Bristol Land Trust Housing project will open doors to less well-off

Tony Gosling tony at
Sat Oct 20 01:06:06 BST 2012

Housing project will open doors to less well-off
Thursday, October 18, 2012

A FORMER school in Eastville is to be converted 
into affordable housing after a trust bought the 
plot from the council for just £1.

The Bristol Community Land Trust says it hopes to 
become the first such organisation to develop 
housing in a British city by converting the 
Eastville Park School site on Fishponds Road.

A Community Land Trust is a not-for-profit, 
community-based organisation that develops 
housing at prices or rents that are kept permanently affordable.

BCLT intends to build 12 homes on the land 
offered at discounted prices to buyers willing to 
dedicate work to the site in return. The trust 
hopes potential residents will benefit from 
building their new houses with the help of fellow 
trustees as they pool resources, tools and time.

Under the trust's plans, there will be six 
three-bedroom houses and six one-bedroom flats available to trustees.

The homes will be offered at around two-thirds of 
the market value or cheaper under a shared equity 
scheme. Trustees who choose to commit are then 
bound by rules restricting them from selling their homes on for profit.

Bristol Community Land Trust development officer 
Anna Maloney told the Post: "It is the trust's 
first project and potentially the first urban CLT project in the country.

"It demonstrates that Bristol is leading the way 
in fresh thinking around housing and creating 
opportunities for people that can't afford homes on the open market.

"We are now actively looking for people who would 
be interested in doing the construction work on 
these homes themselves, to get a reduced price or rent level."

The site at 325 Fishponds Road, Eastville, has 
been derelict for a number of years. It will be 
parcelled with some land from the current 
Eastville Park depot to the rear of the site, and 
sold to Bristol Community Land Trust for £1.

It will be the first site to be developed by the 
Bristol Community Land Trust. Further sites in 
the city are also currently being considered.

Councillor Anthony Negus, Cabinet Member for 
Housing, Property and Regeneration, said: "This 
is an exciting landmark in the history of house building in Bristol.

"I hope the disposal of this site to BCLT is the 
first of many and will lead to the creation of many more affordable new homes.

"Empowering community land trusts to build 
affordable homes is an important addition to our armoury.

"I hope that this particular scheme, in addition 
to providing much-needed affordable housing in 
Eastville, will also make a contribution to 
regenerating the area which suffers from a number 
of anti-social behaviour issues."

Bristol CLT chairman Keith Cowling said: "Bristol 
CLT has been working closely with Bristol City 
Council to bring this unused site back into use 
for affordable housing for Bristolians. We are 
therefore delighted with the announcement and 
look forward to working with the Eastville 
community and our members to create to first 
community land trust project in any UK city."

For further information about Bristol Community 
Land Trust visit
+44 (0)7786 952037
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