CRHA logo

Cornwall Rural Housing Association
office: 01208 264530
fax: 01208 264540
email: info@crha.org.uk

Cornwall Community Land Trust Project 2006- 2008

This page give information about the Cornwall Community Land Trust Project which was hosted by CRHA.

Click here for a copy of the report on the Cornwall CLT project published by Community Finance Solutions at the University of Salford.

Cornwall Rural Housing Association Cornwall Rural Housing Association (CRHA) is a charitable housing association registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts 1965 to 1978.

The Association was formed in 1985 with the specific aim of building houses for rent in the rural areas of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The houses are let to local people in housing need. All of CRHA's existing housing is for rent.

In April 2006 CRHA appointed a Community Land Trust Project Manager to work on a two year project supported by Cornwall County Council, The Tudor Trust and DEFRA to investigate how Community Land Trusts could help to meet a wider range of needs in the rural communities within which we work.

What is a Community Land Trust?

A Community Land Trust (CLT) is a not for profit organisation which can be an industrial and provident society, a company limited by guarantee or any other incorporated body whose governing instrument allows the organisation to provide and manage affordable housing or other facilities for the benefit of the community.

The Cornwall Community Land Trust Project This was the first county-wide project in England to involve a full time Community Land Trust Project Manager. The two year project, which ran from 18th April 2006 to 30th April 2008, was funded by the Tudor Trust, Cornwall County Council, Cornwall Rural Housing Association, and DEFRA. Additional funding was received from Carrick District Council, North Cornwall District Council and Restormel Borough Council for the 2007/08 financial year.

The Project led to the establishment of Cornwall Community Land Trust. The mechanism adopted to develop CLTs in Cornwall was: to establish an umbrella CLT for the whole County which would to provide development services to local groups and bring forward development opportunities as they arise; to develop local CLTs which involved local people in identifying the needs and, in the long term, engaging with the issue of how the affordable housing and other property assets can play a part in maintaining sustainable local communities.

These options can range from a simple agreement to consult on how property is used to full transfer of ownership of assets from the umbrella CLT to the local CLT.

CRHA was selected to host the Project because of the reputation it had established as a rural specialist providing good quality homes to meet housing needs throughout Cornwall and on the Isles of Scilly.

The Association hosted the Project, undertook promotional work, assisted in the resolution of legal and planning policy issues and offered management and other services to any CLTs that were established.

A local CLT may initially be sponsored by a parish council (or another existing local body) or it may be a new organisation set up with the needs of a particular area as its intended remit.

Part of the project was to explore how to maximise the community development aspects of this two-tier approach. CRHA or CCLT could act as a “constitutional custodian” to the CLTs that are established in order to provide further reassurance that the equity or interest held by the CLTs will remain for the benefit of the community in perpetuity.

The following paragraphs provide details of the original purpose and objectives of the Project:

Purpose of the project

To demonstrate through actual projects how the community land trust mechanism can secure the delivery of affordable housing and other uses such as workspace, community space or community woodland where appropriate, with the engagement and involvement of local communities in its delivery and management.

To show how the planning, community development, housing allocation and regeneration issues can be resolved, with a view to setting arrangements which will continue to deliver more affordable housing (and property for other uses).

Objectives of the project

1. Identify and implement at least six projects using the Community Land Trust mechanism and models described above providing affordable housing linked to the identified needs of local communities and involving them in delivery. Key characteristics were that: there was community involvement in project delivery the equity generated was held for community benefit in the long term the projects were outside the existing regulatory framework for housing associations.

2. Take schemes forward so that, at the end of the two year period, there were: two schemes under construction; two schemes with planning permission and where the site has been purchased; two schemes which were ready to go forward to purchase.

3. Promote the CLT concept to: communities, parishes, and local authorities throughout Cornwall. community development organisations and staff developers and landowners registered social landlords.

4. Develop a strategy for establishing the suggested county-wide umbrella including local CLTs as partners.

5. Develop a dialogue with County and District Councils.

6. Develop the tools that CLTs will need, including finance, community investment expertise, intermediate market housing models, a revolving loan fund to meet initial speculative design and planning costs, access to Objective 1 subsidies for workspace etc. Community Finance Solutions (CFS) - an initiative of the University of Salford - were contracted to act as advisors to the project. Trowers & Hamlins and CFS developed a constitutional starter pack for community organisations wishing to establish a community land trust or community property trust. This was available for a fixed fee and could be obtained from www.communitylandtrust.org.uk

7. Use both the successful project outcomes and the tools developed: to inform policy discussion; to provide case studies based on actual schemes drawing out lessons which could help inform other schemes; to link the project into other web-based advice and support for CLTs developed by Community Finance Solutions and others.

