Words by Dan Warden
Bringing a refreshing combination of luxury, sustainability and community spirit to the fore.
As we examine what defines luxury homes in Cornwall, it would be remiss of us to overlook the influence that the county’s long-established architects, designers and developers have had on the landscape here. A fine example is luxury home developer, Legacy Properties, who for more than a decade have been leading the pack in the development of premium seaside homes; creating beautiful, modern living spaces in what are, without a doubt, some of the UK’s most sought-after locations. In the words of Nick Long, Legacy’s Founder and Managing Director: “It’s been an interesting journey to this point!”
So how did it all begin? Casting his mind back to 2009/10, Nick recalls splitting his time between Cornwall and the capital, developing property renovation opportunities including Legacy’s very first Cornish development, One Eighty in St Ives. Featuring four large duplex apartments with breathtaking views of St Ives, One Eighty would set the benchmark for the stamp of coveted luxury homes for which Legacy has since become renowned.
Later, Nick recalls: “Between 2010 and 2013, I was managing luxury projects in London, including work with historic Grade II listed buildings. At the same time, having been visiting Cornwall since childhood, I was spending an increasing amount of time in Cornwall, particularly the north coast.” It was during these visits that Nick was beginning to get very excited about the potential for high-end coastal homes.
“So, in 2014, we started work on our first project in Newquay. Seascape, our first award-winning development, comprised ten apartments and two houses, with stunning views out towards the famous Fistral beach. With such an overwhelmingly positive response, it quickly became obvious that this is where we should be,” says Nick, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Since then, Legacy has gone on to develop a number of other award-winning coastal developments across the north coast, including its latest luxury development, Woodlands, on the Gannel Estuary, which won Best Residential Deveopment Cornwall at the 2021 UK Property Awards. In fact, the brand was so successful in the years following its launch that, in 2018, Nick explains: “We decided the time was right to launch a new brand – Legacy Homes.”
Launching with Halwyn Meadows in Crantock – a contemporary family home development, which has since sold out with a mix of open market and affordable homes – Legacy Homes is direct proof of Legacy’s long-term ambition to remain ahead of the curve. But not even all of their successes to date, it would seem, are enough to sate the appetite shared by Nick and the team, to set the standard within their field.
“We always put quality first,” Nick explains. “We have exacting high standards, passion and a depth of expertise within the company that enables us to create beautiful, modern living spaces in the most stunning, sought-after locations. We pride ourselves on building properties that are always in-keeping with the local area and where possible, we use local materials and skilled trades.
“Since our very first projects in Newquay, we have always strived to be at the forefront of luxury property trends in Cornwall,” says Nick, pointing us to the multiple apartment developments they’ve since completed, overlooking the world-famous waves of Fistral beach. Characterised by modern spaces, luxe finishes and bespoke kitchens, with beautifully appointed bathrooms and even integrated audio/visual systems, these apartments are classic examples of the Legacy stamp of luxury.
But location and great design will only take a company like Legacy so far; it has to demonstrate care and commitment to the welfare of the world around it. Particularly today, where ubiquitous environmental news stories demand that we all shoulder more responsibility for the future of our planet, championing values of sustainability is a sure-fire way of ensuring a future, particularly in a field that relies so much on heavy industry. For Legacy, this is more than just a ‘box-ticking’ exercise; it’s fundamental to the company ethos. Nick explains: “We take this very seriously and view our commitment to sustainability in three ways: minimising our impact on the environment; accommodating the surrounding wildlife; and playing our part in supporting sustainable Cornish communities by working with local skilled trades and suppliers.
“Our first development for Legacy Homes – Halwyn Meadows in Crantock – is a great example. A scheme of more than 80 family homes, all these homes included air source heat pumps instead of mains gas to power more efficient ground-floor underfloor heating. It’s interesting, actually, to see the Government’s recent announcement of grants for households to replace gas boilers with air source heat pumps,” Nick reflects. “It’s great news, but we’ve been including these systems for a number of years already!”
The build at Crantock also incorporated environmental aspects such as bee bricks, bat blocks and even swift blocks from Cornish supplier, Green & Blue, and Nick reveals that all of these were made from waste material from a local Cornish china clay works.
It seems, as Nick delves into Legacy Homes’ flagship development, that ‘local’ has become something of a mindset for the team, and across the entire Legacy brand, too. And when I ask what is most important to Legacy as a company, Nick’s answer is really rather refreshing. In an industry that is sometimes, often unfairly, associated with ‘profit over people’, Legacy once again sets itself apart from the crowd. As Nick puts it: “North Cornwall is my home, and ultimately, we want to be good neighbours. By working with local skilled tradespeople and, where possible, suppliers, we are able to support the local economy. We are also passionate about giving back to those who have been so supportive of us and in recent years, we’ve supported a number of local community projects, such as Newquay Community Orchard, Crantock Life Saving Club and the Newquay Hornets rugby club.”
As Legacy grows, it is Nick’s hope that the steps they’ve already taken with Legacy Homes will eventually become giant leaps in a direction that’s still relatively new to the business. “This is to essentially maintain the Legacy commitment to the highest build standards, while opening up contemporary family living to new home owners. We have already begun to deliver on this commitment with Halwyn Meadows, where over half of the project was dedicated to affordable homes for local buyers only. This makes us immensely proud, and we have exciting plans to provide more quality homes for the local community over the coming years.”
Since its inception more than a decade ago, Legacy Properties’ approach has remained steadfast in its desire to innovate and develop aspirational living spaces, and even today – with the current development of Longshore and Ebb Tide, offering luxurious two-to-four bed homes in Porth, and the latest Legacy Homes project Applewood, a select development of ten houses in St Columb – Nick and co have the same passion that sparked the company’s launch all those years ago. “But at the same time, we have come such a long way,” concludes Nick, reflecting on their achievement at Halwyn Meadows. And with the promise of more similar projects on the horizon, Legacy looks set to play an integral role in Cornwall’s future. As Nick says: “Cornwall is our home, and we are thrilled to play our part in building sustainable futures for our communities.”