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East Bergholt Community Land Trust
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Our Story

Delivering on the Neighbourhood Plan

Background to East Bergholt Community Land Trust.

Our East Bergholt Neighbourhood Plan was constructed around the ideas and requirements that residents of East Bergholt had prioritised in the village questionnaire of 2013. The most consistent and emphatic message from village residents was that East Bergholt does not need yet more large executive houses, but it does need more houses that young people in the village can afford to live in and more homes suitable for our growing number of older people. And yet when we looked at what had happened in practice we found that the reverse was true; mainly large houses were being built and our village people were being priced out of their own community. The Neighbourhood Plan set out to address this imbalance and to create policies and projects that would deliver a better choice of housing for all ages and all incomes. Our mission was to create a community that can take care of all of its residents from "cradle to grave".

Chapter 3 of the Neighbourhood Plan deals with the housing problem. In particular EB4 states: "Residential development shall provide a mix of house types, tenures and sizes to support the delivery of the identified housing needs of the Parish and its Hinterland Villages. Affordable Housing shall be provided in accordance with Babergh Core Strategy and the Babergh Affordable Housing SPD. At least 40% of new dwellings should be one and two bedroom homes."

And policy EB5 states: "Up to one third of new housing developed in the plan area should be designed to meet the needs of older people. The development of homes suitable for older people, including affordable and market housing, of types and sizes that meet local housing need will be supported on sites that satisfy the requirements of Policy EB2. Small scale infill development of older people’s housing within 400 metres of St Mary’s Church will be supported where they provide homes with easy access to the facilities in the Village Heart, subject to conforming to other policies of the development plan. Subject to the need and viability being demonstrated, the development of a care home in the village will be supported."

The policies in Chapter 3 aim to ensure that at least 40% of all new houses built are either houses that our young families can afford to live in or else houses aimed at providing safe accommodation for people in their later years. These policies were approved by 94% of residents voting in the referendum and then incorporated into the formal list of planning policies by Babergh District Council in 2016.

The Neighbourhood Plan policies were a good start, but we were aware from the outset that if we left things to market forces, policies alone would not build the houses we needed. So the Neighbourhood Plan also includes Projects with the purpose of delivering those policies. Project EB2 specifically is the project that aims to build the houses we need. Project EB2 says:

"Establish a Community Land Trust as the means of delivering homes for local people and to deliver Affordable Housing, to offset private sector provision, in or near to the village centre, for shared ownership or rentable properties. This will meet the identified needs of East Bergholt and the proportion of the needs of the Hinterland Villages relating to East Bergholt as a Core Village. The intention is to provide housing for younger people and to provide for key workers employed in or providing services for East Bergholt or its Hinterland Villages."

The Parish Council set up a working group in April 2017 to establish a Community Land Trust organisation that would be tasked with building the lower cost houses for young village families and the safe houses for older residents to help them remain in the village. That organisation is called East Bergholt Community Land Trust.

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