An Update from the CLT Chairman, George Clarke: 22nd December 2020:
Many of us will be denied the chance to celebrate Christmas as we would wish and will be apart from family and loved ones. In such circumstances bemoaning matters related to planning and the suchlike seems almost trivial, and for doing so I apologise in advance.
It was back in March that we lodged our planning application and to this date it has not yet been officially determined. I had hoped we might hear something before Christmas, but unfortunately, we have not. The current state of play is that we are negotiating a four-way Section 106 agreement between Wiltshire, the current owners of the land, White Horse Housing Association and ourselves. The objective of this agreement is to tie down any owners, now and in perpetuity, to hold the land for the purposes of affordable housing only. This agreement has to be concluded before planning permission is given to ensure that the conditions for granting such permission for a rural exception site are met. As our CLT is the first in Wiltshire to get to this stage, the agreement has had to be drawn up from scratch and this has meant it is taking longer to get into an acceptable form than might otherwise have been the case. I cannot answer the question as to when it will be signed as control over the contract largely resides with Wiltshire Council’s solicitors and then the solicitors for each of the other parties.
All this delay means that we have effectively been locked in the state of play that we were in when lockdown started, that is, we still await a decision on planning. With the inability to hold meetings in person and no news yet as regards this key issue, we saw little point in calling a meeting on-line just to tell you we had no progress. I do hope, and sometimes even believe, that we may hear something in the new year and as soon as we do, we will call a meeting.
Assuming we are given permission to proceed then what will be the next steps?
First the option held by White Horse Housing Association on the land will have to be exercised allowing them to purchase the land and then the sale to and leaseback from the CLT will be completed.
Meanwhile we will have to complete all the detailed architectural drawings, these relate to how the buildings are actually constructed rather than how they will look.
White Horse Housing Association will then have to cost the development in detail before applying to Homes England for a grant. In the meantime, there are some concerns relating to the costing of the project due to the fall in the value of the pound, and the risk of import duties in the event that we leave Europe without a deal.
As Christmas approaches in such a time of economic uncertainty in addition to fears for our own safety, I am given to reflect that the need for affordable housing will be even greater in the aftermath of the pandemic. Thank you all for the support you have given us to date. I wish you, your family and friends a safe and happy Christmas. Let us hope for better times in 2021.
PLANNING APPLICATION UPDATE: 13th September 2020 - Wiltshire Council has indicated the proposed planning conditions prior to granting planning approval. Council legal services are now working on the Section 106 agreement, which formalises the terms of how the homes will be allocated and let. There is no forecast or target date for when this work will be completed. Once complete we expect planning approval to be issued.
PLANNING APPLICATION UPDATE: 2nd September 2020 - Wiltshire Council are currently working on the Section 106 agreement, which formalises the terms of how the homes will be allocated and let. There is no forecast or target date for when this work will be completed. Once complete we expect planning approval to be issued.
The CLT Board plans to hold a general meeting once the decision has been notified. Due to COVID-19 regulations this is not expected to be before October 2020.
PLANNING APPLICATION UPDATE: 30th July 2020 - Wiltshire Council Planning Dept is waiting for a response from Wessex Water concerning the amendments to the drainage plan. The response is expected in early to mid August and a planning application decision will follow. The CLT Board plans to hold a general meeting once the decision has been notified. Due to COVID-19 regulations this is not expected to be before September 2020.
30th June 2020 - A number of CLT members have commented that the 9th June planning application target date has passed without a decision. There were comments from technical consultants concerning technical issues. Revised plans were submitted to address the technical matters and a new consultation expiry date of 13th July was set by Wiltshire Council. A planning application decision is expected in about 2 weeks, once consultants have considered the revisions.
11th May 2020 - This morning Dr. Nigel Knott offered his resignation to the board of the SCLAT. The Board discussed the matter and have decided with great reluctance to accept that resignation so that they may concentrate completely on the matters of direct concern to SCLAT such as the current planning application. Dr. Knott was one of the founding members of the CLT and without his vision and drive this organisation would not exist. Nor without his efforts would the CLT have flourished as satisfactorily as it has to date. We thank Dr Knott for his efforts in the past and look forward to his continuation as a member and to seeing him at our meetings in the future. His resignation letter can be obtained here.
