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Calling local landowners! Can you help provide genuinely affordable homes for local people?

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Frome Area Community Land Trust – formed earlier this year to provide genuinely affordable homes for local people with a connection to the town – is looking for land that can be developed.

“Truly affordable homes are needed in the Frome area due to the disparity between average earnings and property and rental prices,” says the Trust. “There continues to be a serious lack of new affordable homes both for purchase and rental being built in the town. 

“The Trust is dedicated to ensuring that people with a local connection are given housing priority. This includes people who live here now (perhaps grown up but living with parents), work here now (but travel from elsewhere), or have lived here in the past (but have been forced to move away to find somewhere to live).

“If FACLT is to provide these homes they will need to find somewhere to build them. Affordable homes for local people can be built on land that would otherwise be unavailable to private developers; usually agricultural land adjacent to the existing settlement. This is allowed under a recently introduced national policy known as Entry Level Exception Sites. Under this policy, all the homes must be for local people and all must be affordable. 

“The CLT is also keen to find pockets of land within the town that might be made available at a beneficial price, this doesn’t sound easy but its been done in other towns and the CLT are keen to talk to land owners. Therefore the CLT are appealing to local landowners to let them know if they would like to talk. 

Roger Saunders, chair of the CLT said ‘We are looking for sites that are reasonably level, accessible from an adopted road, 1/2 acre (20k sq.ft.) or more in size, not prone to flooding and generally suited to house-building. Ideally we hope to build between 5 and 15 homes per site. Potential ‘entry level exception sites’ should be adjacent to Frome’s settlement boundary. Typically, the value is up to £7,000/plot.

“Any land that the CLT do develop will be owned freehold by FACLT and permanently held for the benefit of Frome people and no-one involved in the CLT will profit financially from the project. The CLT hopes to work with a suitable housing association to fund and build the homes, using a model that has proved very successful elsewhere in the South West.”

If you own land and would like to help local people continue to live here please contact the CLT for an informal discussion, email info@fromeareaclt. org  or phone Roger Saunders on 07910 838452 or Peter  Nowson on 07833 990053.

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