Stretham and Wilburton CLT

 

  • The story of community-led housing in East Cambridgeshire really starts in 2011 when the first CLT in Cambridgeshire was formed. Spurred on by the Localism Act and the National Planning Policy Framework, two rural fenland villages joined forces to find a way of providing much needed affordable homes and other amenities for local people through community leadership
  • Sponsored by their parish councils and supported by a new regional umbrella organisation, CLT East, Stretham and Wilburton began the search for a suitable development site. It found 14 acres of agricultural land just outside the Stretham village envelope, with the landowner willing to sell
  • Unable to sell the land with planning permission to a mainstream developer and aware that the Council was prepared to make exceptions for mixed developments put forward by local communities, the landowner struck a deal with the CLT which delivered an increased land value from the change of use to housing and cross-subsidy for the affordable homes through the sale of market housing on the site
  • Two years of intensive community engagement followed, supported by a grant from the Design Council/CABE
  • With planning permission secured in 2014, the CLT then embarked on a three-phase development project involving 75 new homes. The first phase of 26 homes started on site in June 2015 with another 24 to follow. The mixed development includes 23 affordable rented homes and 52 for market sale, with land reserved for a new doctor’s surgery, workspaces to encourage local employment and a new village green. Funding for the affordable housing has come from a mix of cross-subsidy from the market homes and a commercial loan from a bank specialising in support for social enterprises
  • The relationship between the CLT and the District Council has always been positive and strong. It is no coincidence that the CLT chair is a local councillor who has been a champion for community-led development within the local authority

 


Published in March 2018