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Wednesday, 20 February, 2002, 10:51 GMT
'Charlesville' model town for Cornwall
Prince Charles meets Cree Indian chiefs in Canada
Prince Charles has championed environmental issues
A former railway goods yard is to be transformed into a multi-million pound urban village with the help of the Prince of Wales's "architectural watchdog".

The blend of housing, shops, businesses and public spaces - including a village green - is planned for a 10-acre site in the heart of St Austell, Cornwall.

The development is planned on similar lines to Poundbury, the growing "model town" on the edge of Dorchester, Dorset, conceived by the Prince himself.

As with Poundbury - nicknamed Charlesville - the streets of the planned Cornish village have been designed for people rather than cars with the emphasis on reducing vehicle speed.

Close interest

The Prince's Foundation, which promotes a return to human values in architecture, urban design and regeneration, has been working with the scheme's partners.

It is understood the Prince, who is Duke of Cornwall, is taking a close interest in the project and it is likely he will make a visit later this year.

The Prince has his own organic farm at Highgrove
The Prince's organic farm at Highgrove

The project, a first for Cornwall, is a partnership between Restormel Borough Council, the South West Regional Development Agency, Devon and Cornwall Housing Association, the developer Midas Homes, and The Prince's Foundation.

It comes as thousands of new homes are being planned on greenfield sites across the South West.

The St Austell urban village meets the government policy on maximising the use of derelict land to include affordable housing and a range of employment and community facilities.

Subject to planning permission, the urban village will feature around 140 dwellings, comprising a mixture of two-bedroomed flats, and two, three and four-bedroomed houses.

The Prince's Foundation is working with all the project partners to ensure the development reflects urban village principles.

The village will also feature eight houses specifically designed for people who want to work from home.

"We see this flagship scheme as a pilot for good practice in the development of brownfield sites in the borough and Cornwall," said Restormel Council spokesman Shirley Polmounter.

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