Community Land Trusts

What is a Community Land Trust?

A CLT is a non-profit, community-based organisation run by volunteers to develop housing, workspaces or other assets that may be required to address a need in their local area. The key criteria of a CLT are defined by statute in Section 79 of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 which states that:

  • A CLT must be established as a not-for-profit organisation with a membership that is open to all who live and work in a community. The members must also own and control the organisation;
  • A CLT must be established for the express purpose of furthering the social, economic and environmental interests of a local community;
  • The land and property assets of a CLT must be used to provide a benefit to a local community and must be protected in the long-term by a legal asset-lock.

East Cambs Community Housing

East Cambs Community Housing is an umbrella organisation operated by ECDC to provide expert advice and guidance to communities thinking of setting up their own Community Land Trust. The organisation can help CLTs all the way from an initial idea or vision to managing affordable homes and community amenities in perpetuity. It works closely with Local Authorities, awarding bodies such as HCA and specialist funders, architects, developers, landowners and specialist advisers such as solicitors and accountants to help set-up a CLT, and can facilitate development through its sister company Palace Green Homes.

East Cambs Community Housing has assisted in the creation of ten CLTs in East Cambs so far. Some of their projects include the Manor Farm development in Stretham, which will deliver 75 homes to the community, 23 of which will be owned by Stretham & Wilburton CLT and affordable in perpetuity, and the proposed Kennett Garden Village development.

Find out more about East Cambs Community Housing

ECDC Planning Policy

Giving communities a greater say and control of their local area is a central theme of Government policy.

East Cambridgeshire District Council supports community-led development and has a special planning policy (Growth 5) that encourages this.

The planning policy lets communities bring forward sites in areas close to village or town boundaries which might be outside the normal development envelope. The community decides itself what is appropriate. These sites could include affordable housing, workspaces, community buildings and other amenities. And the project could also include some ‘market housing’ for sale to help pay for the community development if it would otherwise not go ahead.

The Council also provides support to anyone thinking of setting up a Community Land Trust with a grant to get started, a loan to provide pre-development finance and a CLT adviser to give advice, guidance and specialist help.

For more information on the help available from ECDC please contact the team:

Debbie Wildridge, Community Housing Development Officer, or Emily Mulvaney, Community Housing Programme Manager,

More information about CLTs

Local examples of CLT in East Cambridgeshire