6th March 2020 - It has been the usual CLT practice not to call upon your time for CLT meetings when there is little to report or seek your views on. This is the case for the forthcoming meeting scheduled for this coming Tuesday, 10th March, which is cancelled.
You will be interested to know that our architects, quantity surveyor and White Horse Housing Association partners have been busily engaged in producing the project investment appraisal, which is now complete, enabling us to forward the planning application to Wiltshire Council early next week.
The next thing we will be asking of you is that you positively support this worthwhile community-led housing project providing affordable low-energy homes for our community. We will let you know how you may do this once our project application has been allocated a planning reference number.
We would like to take this opportunity to gently remind you of the closing date for your responses to your Seend Parish Neighbourhood Plan 2020 - 2030, which is midnight on 28th March 2020, see www.seendparishplan.org.
12th February 2020 - The submission of the Park Farm planning application has been delayed slightly as the CLT Board wanted to publicly address concerns raised by a parishioner. Additionally, WHHA has been waiting for final costing figures for the feasibility study. The planning application is expected to be submitted later this month.
11th January 2020 - The final community consultation event on the Park Farm affordable housing project was held on 11th January 2020 in the Pavilion from 11:00am to 1:00pm. The event was well attended and Peter Kent was on hand to explain how the final round of changes had been incorporated to the final plans. During January 2020 the plans will be worked up into working drawings and the quantity surveyor will provide the final costings input to the feasibility study. An initial ecology survey has been undertaken and there is likely to be a follow-up to this later. If planning approval is granted it will take about 12 months to complete the homes from the start of work on site. If approval is granted, work is expected to start in 2020 with a completion date in 2021. Your continuing support for this community led project will help achieve a successful development that our community can be proud of. We owe a big thank you to all of the Seend people who were kind enough to engage with the project and also lent support and useful feedback on the design.
12th December 2019 - Thank you again to all the people who attended the second CLT Park Farm consultation meeting on 10th December 2019. Peter Kent, of PKA Architects, presented design options for the elevations and roofing materials. The people present were asked to choose their preferred treatment options for the elevations and roofs by adding a sticker dot to their preferred drawing on display in the Pavilion. Results of this consultation can be seen here.
Belinda Eastland, Operations Manager at White Horse Housing Association, gave a presentation on how CLT housing will be allocated and managed by the housing association on behalf of the CLT.
16th October 2019 - UK Government unveils a new future homes vision - This 3rd October article from Edie's Matt Mace explains the proposed changes to building regulations to help meet the government target of net zero carbon by 2050. The article outlines the proposed Future Homes Standard. The last few paragraphs under the bold heading 'Significant improvement' explain why current building regulations and build standards are just not enough to support our international obligations on climate change.
9th October 2019 - Thank you to all the people of the parish who attended the CLT meeting on 8th October 2019, where we presented Park Farm site layout options for discussion. If you were unable to attend the 8th October meeting please go to this page and help our community project move forward by filling out and sending in a feedback form. It might help to read these FAQs before doing so. We welcome your important and objective feedback - thank you.
18th September 2019 - Our Registered Housing Provider partner, White Horse Housing Association has completed the legal process of securing a development option on the proposed affordable housing site at Park Farm, Seend Cleeve. Further work will now be undertaken, funded by the Homes England Community Housing Fund grant of £70,877, to survey the site and work up architectural design proposals for 10 homes.
Thank you to all the people who attended the CLT meeting on 10th September. Please note that the next meeting will be on Tuesday 8th October 2019 at 7:30 pm in the Pavilion, Rusty Lane. Draft minutes of the September meeting are available on our meetings page.
12th August 2019 - Once again we regret that we have to postpone tomorrow's scheduled meeting as we have little to report on the progress of our affordable housing project land deal. Until negotiations between the landowner and White Horse Housing Association (WHHA) are complete we are unable to conduct further business. The good news is that our revenue funding bid is in place and the CLT is ready to complete drawdown of the first tranche of funding as White Horse Housing Association moves forward with the land purchase option.
Our next scheduled meeting will be Tuesday 10th September 2019 at 7:30 pm in the Irene Usher Memorial Pavilion, Rusty Lane.
The value of community land trusts was recently highlighted again by CPRE, the countryside charity. For your interest the brief article by CPRE Wiltshire's Charmain Spickernell can be read here.
