Areas of work
The Early Stage Support Programme
St Just in Roseland received support from ‘The Early Stage Support programme’, designed in partnership with the Nationwide Foundation to provide the support required by new and existing community organisations at the start of their community-led housing (CLH) journey.
The programme has shown that early stage professional advice, peer to peer learning and grant funding is essential to support both new startup groups and existing community organisations to progress CLH schemes.
Building affordable housing to meet the needs of local people
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 Neighbourhood Plan which passed a 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 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 and the construction of new affordable housing for people with a clearly defined local connection and managed by a Roseland based Community Land Trust.
St Just in Roseland CLT is hoping to build 12 properties for affordable rent on part scrub land and part agricultural land, with a mixture of 1, 2 and 3-bed properties to cater for single people and families.
Purchasing the land for development
The proposed site for development requires the purchase of land from a private owner and Cornwall Council who are looking to gift the land to the group. The landowner had agreed sums for the land acquisition but when the group decided to partner with Cornwall Rural Housing Association, the landowner subsequently questioned the amount being offered for the land.
The groups have been supported to have on-going discussions with the private landowner in relation to the size of the site he will dispose of. This will either be land for six houses or just for an access road. The group have revised the site design and the pre-application advice and are considering two schemes, one for 12 houses and one for six houses.
The council are happy in principle with both schemes and Cornwall Rural Housing Association are happy to take the development forward and to manage the houses.
The Early Stage Support work has included:
- meetings with Cornwall Council to determine the route forward for land acquisition,
- support from architects to prepare a pre-application submission
- and support to submit pre-application advice from Cornwall Council and Cornwall AONB.
Finding funding sources
The group were also supported to consider different funding sources. St Just spoke to Tridios Bank and considered recruiting local business sponsors and whether local holiday lets might donate one week’s rental income to their project. The group have also decided to partner with Cornwall Rural Housing Association to secure capital grant funding for affordable rental housing, act as the developer and then manage the affordable housing.
The group were supported to secure a pre-feasibility grant from Locality’s community buildings grant programme for legal fees to secure option agreements and asset transfers and to fund architect fees. They have also received a grant from Cornwall Council for £10k towards pre-development costs.
The role of the group has been to unlock this land for affordable housing. They have learnt about the development process and are keen to move onto enabling more affordable housing on other sites.
Find out more about the programme
You can find out more about the Early Stage Development Programme by reading the Evaluation Report.
Find out more about Community-Led Housing
Community-led housing projects are led by community groups determined to make sure that new homes are built and empty homes and buildings can be brought back into use to meet local housing needs.
If you’re looking for new ways to provide the homes your community needs, Locality can help.