8. Draw up a long term business plan based on the above to take the project forward beyond 2008.

Why are CLT's attracting so much interest?

Apart from some setting up costs they do not necessarily need grant to deliver affordable housing.

Communities can be involved and empowered.

Purchasers of the houses do not have any additional rent to pay.

Landowners can be reassured that land sold at low value will not become a windfall to a householder in the future.

Local authorities can be reassured that schemes on rural exceptions sites will be controlled and remain affordable in perpetuity.

The community can be reassured that the homes will meet local housing needs.

Progress

The following paragraphs summarise the position at the end of the CLT Project. More up to date information is available on the pages relating to the current work of the Cornwall Community Land Trust.

The county-wide "umbrella" Cornwall Community Land Trust was registered in March 2007. Cornwall CLT Limited is an Industrial and Provident Society with Charitable Rules (Registered Number 30200R).

A five year business plan was adopted by the Board of Cornwall CLT Limited and would be presented to potential funding partners. The aim in the Business Plan was to deliver over 180 new homes on a number of sites in the period to December 2012.

Detailed planning permission had been granted for a scheme of 13 affordable homes at Blisland (near Bodmin) on land provided by North Cornwall District Council. The scheme comprised 6 affordable CLT homes for sale to local people and 7 affordable homes for rent to local people by CRHA. The homes were ready for occupation during March/April 2009.

Planning applications had been submitted for a further 2 schemes in Caradon.

Planning applications were to be submitted for a further 4 schemes in Caradon, North Cornwall, Penwith and Restormel Districts.

Caradon District Council assisted with pre-development finance plus land on three sites. Penwith, Restormel, and Carrick District Councils assisted with funding for site acquisitions.

Negotiations with other housing associations and private developers were well advanced on a number of other schemes with a view to acquiring finished homes.

Cornwall CLT Limited worked with local groups aiming to form CLTs and deliver affordable homes in their local communities.

The following local CLTs had been registered:

St Minver CLT Limited

This Community Land Trust was registered as a Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee in December 2006. A site in Rock was purchased and the scheme started on site on 1st October 2007. The 12 two and three bedroom bungalows were provided for local people through a self-build scheme which was managed by the CLT. North Cornwall District Council provided both a setting up grant and also development finance by way of a secured interest free loan. The scheme was completed on time and within budget in December 2008. A second phase is now under construction.

St Just in Roseland CLT Limited

This Community Land Trust was registered as a Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee in April 2007. It negotiated the purchase of a site for the scheme of 8 affordable homes for local people at St Just in Roseland using the self-build route. A detailed planning application was approved in August 2007. Carrick District Council provided a setting up grant and also provided the CLT with a grant to purchase the land.

St Ewe Affordable Homes Limited

This Community Land Trust was registered as a Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee in April 2008 with financial support provided by Restormel Borough Council. The CLT negotiated terms for the acquisition of a small rural exceptions site in partnership with CRHA and construction of six affordable homes commenced in April 2010.

Other groups were at various stages of formation at the end of the Project and have since become formally constituted.

The objectives of the Project were achieved and Cornwall CLT Limited is now continuing with this important work across the County.

Contact details for further information:

 ...about the Cornwall CLT Project or the work of CRHA:

Peter Moore

Director
Cornwall Rural Housing Association
1 Dreason Barns
Bodmin Road
Bodmin
PL30 4BG
Tel 01208 264530

email: peter@crha.org.uk

 ...about the Cornwall CLT Project or the on-going work of Cornwall Community Land Trust:

Alan Fox

Director
Cornwall Community Land Trust
1 Dreason Barns
Bodmin Road
Bodmin
PL30 4BG
Email:alan@crha.org.uk
Telephone: 01208 264530
Direct line: 01208 892005
Mobile: 07515999680

Cornwall CLT Limited is a charitable Industrial and Provident Society (Registered Number 30200R)