Prince Charles give an unexpected boost to Garden Town proposals for Wisbech with a ‘royal invite’ to pop down to special project in Cornwall

Prince Charles discusses Wisbech 2020 and the Wisbech Garden Town proposals with, from left, Peter S

Prince Charles discusses Wisbech 2020 and the Wisbech Garden Town proposals with, from left, Peter Simpson, Chief Executive of Anglian Water; Gary Garford, Corporate Director at Fenland District Council; and Russell Beal, Anglian Water’s Wisbech 2020 Programme Manager. Picture; FENLAND DISTRICT COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

The Prince of Wales has invited partners behind plans to regenerate Wisbech to his new housing development in Cornwall to learn more about how its principles for urban planning could support Wisbech Garden Town proposals.

Princes Charles extended the invitation to Fenland District Council, Anglian Water and other organisations leading the Wisbech Garden Town proposals during his visit to Wisbech (November 27).

An exhibition on plans for the town’s future were showcased at St Peter and St Paul Church, where His Royal Highness met a number of organisations, charities and volunteers to find out about the work they do in the local community, and learn more about projects in the area.

Gary Garford, corporate director for Fenland District Council, Peter Simpson, chief executive of Anglian Water, and Russell Beal, Anglian Water’s Wisbech 2020 programme manager, spoke to The Prince about the garden town concept and how it was created from the partnership Wisbech 2020 Vision project, which aims to bring jobs, infrastructure and investment to the town.

Developed in 2016, Wisbech Garden Town seek to regenerate Wisbech through growth of housing and the economy, with 13,200 homes over the next 40 years and 11,000 new jobs, as well as new shops, schools, public spaces and community facilities.

During the meeting, The Prince invited partners to visit Nansledan, a 218-hectare urban extension of Newquay in Cornwall, led by the Duchy of Cornwall with support from The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community.

Like the garden town’s ambitions, Nansledan has been designed to champion sustainable development environmentally, socially and economically. It will evolve into a community of more than 4,000 homes over the next 40 years to help meet Newquay’s future business, housing, educational and health needs.

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Mr Simpson said: “HRH was really keen to see how The Prince’s Foundation could support the development of the Garden Town proposal for Wisbech.

“The ambition’s regeneration plans for the town will help the local economy to grow and prosper.

“We’re really proud to be a part of this work, and helping to put together the town’s 2020 Vision for the future which embodies sustainability and will enhance the quality of life for those living there, principles which are both equally championed by The Prince.”

Mr Garford said: “It was wonderful to see Prince Charles taking such an interest in Wisbech and its plans for the future. He was particularly interested in the Garden Town’s flood mitigation work and its green credentials including a new country park to provide surface water attenuation, leisure opportunities and new woodland.”

Mr Beal added: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Wisbech and we will be delighted to visit Nansledan and explore how The Prince’s Foundation can get involved at the earliest opportunity.”

The Prince’s invitation comes just weeks after partners submitted a bid to Government for Wisbech Garden Town to join its Garden Communities programme.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) launched the Garden Communities prospectus in August to offer local authorities and private sector partners renewed support for creating high-quality, locally supported, new communities.

Successful bids will receive tailored government assistance, including resource funding, advice from Homes England and cross-government brokerage to overcome barriers to delivery. Successful proposals will be announced later in the New Year.