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Council disposal of land paves the way for new affordable housing
Release date: Thu, 27/09/2012
Bristol City Council has approved the sale of a piece of land to a Community Land Trust, paving the way to the creation of up to a dozen affordable homes.
The move is a milestone in the history of house building of the city as it will mark the first housing development by a Community Land Trust in Bristol.
A Community Land Trust is a not-for-profit, community-based organisation that develops housing or other assets at permanently affordable levels for long-term community benefit.
A CLT can provide housing through shared equity or outright sale on the open market, for affordable rent, or a combination of the above.
The old school 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.
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.
“Bristol City Council, faced with the challenge of meeting the demand for new homes at a time of economic stagnation, is continuing to innovate.
“Empowering community land trusts to build affordable homes is an important addition to our armoury and joins such successful schemes as the Local Authority Mortgage Scheme, which has so far helped 28 first-time buyers secure a home and our empty private housing initiative which in 12 months brought back more than 500 homes into use, more than 20 per cent over our target.
“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.”
The housing to be built will be a mixture of affordable rent and shared equity affordable housing. The site at 325 Fishponds Road will be the first self-finish site to be developed by the Bristol Community Land Trust. Other sites elsewhere in the city are also currently being considered.
Keith Cowling, Chair of Bristol CLT, 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."
Bristol community land trust was launched in February 2011 and signed up 150 members who are a mix of young single people, young couples, families and older persons. For further information about Bristol Community Land Trust go to http://bristolclt.wordpress.com/