One of the hot issues with affordable housing is the erosion of the definition of the term, 'affordable'. The Countryside Charity is campaigning to have the definition revised and more accurately defined. News on this working campaign can be read here.
Meanwhile, we shall be asking questions about Arnstein's Ladder at the next meeting. Is the ladder really an aid to building beautifully, and are we on rung number 7 or 8? Find out here and let us know what you think.
13 June 2019 - We had a lively meeting on 11th June with about 50 people attending, some for the first time. Thank you for giving your time to our local community benefit cause.
There were many probing, interesting and relevant questions, and a few suggestions about how we can improve communication. If you gave permission at the time of joining the CLT we use your email address as a primary means of contact. If you did not give us permission to contact you by email at the time of joining and now want to change that preference just use the contact form.
If you are not a CLT member, but want to be kept informed about CLT news, please use the contact form and we will add you to a non-member mailing list. We will only contact members, friends and interested non-members when we believe there is something useful to say. You may unsubscribe at any time by using the link provided in our contact email, or by using the contact form on this web site.
23 May 2019 - The following are all works in progress which we should be able to fully report on at our next meeting on June 11th at 7:30pm in the Pavilion.
Land- The White Horse Housing Association development option on the proposed site. The legal paperwork for this is in the final stages of completion.
Finance- Our CLT bid on the Homes England Community Housing Fund (HECHF), for funding to enable a range of site surveys and architectural design options, was approved by the HECF Regional Panel on 25thApril 2019. Our bid then went to the Homes England National Panel on 7thMay 2019. We have been advised that the bid was successful subject to completion of administration and due diligence.
Rural Housing Need Survey– The returns are being analysed by Wiltshire Council and the report will be available in June.
At our 11thJune meeting, members will be able to receive the Board’s report on all of the above and consult on our next steps. Also, we have asked our local architect, Peter Kent, (http://www.peter-kent-architect.net/html/projects.html) to join us at this meeting so that you have the opportunity to see and discuss the site development possibilities which can be firmed up later in the light of the housing needs survey report.
Moving to membership, we had 1132 souls in our parish at the 2011 National Census. Of that number, only 185 were below age 16 years. Of the 940 +/- parishioners, who are not youngsters, we have a CLT membership representation of just over 200. We need more! https://www.seendclt.org/membership.html
12 April 2019 - The CLT is working on developing a planning proposal for 11 homes to meet the affordable housing needs of the Seend Community. The type and number of homes will be determined by the Seend Rural Housing Needs Survey, which was delivered to all Seend households in April 2019. The closing date for the survey returns is 29th April 2019, so the findings report will follow in June 2019.
To help parishioners with registering housing need, Wiltshire Council, Homes4Wiltshire and White Horse Housing Association have organised drop-in help and advice sessions at the Irene Usher Memorial Pavilion. The first was held on April 10th and the second will be held on April 24th from 3:00pm to 7:00pm.
Seend Parishioners, and those with a Seend family or work connection, who would like to live or move within/to the community should register their interests now.
Did you know that www.homes4wiltshire.co.uk housing register includes market housing? Did you know that Wiltshire Council maintains a self-build plot register?
Parishioners may not realise that if they have a household income of less than £80,000 per annum they could be eligible for Seend CLT affordable housing. The tenure arrangements for this housing are flexible and open to innovative solutions for Seend people of all ages. This could be shared ownership, affordable and market rents, self-build and help to buy. We need to know what parishioners and their growing children need for their plans for the future. If you haven't returned your survey please do it now and shape the future of your parish. Even if you don't feel you have a housing need the survey offers you the opportunity to have a say on housing development aspects in Seend.
Seend cat consults on his housing need at the Pavilion drop-in advice session.
21st December 2018 - Seend CLT has formed a partnership with the White Horse Housing Association to build affordable homes for people with a local connection to the Parish of Seend. Membership of the CLT continues to grow with membership numbers now at over 200. If you or a family member needs Seend housing please register after reading our Housing Need page.
29th September 2018 - Free Cheese and Wine for CLT members. The next meeting of the Seend CLT will be on Tuesday 9th October at 7:30 pm in the Lye Field Pavilion. Come along to collect your membership card, hear a short update on progress and some cheese and wine & chat after the meeting. Not a member? Come along anyway and join on the night - you might be our 150th member!
