Could 'eco' homes improve St Austell residents' wellbeing?
Environmentally friendly homes which it is hoped will improve the health and wellbeing of residents have been officially opened.
The 31 Prince Charles House "eco apartments" in St Austell were built to replace a 50-year-old building that could no longer offer Ocean Housing's residents suitable accommodation.
As families looked forward to their first Christmas in their new homes, Lord Taylor of Goss Moor, chairman of the National Housing Federation and former MP for Truro and St Austell, performed the opening honours.
"This is a beautiful development with top-class environmental credentials," Lord Taylor said.
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"Most importantly, it is now providing wonderful homes with very low running costs to local people whose lives have been transformed as a result."
Ocean Housing and Cornwall Council have commissioned a three-year research project by the European Centre of Environmental and Human Health, part of Exeter Medical School.
It will look at whether living at Prince Charles House has a significant effect on the health and wellbeing of residents and helps them to live a greener lifestyle.
David Renwick, Ocean Group chief executive, said: "An official opening is always a cause for celebration for us, but at this time of the year it is even more poignant, knowing that residents are cosy, warm and comfortable when it matters to them most.
"You only have to talk to residents to see what a real difference it has made to their lives and how it is significantly improving their wellbeing.
"This was our dream and we are thankful to partners Cornwall Council and the Homes and Communities Agency for helping us turn our aspirations into a reality for local people."