Higher Newham Farm
Higher Newham Farm and Village project is a plan to breathe life back into a former farm by creating an educational community farm and a thriving Cornish village. The pioneering project is a ground-breaking partnership between Duchy College, Cornwall Food Foundation and housing developer, Living Villages. By bringing together the worlds of farming, food, education and living, the plan is to create a small village on a working community farm that feels as though it belongs. The proposals will reinvigorate 92 acres of farmland on the edge of Truro, Cornwall, and the aim is to create an exemplar development that will be nationally significant, and then replicate this approach to creating sustainable communities elsewhere.
The site had contentious history in terms of planning, after an application for 1,020 houses on the land was over turned by Eric Pickles, who was the Minister in charge of the Department of Communities and Local Government at the time. It is a large greenfield site on the edge of the city with views over an AONB and the idea of building on it was controversial. Fresh was contacted to help provide advice and support in terms of social media strategy and stakeholder engagement.
Fresh carried out the following:
The initial application was refused due to traffic and highways concerns. However a slightly revised application was successful – due in part to the high amount of public support for the project.
Period of Fresh involvement: July-December 2015
“From the start Fresh got the brief. They saw what we needed to do with the PR and stakeholder engagement around the Higher Newham Farm and Village project and had clear ideas about how we could get there. But they were equally able to flex and bend to the needs of the project and to the ideas of the wider project team – a necessary skill given the nature of the job!
“Planning, delivery, timing – Abby had it all sorted. But perhaps what was most special for me as project manager is that Fresh quickly stopped feeling like an outside PR agency, and became part of the team. Getting to know things inside out – which was immensely valuable to me and to the project as a whole. My experience of Abby and Lisa is that they do their job brilliantly just because they love doing everything in life to the full. They’re bright, quick, savvy and a joy to work with. Perhaps most importantly, they get on with the job and they get the results.”Vicky Garner - Project Coordinator, Higher Newham Farm