Economically-devastated, mining-ravaged county now has a low-carbon plan for revitalizing a run-down area of its only city

Revised plans for revitalizing the run-down Pydar area of Truro, Cornwall, UK are now available for the public to view and comment upon.

Cornwall is the poorest county in England, having been reliant on mining companies that have since shut down, usually leaving un-restored scars of the beautiful landscape. Truro is the county’s only real city.

One notable exception, of course, is the world-class restoration and revitalization of a china clay pit at the Eden Project.

Over the years, we’ve featured the Eden Project many times here in REVITALIZATION (most recently here). I (Storm Cunningham) visited the project and interviewed in leaders about 15 years ago.

This new Pydar regeneration initiative in Truro is designed to create jobs, build new low-carbon homes, restore and expand green spaces while boosting economic growth.

The Cornwall Council, in collaboration with Treveth Development LLP, PRP Architects, and Inner Circle Consulting, has reworked the proposals based on comments at the Council’s February meeting of the Strategic Planning Committee and subsequent stakeholder engagement sessions.

Cllr Stephen Rushworth, Portfolio Holder for the Economy at the Council, said “With cities and high streets across the country facing unprecedented challenges, the need to invest in projects that will support our city centre, create jobs and build homes is now greater than ever.

The Council has been working with local residents and businesses to maximise the benefits for the city through this project. We are submitting these revised plans, which are now out for consultation, to strengthen the city centre and provide an exciting neighbourhood that will deliver quality homes, contribute to the city’s affordable housing need, improve access to nature, and provide more jobs and opportunities,” he added.

Massing, height, and uses

The revised plans, which have now been validated by the Council’s Planning and Sustainable Development service, are available to view via the online planning application register (application number PA21/04889), and include changes that reduce the total building area by 10,500sqm, reducing all non-residential use by 21 per cent.

This means that the development’s overall height has been decreased and massing has been reduced to align with the surrounding neighbourhood.

Retail remains at less than two per cent of the total development whilst workspace and leisure use will be 10 per cent of the site. These changes will maintain the focus on homes rather than retail and ensure ample access to daylight.


In response to concerns raised over parking, the resubmitted proposals now include the retention of the Moresk/Oak Way Car Park and a planning condition that these spaces will be retained for a specified minimum period.

Whilst the revised application will still include the long-term aim to see the Moresk/Oak Way Car Park form part of the development, the planning condition will only allow this to happen when evidence is available that the rest of the Pydar development does not have an adverse impact on the adjacent residential areas and that there is sufficient available car park spaces in Truro. 

Housing for all

There is a great need for housing of all types across Truro. The development will deliver 320 homes, of which 35 per cent would be affordable, with up to 112 accessible homes for Later Living in a location with quality greenspace, access to the riverfront, proximity to shops in the town centre and vibrant new food and drink businesses.

In addition to providing new homes, this development will create more than 3.5 acres of public spaces, plant more than 100 trees and provide new garden areas with accessible riverside paths for everyone to use. For comparison, Pydar will be creating greenspace the equivalent to three times the size of Lemon Quay.

The neighbourhood will be designed for different generations of people, including those first starting out, families, and lifetime living, aiming to break down barriers and create an inclusive, place to live, grow, and play.

Respecting local character

The scheme aims to enhance the character and appearance of the local area and the Truro Conservation Area by contributing high-quality, well-designed buildings that complement the existing area and respect the city’s rich history, culture, and people.

Newly created vistas will enhance views of the historic Truro Cathedral whilst the landmark viaduct will be a central feature for new walking paths and cycling routes.

Achieving a healthier environment

This housing-led scheme aims to be highly sustainable and contribute to the Council’s aims to be net carbon-neutral by 2030, by delivering 60 per cent of its power needs through renewal sources of energy.

A minor reduction in car parking will be offset by supporting new modes of sustainable transport, such as cycling, as well as electric vehicle charging facilities provided throughout the development.

Research carried out before the pandemic showed that only 79 per cent of all parking spaces in the city centre are used, which means there is an opportunity to reduce spaces whilst helping to achieve a safer, healthier Truro.

Residents and businesses are encouraged to participate in the planning consultation. Visit or follow updates on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram (@PydarTruro) for all the latest on information, events, and activity.

We know our engagement doesn’t stop with this application. We would like to invite all residents to stay engaged during the consultation process and reach out to our team to make your voices heard, including online and in person when safe to do so. Public events will be held over the summer and beyond,” Rushworth concluded.

If the plans are approved, the aim would be for work to start on the redevelopment next year.

Images courtesy of PRP Architects.

You must be logged in to post a comment