St Minver Community Land Trust (CLT) was formed in 2008 to help residents of Rock buy a home in their village.
Rock is a desirable holiday destination in the North Cornish parish of St Minver, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty attracting affluent visitors from all over the world. Over the years, houses in the village have been snapped-up as second homes and holiday properties and this has driven prices out of reach of many local people, particularly young people unable to get a foot on the first rung of the property ladder.
A group of concerned local residents led by local builder and parish councilor Bill Dingle (who has sadly since passed away) wanted to do something and decided to form the St Minver Community Land Trust.
In December 2006 the CLT was registered as a Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee and was awarded an initial setting up grant of £5,000 by North Cornwall District Council followed up by a secured interest free loan of £544,000.
Land was purchased from local farmer David Wills who paid for the detailed design and planning submissions for a development of 4 two-bedroom and 8 three-bedroom detached self build bungalows.
Twelve local applicants were selected for the project and applications were made for mortgages from a single lender with cost projections of £78,000 for a two-bedroom home and £85,000 for a three-bed. Work commenced using the council loan, which was repaid as mortgages came on stream and residents purchased their new homes.
In order to safeguard future occupancy and affordability, a Section 106 agreement was signed by the CLT with a resale covenant transferring obligations to successive owners. A pre-emption agreement gives the CLT 'first refusal' to purchase a property or to nominate a purchaser should a home be offered for sale. A similar agreement is in place with the mortgage lender and any re-sales are capped at 31.3% of open market value.
Construction started on 1st October 2007 overseen by the CLT and project manager (PM) Alan Fox. Residents provided labour for the project with skilled individuals taking on the specialist jobs and unskilled people carrying out unskilled tasks under the PM's direction.
Everybody worked on each others' houses and no-one moved in until they were all complete.
The project was completed in December 2008 on time and on budget with all the new owners moved in for Christmas. The project has been hailed as one of the most successful Community Land Trust projects in the UK and has paved the way for a second phase which commenced in March 2010 with a further 8 self build homes and a partnership with Cornwall Rural Housing Association (CRHA) delivering 4 affordable rented properties.
Residents of phase 1 'Dingle's Way' are thrilled with their new homes and the personal investment they made to the project. If this sounds like a model that could work for you in your area, you can find out more at the National Community Land Trust Network