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Tuesday, 27 February 2024

Andy Lloyd

Community Led Homes Accredited Adviser

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Cumbria Community Land Trust Case Studies

Witherslack CLT


South Lakeland District

Village population: 499


Origin: Witherslack CLT was established in 2006 to develop assets required by the community following the completion of a Parish Plan and housing needs survey. The trustees have a wide variety of skills - from accountancy to archaeology - and range in age from 30's to 50's, with people of 20’s and teens actively sought.


The first project undertaken was the purchase and renovation of the closed village pub which was then leased out as a going concern with an associated shop co-operative.


In 2007 the trust moved on to identify a small site for the development of 2 affordable self built homes. Two families were identified through an anonymous process with the help of Cumbria Rural Housing Trusts Rural Housing Enabler. The Trust, the National Park and the self builders were all keen to develop eco homes. Full planning permission was granted in December 2012, with no objections from the community. The two homes were completed to Passiv House specifications and occupied in 2015. The land was gifted and the self builders have freehold ownership with covenants for affordability in perpetuity which locks out the land value providing a form of shared ownership scheme.  


Nick Stanley chair of the Witherslack Community Land Trust comments, “It has been a long and winding road to get this far. We know that these issues face most villages in the UK, but hit particularly hard in the national parks. We hope that our work will have some, small influence on Government in all its forms, and that they will now accept that many of rural England's problems are solvable by the communities themselves, and move to actually support and encourage such actions.”


Company form: Company limited by guarantee

Type of CLT: ‘Hands on’ developing and owning their own schemes.

Approach to housing management: Via the CLT

The land: Gifted by Witherslack Estate

The scheme: Two low cost purchase homes completed

Unique aspects: Free land, self funded through mortgages

Project support: CLT Officer Andy Lloyd

Project management: WCLT

Architect: Andrew Yates, Eco Arc.

Constructor: Local builder. 

Finance: The pub - loans from local people, loans from the Co-Op Bank, and £10,000 grant from South Lakeland District Council from second home council tax receipts used to employ a project worker. The houses - self funded through mortgages.

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