Royal Action: Prince William Pressing Ahead With Social Housing Plan to End Homelessness

Prince William social housing plan in Cornwall © Bang Showbiz

Prince William is pressing ahead with a £3 million social housing plan on his Cornwall estate, known as South East Faversham, as part of his campaign to end homelessness.

The Prince of Wales wants to offer high-quality accommodation in the area and is looking to have 24 new homes—both four-bedroom houses and one-bedroom flats—built on the development in Nansledan, Newquay, by next year. Notably, these homes will be designed and constructed with sustainability in mind, using low-carbon natural materials and renewable energy, including solar panels and heat pumps. It will also include a water-recycling centre aimed at delivering water neutrality on site.

As well, over half of the area will be dedicated to green spaces intended to support the community’s mental health and well-being and deliver a 20 per cent net gain in biodiversity.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, Adam Architecture and local firm ALA Architects will design the low-carbon houses in a “traditional Cornish seaside” style, featuring slate roofs, granite lintels, solar panels, heat pumps, and colourful timber windows.

William—who has three children with wife Catherine, Princess of Wales—has offered to cover the construction costs of the houses, along with giving the land free of charge. Additionally, the prince plans to invest in local infrastructure, including bus links, electricity, water, and superfast broadband.

The prince wants the new estate to “look and feel as homely as possible” to tackle the stigma surrounding social housing. The landscape will be designed to include greenery, encouraging biodiversity.

The scheme will also offer various “wraparound services” in collaboration with the homeless charity St. Petrocs, including mental health support, training, employment opportunities, and counselling.

“South East Faversham will be a mixed community, delivering a wide range of affordable and attainable homes that will be integrated with a diverse variety of commercial and community uses, providing opportunities for education and employment in a high-quality environment,” said Ben Murphy, estate director at the Duchy of Cornwall.

social housing plan
Prince William © BANG Showbiz

The Sunday Telegraph reported that sources close to the prince have said the 41-year-old royal—who saw the Duchy record profits of £24 million in 2022-23—wants to “lead from the front” and urge other landowners to follow in his footsteps.

Kensington Palace hailed the scheme as the Duchy’s “first innovative housing project to help address homelessness.” William vowed last year to build social housing on his private estate as part of his mission to “end homelessness.”

Asked if there are duchy plans for affordable housing, he told the Sunday Times newspaper in a rare interview: “There is. Absolutely. Social housing. You’ll see that when it’s ready. I’m no policy expert, but I push it where I can.”

It is believed William will “start small” and scale up his plans if they prove to be viable, but the prince stressed that “the key thing is making this sustainable” when it comes to his vision.

He said: “It’s all very well making big gestures, but there’s no point if . . . there’s no future to it. [I am determined to] make a difference . . . that doesn’t set people up that are homeless for another fall. They think they’ve got hope and then you take it away from them, which so many of these people have experienced.”

—BANG Showbiz

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