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Developing affordable community-led housing in Cornwall – St Just in Roseland CLT

Locality is currently supporting 21 organisations to progress their plans for Community-led Housing through the Early Stage Support Programme.

Funded by Nationwide Foundation, this programme is supporting both newly formed groups and established anchor organisations to progress plans for building new affordable homes or refurbishing existing buildings to create affordable housing.

       A public consultation held in July

Cornwall has one of the greatest disparities between wages and the cost of housing. The need for affordable housing was realised in the development of St Just in Roseland’s Neighbourhood Plan which passed referendum in 2015.

The consultation showed that 87% of respondents would support the building of affordable housing to meet the needs of local people.This objective in turn produced six policies supporting:
• the change of use of holiday lets
• conversion of hotels and guest houses
• the re-use of redundant buildings for affordable housing
• the construction of new affordable housing for people with a clearly defined local connection and managed by a Roseland based community-led housing group.

St Just in Roseland Community Land Trust are hoping to facilitate the building of 12 to 14 properties for affordable rent on part scrub land and part agricultural land, with a mixture of one, two and three-bed properties to cater for single people and families.

The Early Stage Support (ESS) programme funded by Nationwide Foundation has helped this group to work with a community-led housing adviser to develop a plan to unlock private land for affordable housing.

The proposed site for development requires the purchase of land from a private owner and obtaining a gift of land from Cornwall Council. The role of the group has been to investigate concept options for the site (the mix of housing types and sizes) and work up a project plan to present to the landowner to negotiate a purchase price to enable all of the properties built to be affordable.

Through this process, the group have decided to work in partnership with Cornwall Rural Housing Association who will draw down funding from Homes England (previously Homes and Communities Agency) to purchase the land, act as the developer and then manage the affordable housing. Cornwall Rural Housing Association are happy to manage the properties under the St Just in Roseland CLT housing allocation policy.

As the housing association has increased their role in the project this has led to the landowner seeking more funding per plot, but affordable housing will still be viable on the site.

The group has been supported through the Early Stage Support programme to secure a £10k pre-feasibility grant from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to help fund the next stage of the project. This grant is being used to develop the design and layout of the housing and develop legal agreements for the land. The group have also received a grant from Cornwall Council for £10k for pre-development costs.

The group have received support from architects to prepare a pre-application submission and obtain pre-application advice from Cornwall Council and Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The Early Stage Support grant is paying for legal advice to revise their constitution and broaden the group’s membership to include membership from five parishes. The group has learnt a lot about the development process and are keen to move onto introducing more affordable housing on other sites.

Meet Locality members and others involved in community-led housing at the Powerful Communities event on 17 January in Leeds.

Would you like to join the mailing list for the Locality members’ CLH network and be invited to regular CLH networking meetings? If so, please email so we can talk to you about how Locality can help.

 

Nationwide Foundation