Thrift CLT for Soham completes its first Community-led Development

Thu 20 Sep 2018

Thrift CLT for Soham, in partnership with local property developers Palace Green Homes, completed their first CLT development at Covell Corner, Soham on 20th September 2018.

This project provides 13 new homes, 8 of which are affordable homes for local people. Six one bed flats will be made available at genuinely affordable rental levels, and two family homes are being made available as shared ownership opportunities for local families to get their first step on the housing ladder.

This community-led project is the product of significant community engagement before, during and after the planning application process. Thrift CLT, with the support of East Cambs Community Housing, Palace Green Homes and the wider local community, were involved from the beginning in the design and development of the scheme, and will continue to own and manage the affordable homes in perpetuity.

Development of the site itself, a neglected piece of waste ground that has attracted undesirable (anti-social) behaviour in the past, has been welcomed by the adjacent primary school at The Shade. The development has also created a new, safer route for children and parents that walk and cycle to school.

Additional funding from East Cambs District Council and Cambridgeshire and Peterbrough Combined Authority helped support their first project.

The affordable properties themselves will be community owned assets that are protected by a legal asset lock and protected from the right to buy. This will mean that genuinely affordable housing will be available for local people in perpetuity. Over time, the homes will generate surpluses that can be re-invested by the CLT into new projects that generate benefits for the local community. In addition 5 new homes were created for sale to the open market, which helped to subsidise the 8 affordable homes.

Applicants for the affordable homes that have a strong local connection to Soham will be prioritised in the housing allocations process, meaning that local people on local wages can continue to live close to work, family, irrespective of future fluctuations in property market values. This will help to strengthen local communities and assist local employers struggling to retain key staff.

Although only a small development of 13 new homes, this is an important site for Thrift CLT and the wider CLT network. As its first housing project it will establish Thrift CLT’s credentials, ensure its long term viability and increase the capacity of the Trustee board to bring forward future community projects. It is a model to demonstrate to other local CLTs what can be acchieved through local community action and strong partnership with a supportive local authority.

Thrift CLT for Soham completes its first Community-led Development

Covell Corner, Soham - Copyright Richard Fraser Photography

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