Our Board

The Network is accountable to the National CLT Network Board.

The Network was formally incorporated as a Charity in May 2014 after 3.5 years of being hosted by the National Housing Federation, the trade body for housing associations in England. The Network's first AGM was held in autumn 2015.

All members are eligible to join the Board, and all Members are welcome to observe at Board meetings. Please let us know if you'd like to observe at a future meeting or be nominated for a Board position: info@communitylandtrusts.org.uk or 020 7067 1039.

The following individuals are on our board of trustees:

Cathy Bakewell, Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville MBE (Chair of the National CLT Network)

Cathy Bakewell, Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville MBE, is a British politician who is a member of the House of Lords for the Lib Dems. She was the leader of Somerset County Council from 2001 to 2007. Previously she worked for Paddy Ashdown MP.


She served as councillor for Coker on South Somerset District Council from 2009 until 2019 and was created a life peer as Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville, of Hardington Mandeville in Somerset on 9 September 2013, taking her title for the local village of Hardington Mandeville where she lives.


In 2015 Cathy was appointed as the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Housing as part of the Communities and Local Government Team but is now the Party’s spokesperson on EFRA.


Cathy is a keen supporter of CLTs and has spoken passionately about CLTs in the House of Lords.

Steve Hoey - Leeds Community Homes CLT (Vice Chair)

"I support CLTs because: I have seen how they can contribute to the provision of truly affordable housing, as well as enabling people to come together and create significant social value around community cohesion, training, job creation and well being."

Steve is one of the co-founders of Leeds Community Homes (LCH) and is now employed as the CEO. LCH is a CLT for the Leeds area, a developer of community led, affordable, environmentally sustainable housing in Leeds, plus a hub helping others to do the same in the region.

He was previously the director at the United Nations 'World Habitat Award'-winning Canopy Housing (2008 - 2017), also a CLT. There he led an innovative, sustainable and replicable organisation with a strong global reputation in community led housing, partnership work, support, training and job creation.

He read Philosophy at Leeds University and became an MBA through study at the Open University. His 23-year career is in housing and leadership, in positions ranging from volunteer to founder, from resettlement worker to CEO.

Julie Abbey-Taylor (Lavenham CLT)

"I support CLTs because: I think communities really need to take direct action in the provision of housing for their community. When members of the community get involved in developments that they want, and ones that have direct benefits for the local residents, the whole planning process becomes much easier and more transparent. People can see that there is a local stake in the provision of affordable housing that becomes a physical and social asset for the community as a whole. Such developments help young people to remain in their community and give them some security upon which to build their futures”.

Julie has been working in the affordable housing sector and housing delivery for the past 35 years. From 2008 to 2020 Julie led the Strategic Housing function for two Councils in Suffolk which included the setting up of a framework to help support the development of a number of Community Led Housing Trusts.
In 2020 Julie moved to a private affordable housing provider but maintains her links with the CLT movement being a Trustee of the Lavenham CLT in Suffolk. Julie was instrumental in assisting LCLT with their first scheme of 18 new homes for rent and shared ownership which was completed in 2019.

Julie has worked for a number of local authorities in her career to date, a community-based housing association and the national charity Scope.  She is experienced in submitting and assisting in bids for government funding with Homes England and has a good track record of attracting inward investment. Julie has a B.A Honours in Geography from Staffordshire University, a postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies and is a Corporate Member of the Chartered Institute of Housing.

Nicholas Boys Smith (Nicholas does not represent a Member organisation)

"I support CLTs because: communities are excellent at delivering places that people like and value. By their very nature they know best what they need and want. Empowered community residents can be wise place-makers."

Nicholas is the founding Director of Create Streets, an independent research institute that encourages and supports the creation of more and better homes in mixed use “gentle density” places rather than complex multi-storey buildings or drive to cul-de-sacs. Many of Create Streets’ ideas are now embedded in national and local planning policy.

Nicholas was co-chair of the Government’s Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission whose influential report, Living with Beauty, recommended empowering communities and supporting CLTs. He is Chair of the Transition Board for the Government’s Office of Place as well as being a Commissioner at Historic England and a senior research fellow in urban design at the University of Buckingham. Nicholas has written extensively on development, planning and the links between design, wellbeing, value, sustainability and public support as well as leading or supporting many urban design and community co-design projects.

Pete Duncan (SCATA)

Pete is a Director of Communities CAN, the Community Led Housing Hub for Northumberland, Newcastle and North Tyneside. He is also chair of SCATA, a national award winning CLT in his home village of Stocksfield in Northumberland.

