A grant of £5,000 has been approved to help set up a Community Land Trust in Soham.

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Members of the development and transport committee at East Cambridgeshire District Council agreed to give the maximum grant to formally start their work in Soham.

The money will be spent on putting in place the legal work to establish the trust and start the basic engagement activities.

The Soham trust is hoping to develop a number of affordable houses in the town to part buy and rent, community buildings and playing fields at the Eastern Gateway to Soham.

The idea behind land trusts is to offer existing residents of the town priority in housing while offering local councils greater control over where development takes place.

Cllr Charles Roberts, deputy leader at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “At the district council we have identified Community Land Trusts as one of the best ways to meet the local needs for affordable and market housing.

“They are a great way of providing new homes to our residents while giving local people a far greater say in how developments can benefit the whole community.

“The trust in Soham is at the very beginning of its journey but we will be there to support them throughout the process.

“They have ambitious plans to develop the Eastern Gateway but they have the right people and organisations involved so we wish them well in the forthcoming months.”

With the Soham Trust, the district council has met its aim to help deliver two new Community Land Trusts by the end of 2013 as part of its corporate priorities. This work has been supported by Foundation East – an umbrella organisation – which has seconded a member of staff to the authority to support this work.

For more information on Community Land Trusts please call 01353 665555 or visit www.eastcambs.gov.uk.

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