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Lucas Hickman Smith is supporting the National Community Land Trust Networks’ #MoreCLTs campaign in the run-in to May’s general election.

Community Land Trusts (CLTs) are community-ownedenterprises which enable local communities to acquire or build new homes or business-space, and then manage them in perpetuity for the benefit of the community. Because they are non-profit-making they can receive grants and secure planning permissions that would not be available to a private developer.

CLTs are thin on the ground in Norfolk, with only one active group but are growing in popularity elsewhere in the UK. In Cambridgeshire the Stretham and Wilburton CLT shows what can be achieved. On March 26th they will formally launch their plans for a development of 35 new open-market homes, the profit from which will subsidize the construction of 15 new affordable homes for local people, a new GP-surgery and some small business units. The site which lies outside the village’s development boundary will provide land for affordable housing at no cost to the CLT, and planning permission was granted at the discretion of East Cambs District Council because of the clear public benefits offered by the proposal.

At Lucas Hickman Smith we are convinced that similar community-led developments in Norfolk could unlock huge value from otherwise un-developable farmland, to create locally affordable homes or cross-fund other community projects. Lucas Hickman Smith Director, Matt Wood explains:

‘We were involved in a similar project at Great Ellingham where we were going to use the profit from a small development of new homes to pay for a new village hall. There was a good level of local support for the idea, but using the new Community Right to Build proved much more complicated that we had imagined and the project didn’t get off the ground. With the benefit of hindsight I think a Community Land trust would have been a better way forward.’

Read our joint press release with CLT East here.

Find out more about the March 26th Stretham & Wilburton CLT ‘See it, Believe It!’ launch event here.

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