Zero-energy park in pipeline

One of the UK’s first “zero-energy” parks could be built in Cornwall if a bid for a £22m lottery grant is a success.

Named Heartlands Park, the 7.5ha site near the former mining town of Pool has been designed to showcase how parks can run self-sufficiently. As much energy will be created as is expended by the park as wind turbines, photovoltaic (solar) panels and geothermal technology, which uses heat that comes from the earth, would be employed to generate electricity. Heartlands has also been designed to celebrate Cornwall’s mining heritage as it would be built around Robinson’s Shaft — the last operating tin mine in Europe. London-based Land Use Consultants, which was the landscape architect for Cornwall’s Eden Project, created the master-plan for the designs after winning a competition run last year by the Landscape Institute. Its designs include a museum on the history of mining and a series of gardens, named Diaspora Gardens, which will feature plants from the countries influenced by Cornish emigration — such as Chile, New Zealand and South Africa. Senior landscape architect Martin Commane said: “The level of community involvement has been really high. “We had numerous workshops with local residents to come up with the proposals to ensure that this project will benefit future generations. We are hoping that it will have a major impact on the social and economic regeneration of the local area.” Hopes that Heartlands will go ahead are high as the project is one of nine known to have made the shortlist last week of the Big Lottery Fund’s Living Landmarks programme. Originally some 23 teams from all over Britain entered the contest to win funding of between £10m and £25m. Heartlands project manager at Kerrier District Council in Cornwall Scott James said: “We’re really hopeful now that we are down to the last nine. These projects are all of a high quality but the Heartlands Project would transform a deprived urban area of Cornwall in need of improvement. “There’s been nothing else to date which this area has had to kick off its redevelopment.” Around 22,000 new jobs will be created within Pool if the plans go ahead. Many jobs were lost in the area during the 1980s and 1990s when Cornwall’s tin and copper mines shut down.

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