A new report from the government-backed Building Beautiful Commission sets out the critical role community land trusts (CLTs) can play to help ordinary people have more control over new development and safeguard places for the long-term benefit of communities.
Published on Thursday 30 January, Living with Beauty explains why the current planning system must improve and respond better to the needs of people.
It proposes a new development and planning framework that focuses on beauty and stewardship and sets out 130 recommendations, of which ‘stewardship through community and neighbourhood-led development’ is one.
As well as championing the CLT approach the report makes a policy recommendation for the government to ‘continue its support’ for community led housing.
Mirroring the National CLT Network’s own asks in their latest manifesto the report recommends the following:
- Ongoing funding support for community housing projects, with a sensible long-term commitment, such as for the next five years.
- Considering how to align community housing, planning and regeneration funding alongside section 106 agreements and other resources to turbo-charge community-led development.
- Expanding the scope of the 2011 Localism Act’s Community Right to Build Orders and strengthen and streamline community rights to buy assets of community value.
- Empowering communities from council-owned estates with greater responsibility for their homes and their neighbourhoods’ development by investigating the facilitation of stock transfers to CLT housing associations.
- CLTs have a ‘discretion’ not to sell homes via Right to Buy. It would be sensible for a Written Ministerial Statement to make this clearer and exempt CLTs from future tenure reforms so that they can remain community-led.
Tom Chance, co-chief executive of the National CLT Network said:
"Every Community Land Trust will agree with the Commission's call for beauty and stewardship - and many were motivated by precisely those ends. We welcome the Commission's thoughtful report.
"Hundreds of CLTs, co-ops and cohousing communities are working to build better and beautiful places across England thanks in part to the government's Community Housing Fund. The Commission recommends this is continued for five more years, and so we call again on the Government to urgently re-open it, and to agree a long term extension in the spring budget."