Proposals recommended in ‘Land for the Many‘ putting ‘communities at the heart of development’ have been welcomed by a charity in the community land sector
In the new report, put together by the Labour Party, particular attention is given to the Community Land Trusts (CLT) approach and its ability to stabilise, protect and strengthen civic life.
One idea put forward is the creation of a Community Land Fund to bring £200m worth of land into community ownership by 2030. A long-term fund of this type would be transformational for the Community Land Trusts movement and would give local people a sustainable means of delivering projects and secure services that they want and need.
Due to the chronic shortage of affordable and suitable housing, Community Land Trusts have become particularly aligned with community-led housing developments. Growing from just 14 a decade ago there are now 333 CLTs across England and Wales.
To date, 935 Community Land Trusts homes have been built and there are over 5,000 due to be built in the next few years, in part thanks to the Government’s £163m Community Housing Fund.
CLTs are on the cusp of major expansion. It is stated in the report that community-led development has an ‘important role to play’, drawing examples that community-owned housing accounts for 15% of the total housing stock in Norway and 8% in Austria.
Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trusts Network, said: “It’s really positive to know that the Community Land Trusts is widely considered as a practical approach to helping combat inequality, protect assets of community value and give communities more control.
“In Scotland, there are 227,526 hectares in community ownership, or 3% of the country. In comparison, we estimate that 0.03% of England is in the hands of communities. We welcome the proposals put forward in this report and will continue to work on building cross-party support to make CLTs a mainstream option for communities wanting to take control.”