26th July 2018 The Seend Community Land and Asset Trust CIC was incorporated at Companies House on 26th July 2018 and is listed a Company Number 11485428.
16th July 2018 The next meeting of the Seend CLT Steering Group will take place on Tuesday 14th August at 7:30 pm in the Irene Usher Memorial Pavilion. All Seend CLT members are invited to attend.
3rd July 2018 The next meeting of the Seend CLT Steering Group will take place on Tuesday 10th July at 7:30 pm in the Irene Usher Memorial Pavilion. All Seend CLT members are invited to attend. The agenda is available here.
10th June 2018 On 28th May 2018 the CLT Steering Group resolved to form a Community Interest Company as the legal entity for operating the CLT and to move towards achieving start-up funding and membership of the National CLT Network. Whilst work is ongoing to achieve this, the next meeting originally scheduled for 12th June 2018 is postponed.
12th May 2018 The first Seend Community Land and Asset Trust Steering Group meeting will be held on 28th May 2018 at 7:30 pm in the Irene Usher Memorial Pavilion. The meeting is open to all Seend CLT members. At the time of joining the CLT, many parishioners said they wished to become involved in joining the Steering Group. This meeting will be the time to make your level of commitment known. Prospective Steering Group members will be asked to introduce themselves, share any relevant expertise and experience and say what they want the CLT to deliver for the Parish.
27th March 2018 Following on from the well-attended 22nd and 24th of March CLT drop-in events, we plan to hold the first public CLT meeting in May 2018. This meeting will be open to the whole Parish, however, only members of the CLT will be permitted to vote. Join now to be kept up-to-date with CLT developments. Membership is open to Seend parishioners from aged 16 years.
Next CLT Events in March 2018 The first CLT drop-in sessions will be in the Pavilion on Thursday 22nd March 2018 (4:00 pm to 7:00 pm) and Saturday 24th March 2018 (10:00 am to 1:00 pm). Please drop in to talk to members of the steering group and learn what we will achieve together as a community. Better still, if you haven't already joined become a member of the Seend CLT at either of the events. Membership is open to Seend parishioners from aged 16 years.
28th February 2018 Seend Parish Council Supports the Formation of a Seend Community Land & Asset Trust
SEEND COMMUNITY LAND AND ASSET TRUST – THE STORY SO FAR
Community Land Trusts (CLTs) are organisations run by local volunteers that provide land and buildings to meet the needs of their communities. They’ve been set up by people concerned at the high cost of homes for local people, the lack of funding for local authorities to build affordable homes and the lack of security provided for tenants by many private landlords. These are all issues as relevant to our parish as to the rest of England.
CLTs are democratic and membership is open to anyone aged over 16 years who is living in the local community. CLTs must be not for private profit. This means that they can, and should, make a surplus as a community business, but that surplus must be used to benefit the community. Most CLTs develop affordable housing, they can also provide other assets that are important to their community. All assets are held in trust so they are affordable and available for future generations in perpetuity
In 2016 and 2017, two surveys conducted in our parish revealed a need for small numbers of affordable homes. In January 2017, the UK government’s White Paper on housing, Fixing Our Broken Housing Market, proposed a definition of affordable housing as housing that is provided for sale or rent to those whose needs are not met by the open market, and setting affordable rent at 20% below the open market rate for the area. In 1993, the cost of houses for UK first time buyers was 2.7 times average annual earnings. By 2017, this had almost doubled to 5.3 times. In our parish, it is now nearer 9.0 times due to higher than average local house prices.
The impact for Seend parish is that some homes are overcrowded and some family-starting couples have moved out to affordable urban areas. Some families who moved to our parish in recent years have moved away as rents and market housing have become unaffordable. We have people of retirement age wishing to downsize without having to leave parish friends and family. With community support, we can fix this. With your membership support, we can fix this.
In 2017, on the back of the very well supported Seend Neighbourhood Action Group survey, which received 221 responses with more than 92% support for a CLT, Ian Crawley, a National CLT Network adviser, spoke at a well-attended parish consultation event held in our Lye Field pavilion. This generated great interest followed by practical action. On 28th November 2017, the Seend Parish Council agreed a resolution to support the formation of a Seend Community Land and Asset Trust. Recently, the CLT Steering Group (CLTSG), under the chairmanship of George Clarke, met to plan the setting up of Seend CLT. The CLTSG has been advised by both the National CLT Network, Wiltshire CLT, Wiltshire Council and our local MP, Claire Perry. Wiltshire CLTs are forming at Great Bedwyn and Colerne. There is an operational CLT at Wilton.
Our Seend CLTSG will be holding drop-in information sessions for parishioners before Easter. At these sessions the CLTSG will be happy to meet as many parishioners as possible, as well as any volunteers who want to pitch in and support the SG through their personal skills and time. More news will follow shortly so if you are digitally connected, the SG realises that many are not, bookmark this page: www.seendclt.org/news. If you want to know more about the many successes of CLTs go to www.communitylandtrusts.org.uk. Best of all, be at the first CLT drop-in sessions in the Pavilion on Thursday 22nd March 2018 (4:00 pm to 7:00 pm) and Saturday 24th March 2018 (10:00 am to 1:00 pm) to learn what we will achieve together as a community and become a member of the Seend CLT!
Want to know more about how CLTs work? This is how a community in a small area of Camden, London made it work.
19th December 2017 Seend CLT - Progress Update On 28th November 2017, the Seend Parish Council agreed a resolution to support the formation of a Seend Community Land and Asset Trust. The CLT Steering Group met for a pre-planning discussion under the chairmanship of George Clarke on Monday 18th December 2017.
9th October 2017 Dear CLT Supporters,
We have spent some considerable time studying and exploring the potential of a Seend Community Land Trust (CLT). With your help, we are determined to bring the Seend Community together and unite everyone at a time when we are threatened by the building of an unwanted housing estate, the closure of a heritage asset (the Bell Inn) and the possible loss of the Post Office and Village Store. Your assistance combined with the emerging Seend Parish Neighbourhood Plan are vital supports underpinning this initiative.
The Localism Act 2011 forms the basis of our belief that this legislation offers our Seend Community an exciting opportunity to take control and ownership of the future housing needs and development within our Parish, together with the potential to preserve local assets and expand the local services. The relevant areas of this Statute can be found at: http://mycommunity.org.uk/resources/understanding-the-community-right-to-build/ where the various community rights are laid out in some detail.
On 28th July 2017, we attended a joint meeting between Claire Perry, MP for the Devizes Constituency and Minister of State for Climate Change & Industry, Trevor Cherrett, Chair Wiltshire Community Land Trust, Richard Kitson, Board Member Wiltshire Community Land Trust, Stephen Walker, Wiltshire Community Land Trust advisor on housing finance viability and Jane Windle-Hartshorn, Head of Community Development & Strategy, Community First Wiltshire and Swindon.
You may be aware that Claire Perry has six local priorities in the Devizes constituency. Claire felt that her work to protect local train services was now complete and that Community-Led Housing could be added to her list of local priorities. Claire expressed support for CLTs and felt that Seend’s CLT should be used as a “laboratory on the ground” to promote community-led housing (CLH) initiatives across the more than 100 villages in her constituency. Wiltshire has had little support for CLTs other than at Wilton which was a specially supported case involving ex-military assets. Starting with Seend CLT, our MP, WCLT and Community First want to improve the current CLH situation in Wiltshire.
Between January and July 2017, WCLT, Community First and Wiltshire Council, submitted a joint proposal for a Community Housing Project as a detailed bid for funding from the Government’s (DCLG) £60m Community Housing Fund announced in December 2016. The Wiltshire bid was successful and an award of £650k was agreed. WCLT is now waiting to hear from Wiltshire Council as to what portion of that award can be accessed by WCLT to allow them to move forward with supporting Wiltshire CLTs and CLH projects, including Seend’s prospective CLT. MP Claire Perry has agreed to pursue the release of CLH funding with Wiltshire Council.
CLT housing will remain in the ownership of parishioners in perpetuity and will continue to remain affordable to local people based on local rent and earnings. It is envisaged that, in accordance with the housing policies of the emerging Seend Parish Neighbourhood Plan, developments will be small-scale, appropriate for need and will provide an alternative to urbanisation at inappropriate scales detrimental to the rural character and natural landscape of the Parish.