Pinchbeck is a village of around 5,000 people situated close to the town of Spalding in southern Lincolnshire.
For many years the Parish Council had identified a need for affordable homes for people with a connection to the village and had been working with Lincs Rural Housing Association to find a way of developing the homes. Attempts were made to move a scheme forward as a conventional Housing Association development and for a number of reasons this was unsuccessful. Thinking creatively the Parish Council decided to see whether there was any interest in setting up a Community Land Trust as a way of developing the affordable homes.
A public meeting was called early in 2012 and there was an overwhelming response with standing room only at the meeting. The meeting agreed to look into setting up a CLT and a steering group was formed consisting of members of the public and Parish Councillors. The steering group then set about the formation of a CLT for Pinchbeck, finding a suitable site for a development and engaging with the Lincs Rural Housing Association and a developer to bring forward a housing scheme. The steering group formed the CLT in the spring of 2013, setting up as an Industrial & Provident Society for the Benefit of the Community. A partnership with Lincs Rural Housing Association and Westleigh Developments was established.
The preferred site for development was owned by the Parish Council and was let out to a farmer under an agricultural tenancy. In order to ensure openness and transparency the negotiation on the sale of the land to the CLT was conducted in public at a special meeting of the Parish Council. Members of the public witnessed the Parish Council and the CLT negotiating hard to ensure that there was both a viable housing scheme and that the Parish Council secured the best possible price for the land. A deal was struck.
The housing scheme needed community-led grant funding from the Homes & Communities Agency in order to proceed. To access this grant the CLT had to prove it’s community credentials to the HCA, which it did with flying colours.
By partnering with a Housing Association, Pinchbeck CLT did not have to undertake the potentially risky and costly process of submitting a planning application. Following extensive public consultation carried out by the CLT in the early part of 2013, Westleigh Developments submitted the application on behalf of Pinchbeck CLT and Lincs Rural HA in the summer of 2013 and planning permission was granted in the autumn of 2013.
A key aim of the CLT was to ensure that any homes that were built were not only affordable but prioritised for local people with a connection to Pinchbeck. The CLT successfully negotiated a legal agreement (Section 106 agreement) with the District Council and the Housing Association that ensures that people and families with a local connection to Pinchbeck will have priority.
In December 2013 Pinchbeck CLT purchased the site from Pinchbeck Parish Council, a long lease having already been drawn up between the Parish Council and the Housing Association. In other words, the CLT was now landlord to the Housing Association. The CLT will receive an index-linked ground-rent from the Housing Association for the life of the lease (125 years) after which the CLT will become owners of the whole development and can choose how to proceed, but the homes will always be for the benefit of local families for rent in perpetuity.
Construction started in summer 2014 and the homes were completed in March 2015.
The CLT is looking for new challenges and projects within the whole parish. Its income from the ground rent will be used to fund community projects. The Directors are all unpaid volunteers and Pinchbeck CLT is a not-for-profit organisation with none of its income used for private gain.
LCLT supported Pinchbeck CLT throughout the whole process.