Pete has been involved in community-led housing for more than forty years. He trained as a Planner but soon transitioned into community housing and urban regeneration. He has worked for local authorities and an earlier version of the Homes and Communities Agency, set up and managed a secondary co-operative and lived in a cohousing scheme. He is the author of various national publications on community led housing, neighbourhood management and regeneration. Pete has been running his own consultancy business for the past 30 years.

In his spare time, Pete is a wildlife and landscape photographer, birdwatcher and a
committed fan of Arsenal Football Club.

Colin Glen (London CLT)

Colin has a passion for delivering affordable housing. As the previous Vice Chair of London’s first community land trust, which provides genuinely affordable homes for Londoners, he was vice chair of London CLT at the inception of the board who were instrumental in delivering St Clements Affordable CLT Homes in Mile End.

He has been interested in CLT’s for the past decade having travelled to the United States and being hosted by the Champlain Housing Community Land Trust, the largest community land trust in the US. The trip provided him with an understanding of the housing model and enthused him to dedicate his time to work in support of CLT’s here in the UK.

He is a construction professional and holds professional memberships with the Chartered Institution of Building as a Chartered Construction Manager, the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors as an Engineering Surveyor, and the Institution of Civil Engineers as an Incorporated Civil Engineer. His career spans over 20 years as part of teams delivering mega construction projects and iconic buildings, commercial office space, health care, residential property and stadia in London.

He is a founding director of Genesis Projects Incorporated (GPI Ltd). A Project Management consultancy which assists local communities with land and property development. GPI focuses on community projects, affordable housing, heritage buildings and residential development whilst allowing him to pursue his passion for CLT’s.

Paul Kelly (Homebaked CLT and Breaking Ground hub)

Paul has been working in the field of community development, housing led regeneration and cultural programming for the past 30 years. For twelve years Paul led the community development function of Liverpool Housing Action Trust, a major housing led regeneration programme, where he first started to work with communities taking control of their housing. Since then, Paul has worked on Merseyside’s Housing Market Renewal Programme both with Shelter and with Liverpool Biennial where he continued to explore how artists work in a socially engaged way within a regeneration context. Paul ran the Arts Service at Lancashire County Council for five years and then worked as Community Empowerment Manager with Community Gateway Association in Preston, the first mutual housing association in England, for five years. Currently Paul is Director of Breaking Ground, the new Liverpool City Region Community-led Housing Hub set up in 2020.

Paul was a founder member and Company Secretary of Homebaked Community Land Trust between 2012 to 2020, standing down when he took on the Director role at Breaking Ground.

Paul has been a Fellow of the RSA since 2006 and is a Board Member of Step Up MCR, a place-based giving charity he helped to establish, as well as Chrysalis Arts, a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England.

Helen Lawrence (Helen does not represent a Member organisation)

"I support CLTs because: they challenge how land has traditionally been owned and how houses have traditionally been built and propose a way to create affordable homes."

From a career working across businesses, universities and the not-for-profit sector, Helen has become a keen advocate for innovation — not only in products but also in processes and ways of working.

She joined Open Systems Lab in 2017 to lead on Operations and Partnerships, where the focus is on digital tools for the built environment. Before this, as hub director of Big Innovation Centre since 2014, Helen was responsible for overseeing the hub’s operations and ensuring that the programme of projects, events and research delivered value to partners. Helen was head of Business Relations at Birkbeck, University of London for 10 years before initially joining Big Innovation Centre as Operations & Impact Manager.

After beginning her career in theatre, Helen then worked for several years at Oxford University Press as sales manager for Northern Europe and marketing manager for Humanities, before moving to Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design as sales and marketing manager. This background has given her a good understanding of the creative industries and a passion for the role of creativity. Helen has a BA in Modern Languages from the University of Oxford and a CIM Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing.

Vanessa White (Powerstock and District CLT)

"I support CLTs because I live in a small rural community that needs homes local people can afford to live in. Throughout my professional career, I have been interested in supporting sustainable communities."

Vanessa has a background working as a manager in the NHS, specialising in community and mental health services. After leaving the NHS she worked as a management consultant broadening her role to include, saving community hospitals, social care and work with various charities and trusts.

Vanessa has also worked as a therapeutic counsellor and is a board member for Powerstock and District CLT. Vanessa is also a trustee of the Bridport Area Development Trust, a charity involved in the restoration and preservation of buildings for the economic growth and development of the local community.

She holds an M.Sc. In Policy Studies from Bristol University and a Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling.


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