Notes from meeting held on Monday, 27th October 2014 in the Pavilion, Great Staughton.
Debbie Wildridge – CLT East Zoe Savory – National CLT
Hugh Duberly – Parish Charities Anthony Withers – Parish Charities
Bob Jewell –GS Parish Council Frank Backhouse – GS Parish Council
Phil Yates – Independent member of steering group Dianne Palmer – Clerk, GS Parish Council
Apologies received from: Geoff Gilbert – GS Parish Council, Mark Deas – Cambs ACRE, Tracey Stokes – Independent member of steering group.
DW gave welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced Zoe Savory from National CLT, who gave support with the Stage I funding application to run the scoping day.
Following group discussion it was agreed that the main purpose of the meeting was consider whether a CLT was the right vehicle for the affordable housing scheme within Great Staughton and any other aspirations/suggestions which may be of a lower priority but should be considered within the same context.
Create affordable housing for local people
- Homes for village families offspring
- Homes for people working in the village
- Homes for retired couples who may wish to downsizeA community centreAttract young familiesReview the provision long term of health, leisure and sports facilities in the villageShop & post office Positive impact on the school numbersWould like people to feel that they own the concept as generally it could ensure that the community continues to thrive.Concern was expressed about the type of people moving in and how important it was to ensure that local people benefit from the scheme. It is understood that people who taken up affordable houses often stay longer than expected so there may be a need to build more houses that initially suggested.DW asked whether the steering group felt that local people are happy with the concept of affordable housing? What activities are needed to inform people? Open meetings, information in Life and on the website, leaflet drop. It was felt that Hunts DC Planning department are in support of the scheme. Meetings have been held with Hunts DC, ACRE and Luminus.Prior to the final build plan the steering group would want to determine if more people are interested than came to light with the Housing questionnaire – could consider a local register to record requirements.
- Positive impact on local transport provision
- Preserving the pubs
- Support for local businesses
- Incorporate the 3 facilities owned by the village – Pavilion, village hall and playing field
- More facilities for young people
- Maintain an income for the Parish Charities which supports educational needs
Discussion followed on the type of agreement for tenants and an allocations policy:
Who the houses are provided for?
Timescale and financial situation?
A reduced rent of, say, 80% of the market rent with a review after 5 years?
When increases are appropriate?
Possibly tenants will be asked to vacate the premises if their situation improves to make available for someone else?
A paper was circulated detailing the various legal formats for consideration. A Community Benefit Society was suggested as probably the most appropriate for Great Staughton. This would be registered with the Financial Services Authority rather than the Charity Commission which means that the accounting is straight forward. Shares can be issued to raise capital, they can also be issued to ensure the community is part of the project for a nominal sum such as £1.00 . This would inform the Planners that community is behind the scheme. The CBS could provide money for the Parish Charities if the land is leased on a long term basis with an initial low rent. When the CLT generated a surplus it could transfer money to the Parish Charities. This suggestion could be acceptable to the Charity Commission who will have to be approached in order to make changes to the Parish Charities. DW will try to obtain some examples of an allocation policy and agreement with a housing association. Stretham & Wilburton have recently built affordable houses.
In order to establish a CLT approximately £4,500. 00 will be needed. National CLT Stage II funding of £1,000.00 is available for 2 further days consultancy. Stage III fund of up to £4,000.00 is available by competitive application. National CLT would need assurance that there is local support for the scheme before offering Stage III funding. Some model legal forms are available to members of the National CLT at a cost of £588.00 and DW recommended a specialist lawyer be used for the set-up. Membership costs £49.00. Possibly Luminus will be willing to contribute towards the CLT set-up.
Stretham & Wilburton received a loan of £30,000 from the local authority which they are now in a position to repay. Hunts DC do not offer this service at present but perhaps they would like to use Great Staughton as an example of good practice. It is anticipated that 2 properties will be sold on the open market with a long lease in order to meet some of the building costs.
It was felt that the varying skills of the steering group were sufficient to manage the project. The steering group would probably be expected to continue on the committee once the CLT is formed and see the project through to completion. As part of the CBS constitution it could be decided to review the committee at regular periods. Residents could be invited to be members of the committee too. The Housing Association will take on a lot of the management of the scheme.
Meet with Luminus – late November
Approach the Charity Commission re change to the Parish Charities
Further housing needs survey?
Talk to Tracey Stokes to discuss a Community Benefit Society
Approach Hunts DC to be an exemplar council for affordable housing
Contact Jonathan Gray and bring him up-to-date
DW will report back on her meeting with Andy Chapman at Luminus.
DW will ask Andy Chapman if he could produce some proposals to consider
DW will email some model rules.
Anthony Withers notes
Community Land Trust – Scoping Day
27th October 2014
Scoping Day Agenda
Location: The Pavilion
Hugh Duberly Parish Charity & Parish Council
Anthony Withers Parish Charity & Parish Council
Bob Jewell Parish Council
Frank Backhouse Parish Council
Philip Yates Independent member of steering group
Dianne Palmer Clerk to Parish Council
Debbie Wildridge CLT East
Zoe Savory National CLT Network
Apologies received from:
Geoff Gilbert Parish Charity & Parish Council
Mark Deas Cambridge ACRE
David Close CLT East
Tracey Stokes Independent member of steering group
Progress already made in:
- setting out the principal objectives (maintaining charity income and creating affordable housing)
- identifying the land (Parish Charity owned)
- obtaining provisional planning approval
- establishing a Steering Committee (under the auspices of the Parish Council and the Parish Charities)
- Join CLT which will give access to advice and funding
- Obtain a Heads of Agreement with Luminus. This could take place following DW’s meeting with Andy Chapman (Luminus) who will hopefully provide a briefing paper which could be used as the basis of discussions.
- Approach the Charities Commission to obtain clearance for our strategy.
- Obtain a copy of Model Rules from CLT.
- Review the various legal forms of organisation. We are being pointed in the direction of a Community Benefit Society. Tracey Stokes, the Charity Commission and the CLT will help us explore the options.
- Contact other CLTs for help / advice. Swaffham Prior was mentioned as a good example to follow.
Already in hand with two public meetings organised. Further publicity with meetings, Life, website. It will be useful to draw residents’ attention to the guiding principles of a CLT namely:
- Community controlled and community-owned
- Open democratic structure
- Permanently affordable housing or other assets
- Long term stewardship
There are other obvious benefits:
- Help to meet local housing need, community facilities, open space
- Lock in public or private subsidy, due to the commitment to permanent affordability, ensuring the homes do not leak out onto the open market
- Bring forward land that might not otherwise be available
- Achieve wider social and economic benefits for the community; development by a CLT does not only bring new homes but also creates stronger communities
It would be helpful if we could arrange a “Heads of Agreement” meeting with Luminus before the end of the year so it will be necessary to maintain contact with DW whose meeting with A Chapman will be the driving force.
This is one of the areas to be considered with Luminus. Setting up a CLT would cost in the region of £4-5k, with a further cost of £30k as the scheme progresses. We can apply for a “Stage 3” grant from the CLT.
More detailed scrutiny will focus on the allocations policy, the length of the lease, and other matters.
The CLT scheme need not be confined to our principal objective of providing affordable housing. It could also encompass setting up or supporting a local shop / pub / post office, providing play equipment, developing a new village hall / surgery, or extending an open space policy.
It may be that these are more long term aspirations, which could be included in any CLT scheme, to be enacted at a later date.