Firle CLT is a registered Community Land Trust
We are a newly formed not-for-profit voluntary organisation that aspires to build affordable houses to rent in Firle.
Working together, we propose a Parish-led response to rural housing need to support a mix of incomes, ages, work, mobility and family connections, for the future of Firle.
Working Together with the Firle Estate to Build Affordable Homes
We have set up Firle Community Land Trust to help the community remain a thriving place with accessible housing and amenities that work for local people.
A Housing Needs Survey in 2020 showed how the the village is vulnerable to the gap between rising Sussex house prices and average local earnings. House prices in National Parks are approximately 22% higher than the rest of the country.
Together, working with Firle Estate, the National Park and Lewes District Council we aim to build modest sympathetic homes – added in the same way that parts of the parish have grown bit by bit over the centuries.
How Would We Work…
Opportunities to build houses in the South Downs National Park are really limited. New housing in Firle has to be affordable and the SDNP has recommended projects are ‘community-led’.
Community-led housing projects can access government grant specifically designed
to help small affordable sites. We would collaborate with the Firle Estate and local government to transform available land into permission for homes.
As a community, with the landowner and the planners, we would work to design great homes with character. We would build and then let out the houses as a community
trust – meaning they would be affordable for generations and generations, with rents a manageable fraction of household income.
What is a Community Land Trust?
Community Land Trusts (CLTs) are a nationally recognised provider of affordable homes. There are at present 327 legally incorporated CLTs in England and Wales. 957 affordable CLT homes have been built and 6,969 homes are planned by communities in the next 5 years.
A CLT is a socially responsive and politically popular alternative to standard housing development:
(i) 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.
(ii) A CLT must be established for the express purpose of furthering the social, economic and environmental interests of a local community.
(iii) 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.