Toller Porcorum Community Land Trust, West Dorset

This scheme consists of six new affordable homes and a new village post office.

Toller PorcorumHousing Association
Aster Group

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Homes & Communities Agency; West Dorset District Council; Wessex CLT Project; Post Office; Dorset Community Action

Scheme Outline
The Community Land Trust was established to tackle the shortage of affordable housing for local people in the village and also to find new premises for the village post office which had an insecure tenancy.

The new housing includes a one-bedroom flat, along with five two and three-bedroom houses, all for affordable rent. The homes will be managed under a 125 year lease on the CLT’s behalf by Aster which will also pay an annual ground rent to the CLT.

The site was incredibly challenging to develop and had a number of costly abnormal elements. Aster’s Board approved the project in the knowledge that it would represent a financial loss for the business. It was felt that the community benefit outweighed this financial loss. The scheme was completed in September 2015 and was funded by the Homes and Communities Agency, via its Community-led Development Fund, and West Dorset District Council.

The land for the new homes and the post office was gifted by late philanthropist Vanora Hereward who lived in the village.

West Dorset District Council conducted a Housing Needs Survey and identified eight households eligible for housing within the parish. In addition three small local parishes were also included as beneficiaries of the project.

Toller Porcorum was  struggling to maintain local services and the provision of additional housing for local people has helped to safeguard the long-term viability of the community. In addition, the scheme provided a permanent home for a post office to replace the previous insecure tenancy Case study prepared with support from arrangement.

The CLT has ambitions to expand the scope of the trust to include other community-based projects now that the housing scheme is completed.

The beneficiaries/users/occupiers of the project are primarily local people. The local connection criteria were established in the S106 agreement. The provision of affordable housing has helped to maintain a sustainable / balanced community and has made provision for a mixed socio economic community.

Good Practice
An ambitious CLT project including both housing and retail/community premises.

A sub committee was established to ensure that the local allocation plan appended to the S106 Agreement was tailored to the specific requirements of the CLT. Public consultation events were held to publicise the development and to seek input from the wider community.

The CLT organised events and publicised the need for local people to sign up to Dorset Home Choice.

HCA – £297,000
West Dorset District Council – £87,000
Aster Group – £715,000

“At Aster, it’s our vision that everyone should have a home. We have a strong track record of working with Community Land Trusts, particularly in Dorset, to help them deliver the affordable homes that are so badly needed in rural locations, where buying their own property can often be out of the reach of the average villager.”
Martyn Blackman, Aster’s Development Director

“It is almost impossible for young people on average earnings to get into the property market in this area. People of retirement age and second homeowners can afford to pay the prices and that has helped keep them at the rate they are. The village was in danger of  becoming one big old age pensioners’ home.”
Barry Rutherford, TPCLT’s Treasurer