Why Do We Need A Land Trust?
As a nation we are not building enough homes and haven’t done so in decades. We are building less than half the homes needed just to keep up with the new households forming each year. The result is that in many parts of the country rents are soaring and house prices are going through the roof, making it simply unaffordable for many people to have their own home. In rural areas local families are being priced out and community facilities, like shops, schools and pubs are closing. In urban areas there are many properties sitting empty and decaying with areas suffering from low investment or failed regeneration.
One way of tackling this is for local people just like you to come together to form a Community Land Trust. These local organisations are set up and run by volunteers and develop and manage genuinely affordable homes based on what local people earn. CLTs can do the same for pubs, shops, gardens and low cost workspaces. By retaining ownership of the land on which the buildings sit they ensure that these places are affordable not just for now but for every future occupier.
How Does It Work?
As the local community, through the CLT, determines what is built, we can decide what types of homes we need. Including the design and allocations. First, we need land. It’s either bought by the Community Land Trust or given to it. The CLT then builds the homes or assets by commissioning builders, or working with a developer or housing association or even building it themselves. We remain long term stewards of the land we own ensuring the assets remain available and affordable to the local community.
Since our formation, Wilton Community Land Trust has worked to influence how development will take place on the former Erskine Barracks site on The Avenue and since its acquisition by Redrow Homes Ltd we continue to be closely involved in shaping the regeneration of the site. The former Erskine Barracks site has been renamed ‘Wilton Hill’ and there is now a separate website, where you can more information about this innovative development.
There are now over 225 Community Land Trusts in England and Wales, and the sector has grown six-fold in the last six years. The largest Community Land Trusts have over 1000 members each. Community Land Trusts have developed over 700 permanently affordable homes to date and will have developed a further 3000 homes by 2020.
Why does Wilton need one?
With increased development planned, South Wiltshire is changing and Wilton is no exception.
- Wilton Community Land Trust provides a realistic alternative to profit-led private development.
- It gives the people an opportunity to benefit, by for example, buying sites in the town, and developing and managing them for the community; development of the kind that people actually want.
After considerable local consultation Wilton Community Land Trust was founded in April 2012 to offer an alternative to private development with its need for profit-driven investment. Wilton CLT works alongside other organisations such as Wilton Town Council to ensure a coordinated approach.
How Can You Help?
A CLT is a community initiative so first of all you could get involved by joining. Lifetime membership of Wilton Community Land Trust costs only £1. Members can have a say, vote at the AGM, you could join the Board and you’ll be kept informed about what’s happening, For more details click here.
As well as the development at Wilton Hill (old Erskine Barracks site) we’ve helped with a number of other projects. These included The Great Green Challenge, South Wiltshire Green Doors, a river clearance exercise, an upcoming Men’s Shed at the new Wilton Hill Enterprise Hub and more. There’s always a need for more volunteers to help with some aspects of what we do. Contact Zoe Cupit here to enquire about volunteering opportunities.
Help Find Land
Every affordable housing project needs land to build on. We’re always looking for potential sites in and around Wilton that may be available. We can secure sites if they’re gifted to us or through purchase enabled by government fund schemes or grants. Let us know about any suitable land you’re aware of here.
Join us and be part of the future of affordable housing in Wilton
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