THE marketing material for Nansledan, a settlement a couple of miles from the Cornish coast, paints a picture of time-worn rural bliss. Houses daubed in gentle shades of yellow, pink and blue slope towards the sea; smartly dressed residents pop into the local bakery. The present reality of 150 or so colourful houses perched atop a windy hill, surrounded by a building site, does not quite match up.
But the Duchy of Cornwall, a private estate inherited by Prince Charles, has grand plans for the “urban extension” to the town of Newquay. More than half of new British homes are built by just eight firms, which often produce identikit houses—think paved driveways and PVC windows—sited far from shops and businesses. The Duchy hopes Nansledan will show that another way is possible, setting “new standards for urban development”.