committed to building more than 400 social rented homes and a further 475 affordable dwellings on its new development of South East Faversham in Kent.

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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