On 29th May 2022 we saw the 10-home passive house, community led project start today in Seend. Project partners, Seend Community Land and Asset Trust, White Horse Housing Association, Wiltshire Council, Homes of Our Own, and Homes England, the government housing accelerator have worked together for 4 years, with the Seend community, to bring this community land trust initiative to life. The high-quality, low energy affordable homes, designed by PKA Architects of Potterne, will be available for occupation in summer 2023. Energy costs for these highly insulated homes will be substantially less than average. Under this Community Land Trust (CLT) scheme Seend people in need of homes have housing allocation priority.
According to the National Community Land Trust Network, in England, there are now 552 CLTs with 627 live projects and more than 7,500 homes in the construction pipeline.
Alex Booth, a director of the Seend CLT said, “The number of affordable family homes in Seend has been reduced by the legacy of council right-to-buy schemes and as a result of wages not increasing in line with staggering house price increases.
This doesn’t just mean that many hard-working people may never own their own homes, but it also hugely disadvantages young people and families wishing to make homes in our village.
The last housing needs survey highlighted that amongst other issues, young people who have grown up in Seend are unable to afford to make their own homes here. This situation has potential to impact upon local families, the diversity of our community, the viability of our excellent primary school and other active and future community groups.
Our CLT homes aim to begin to address this issue. It is hoped this project will help enable people in Seend to live affordably in the community they are connected to, remaining close to their family support networks. It has the potential to help welcome future generations of villagers looking to enjoy, nurture and add value to the rural community spirit upon which this village prides itself.”
Steve Warran, Chief Executive of White Horse Housing Association said, “We are delighted that the development of this exciting new affordable housing scheme is finally starting. It is the culmination of many years hard work with Seend Community Land Trust and the wider community and will bring much needed affordable homes to this beautiful village. We have also worked in partnership with Wiltshire Council and Homes England to bring forward vital funding to make the scheme viable and we are grateful for their support on this project”.
Operations Manager, Belinda Eastland said “This project not only brings affordable rented homes to the village but also the opportunity for local people to purchase a shared ownership home, getting on to the property ladder in a village where house prices are very high and increasingly out of reach for local people wishing to remain in the area where they have grown up, work or live”.
The homes, seven rented and three shared ownership, are due to be completed in July 2023 and White Horse Housing will be working with local people to help them register with Wiltshire Council and Help To Buy South so that they are ready to apply for the homes when available.
Trevor Cherrett, Chair of Wiltshire Community Land Trust and partner in Homes of Our Own said, “Many congratulations to Seend Community Land and Asset Trust for this terrific achievement. It shows how genuinely affordable and sustainable homes can be provided by communities themselves. We hope very much that this will be an inspiration for many more villages and towns across Wiltshire.”
Councillor Phil Alford, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “We are very pleased to support this development, firstly through the Homes of Our Own Partnership, which has been instrumental in working with the Community Land Trust to help initiate Wiltshire’s first Community Led Housing development.
“Once the CLT partnered with White Horse Housing Association to create these homes to Passivhaus standards of energy performance, we continued to support this development with significant funding. This will help bring forward 10 much-needed affordable homes, offering a standard of housing that will ensure homes are affordable to run with very low running costs.”
Homes of Our Own can support communities in Wiltshire and Swindon interested in developing housing within their local area. If you are interested in finding out how we can support you, please contact us.