Plans for innovative village-owned housing development are unveiled

A plan of the new community land trust housing A plan of the new community land trust housing

Wednesday, February 26, 2014
8:24 AM

Stretham’s trail-blazing community land trust has finally entered plans for a new 50-home development on the edge of the village.

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The innovative scheme will be owned by the people of Stretham and was first unveiled to villagers this time last year, with a formal planning application finally submitted to the district council this week.

The Stretham and Wilburton Community Land Trust has earmarked several acres of land east of the village, known as Manor Farm, that it hopes can be used to build 15 new affordable homes, 35 open market homes, a doctors’ surgery and start-up business units.

There will also be a new village green, a series of cycle ways and footpaths and a small extension to the village cemetery.

The affordable homes will be funded by the sale of the open market houses and will remain in the ownership of the trust. Priority in leasing the houses will be given exclusively to people living in the parish to ensure young people don’t have to leave the village to find suitable housing.

In its submission to East Cambridgeshire District Council, the trust said: “The provision of community land trust owned homes in the village will mean that people who live and work locally will not need to travel so far to work.

“At present, as a result of the housing shortage and increasing house prices, many local residents are having to move out of the village and some commute back daily to work in the village.”

The trust was set up in 2011 to help tackle the shortage of homes across the two villages and its volunteers have been hard at work for three years identifying suitable sites to launch their first scheme.

A series of community consultation events were held in Stretham in February last year.

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