Community Land Trusts

Conservative led East Cambs District Council supports communities that want to lead development in their village or community to deliver homes for local people and other local facilities – we do this through our support for Community Land Trusts (CLTs).
Ovins Rise, Haddenham
Ovins Rise, Haddenham
Ovins Rise, Haddenham
Ovins Rise, Haddenham

We face big challenges in East Cambs with high housing costs and high levels of out-commuting by our working population.  This negatively affects local people who want to stay living in the community in which they grew up, where they have put down roots or where they work.  This forces people to live further and further away from ‘home’ and their place of work, reducing quality of life and negatively impacting the social fabric of our communities.  Every Parish Council will know of people in their village, young and old, that want to remain living there but can’t afford to, or can’t get the right type of house.

The Conservative led District Council supports groups of local people, communities and Parish Councils that want to do something to rectify this, to take control of development in their own community, to meet the needs of their community.  We do this through our support for CLTs:

  • East Cambs District Council gives preferential treatment in its Local Plan (the document that controls development in the district) to community led development
  • The Council offers one-off start up grants of £5k to help CLTs constitute and get started
  • The Council offers technical advice and support to help CLTs on their journey to deliver new housing and facilities

CLTs are run by local people, for local people, people that come together to form a Trust.  Trusts are made up of:

  • Members – anyone in the community can join for £1, and 
  • a Board of (Volunteer) Trustees – made up of local people who are accountable to the membership. 

CLTs choose the land and the development partner that they wish to work with, following a ‘call for land’.  Because community led developments, through the Local Plan policy, can be built on land that would not otherwise get planning permission, far greater value and community benefits can be extracted for the good of the community when compared with normal commercial development. 

CLTs choose the infrastructure, the site design, the design of the houses – people have used this planning policy to deliver new roads, new GP surgeries, new green spaces, community heating solutions. Typically, CLT sites are built to much lower densities and to higher quality standards than normal commercial development.

CLTs set the allocations policy – homes are reserved and prioritised for local working people, people with connections to their community.  These are the very people that are so often shut out of the local housing market – people that are doing the right thing, working hard, but that can’t afford to rent or buy in their own village.  

CLT homes are allocated to people with the strongest ties to the area in which they are built.  To be eligible for a CLT home applicants must show that they have links to the local community, such as living and working there and having family living there.  Through a scoring framework, eligible people with the strongest links to the area will score the highest; the highest scoring applicants will be offered a CLT home.

CLT homes that are rented are typically let at much lower cost than normal affordable rented houses.  Rents can be pegged to local wages – the CLT decides.

CLTs receive a considerable income from the homes forever more, benefiting the community in perpetuity – this income can be spent on providing more local homes for local people in the future, or for supporting other local projects, such as a village shop, or building a new community centre or good causes in the village – the CLT decides.

Conservatives have built a policy environment that allows local people to be in control of development in their own community, to benefit the people of their community.

Links to CLTs in East Cambs: