The local press have been kind to the Community Land Trust, we have had and continue to receive plenty of coverage which helps us to get our message out to the local community… a few snippets of our coverage
If FACLT is to provide these homes they will need to find somewhere to build them. Affordable homes for local people can be built on land that would otherwise be unavailable to private developers; usually agricultural land adjacent to the existing settlement. This is allowed under a recently introduced national policy known as Entry Level Exception Sites. Under this policy, all the homes must be for local people and all must be affordable. The CLT is also keen to find pockets of land within the town that might be made available at a beneficial price, this doesn’t sound easy but its been done in other towns and the CLT are keen to talk to land owners. Therefore the CLT are appealing to local landowners to let them know if they would like to talk’
Roger Saunders, chair of the CLT said ‘We are looking for sites that are reasonably level, accessible from an adopted road, 1/2 acre (20k sq.ft.) or more in size, not prone to flooding and generally suited to house-building. Ideally we hope to build between 5 and 15 homes per site. Potential ‘entry level exception sites’ should be adjacent to Frome’s settlement boundary. Typically, the value is up to £7,000/plot.
Roger added ‘Any land that the CLT do develop will be owned freehold by FACLT and permanently held for the benefit of Frome people and no-one involved in the CLT will profit financially from the project. The CLT hopes to work with a suitable housing association on the CLT’s terms to fund and build the homes, using a model that has proved very successful elsewhere in the South West.
A group of local volunteers have decided “enough is enough” and have a vision to address this growing problem. They have formed Frome Area Community Land Trust (FACLT) to help local people find somewhere secure to live. FACLT will obtain the funding to build energy efficient, well designed and inexpensive homes for local people to live in. They have already secured funds from a government department, Homes England, that was set up to support Community Land Trusts (CLT). This initial funding will enable them to secure land and conduct feasibility studies. Their initial goal is build 15 homes in Frome, these would be rented at a below market rent to local people. A small beginning but FACLT see this as just the start and will work tirelessly to enable the building of more affordable homes for local people and give young people in particular the choice to stay in their home town.
However FACLT has a significant obstacle to overcome and that is finding land. They hope by reaching out to the people of Frome some land will be found. It has to be in Frome or on its borders and it has to be affordable. They can’t compete with private developers but can, in some cases, obtain land that private developers cannot build on.They’d like the community to help them to identify land in Frome that might be a potential site. They don’t need to build all 15 houses on one plot so any size plot that might be available would be of interest. FACLT would like to hear from anyone who potentially has a plot of land or think they know of somewhere suitable. A quick email into firstname.lastname@example.org and the FACLT Directors would immediately research the site and establish its feasibility.