South Petherton Community Land Trust and Stonewater secure £500k grant from Homes England

The first ever capital allocation of £500k was approved by Homes England’s Community Housing Fund for a development project led by Stonewater (national housing association) and South Petherton Community Land Trust (SPCLT).

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The community-led development will deliver ten affordable homes at West End Close, South Petherton for people with a local connection.

Two one-bedroom apartments, three three-bedroom houses and five two-bedroom houses will be part of Stonewater’s new 34-home development in South Petherton. SPCLT and Stonewater will work with South Somerset District Council to ensure the new affordable homes are allocated to people with a connection to the parish. The prospective residents will be chosen based on the strength of their local connection and housing need as defined by Somerset Homefinder housing priority bandings.

The partnership between SPCLT and Stonewater was formed to tackle the housing shortage in South Petherton, with the support from Wessex Community Land Trust Project (WCLTP). Stonewater will lead the construction. We will then transfer ownership of the freehold of the properties to the SPCLT and enter into a 125-year lease with them to manage and maintain them.

Community Land Trust (CLT) is a community-led organisation that builds permanently affordable homes, usually run by ordinary people who come together to facilitate the development of properties and other assets for their community. CLT ensures the homes stay affordable, not only for the current residents but for all future occupiers.

Stonewater’s Executive Director for Development, Jonathan Layzell said: “We are delighted to have secured this significant amount of funding for affordable homes in the South Somerset area. Stonewater is committed to delivering quality homes at an affordable price and we believe this community-led housing project does just that.”

Home England’s Housing Delivery Specialist, Helen Bone, said: “Our Community Housing Fund was designed to support an increase in housing supply by delivering additional community-led affordable homes that are appropriate for local income levels and to deliver self-sustaining community-led housing sector for generations to come. The Government has made £163m available across England through the Community Housing Fund. The new homes at South Petherton are a perfect example of the type of project the fund was intended to support.”

South Petherton Community Land Trust’s Chair, Bryan Chitty, said: “This is the SPCLT’s greatest achievement to date and we are overjoyed to be able to deliver affordable homes to local people who either have lived or worked in South Petherton. They will have a place to call home, not just for themselves but for the generations to come in a sustainable environment.”

Wessex Community Land Trust Project’s Affordable Housing adviser, Steve Watson, said: “Wessex CLT Project has worked with almost 50 different CLTs across the South West region and we are delighted to work with South Petherton as it is the fourth CLT in South Somerset to provide affordable homes for local people. Being part of a project that won the first ever capital bid from Homes England’s Community Housing Fund is a real milestone for us and we are delighted to have helped secure the money needed to deliver more affordable homes. We thank our volunteers for their great commitment and patience while we wrestled to find an appropriate site in the parish.”