The world’s spotlight was on Cornwall this past weekend as the leaders of the G7 met in Carbis Bay to devise a common strategy to fight climate change and reduce carbon emissions. Not far from the summit’s seaside location, an eco-village shows sustainability in practice.
Prime minister Boris Johnson visited Cornwall’s West Carclaze Garden Village, touring the UK’s main sustainable garden village project, which will deliver 1,500 affordable green homes for locals set in 500 acres of Cornish countryside. The first residents will move in by the summer and the first phase of the project will be completed by 2024.
The eco-village is next to the Eden Project near St Austell, where Johnson and Queen Elizabeth II entertained the G7 leaders at the weekend. The Garden village is being built by Eco-Bos, a joint venture between Imerys and majority shareholder Orascom Development Holding that describes its mission as developing sustainable communities in the UK.
As well as 1,500 homes, the eco-village will also have a nursery, a primary school, a village square and community hub, a marketplace, two solar farms, a wetland nature reserve, a 350-acre country park, five lakes and 12 miles of nature trails for walking and cycling.
“This fantastic project at West Carclaze Garden Village will not only be carbon-neutral but carbon-positive,” said Johnson during his visit. “It’s a model for Cornwall and the country as we build back better and greener. It is a fitting legacy for a region playing host to some of the most important diplomatic talks in a generation.”
The village will be net carbon-zero by 2050 and carbon-positive from then on. The two solar farms currently on-site produce enough clean electricity equivalent to 1,136 of the highly energy efficient homes being delivered, homes which themselves save up to 94% carbon emissions. Over a third of the homes will be affordable.
Properties will also have an EPC-A rating, something less than 0.2% of homes in England achieve and the 210-pupil school, which is due to open in September 2022 will become the first net carbon zero school in the UK.
“West Carclaze Garden Village is setting new standards for sustainable living without compromising great design,” said Maher Maksoud, CEO, Eco-Bos. “Our aim is to become the model for new, sustainable community developments across the UK.”