Political opinion: MP visits new community land trust scheme in Aldingbourne

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This item has been submitted by the office of Andrew Griffith MP. Arundel and South Downs MP Andrew Griffith visited the new Wings Wood housing development in Aldingbourne to see some of the new 22 affordable homes that have been built for people who have strong connections to the area such as growing up nearby or having close relatives locally.

Mike Link, Chairman of the Aldingbourne, Barnham & Eastergate Community Land Trust provided Andrew Griffith with a tour on Friday morning (8th March). The MP has been a strong supporter of the Community Land Trust movement which deliver truly affordable homes for local people.

Last week, the Chancellor committed £20 million in funding for community-led housing schemes as part of his Spring Budget. Andrew Griffith had supported the Community Land Trusts in Arundel and South Downs in asking the Treasury for this extra funding.

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At Wings Wood, of the 71 houses built by Thakeham Homes, 22 of them are in the Community Land Trust (CLT) which hold the nomination rights for applicants to live in them. These rights are held in perpetuity by the community through the CLT. The remaining homes in the development are all affordable homes through Southern Housing, either for shared ownership or rent.

Mike Link, Chairman of Aldingbourne, Barnham & Eastergate CLT with Andrew Griffith MP at Wings WoodMike Link, Chairman of Aldingbourne, Barnham & Eastergate CLT with Andrew Griffith MP at Wings Wood
Mike Link, Chairman of Aldingbourne, Barnham & Eastergate CLT with Andrew Griffith MP at Wings Wood

The Aldingbourne, Barnham & Eastergate Community Land Trust (ABE CLT) was established six years ago as a not-for-profit community-led initiative to help meet its local housing needs. It is run entirely by volunteers from the local area and has the full support of the parish councils and of Arun District Council which handles all the applications.

Mike Link, Chairman of ABE CLT, said: “It was a pleasure to show Andrew what we have achieved so far and talk about our next projects. The most satisfying thing is that the people who have now moved in tell me that they are absolutely delighted to be able to use our scheme which gives priority to local people. It keeps people near the families and children can continue to attend local schools. As an example of this, two families with children who lived in adjacent flats in Barnham previously, deliberately applied for adjacent properties at Wings Wood and are still neighbours today.”

Andrew Griffith MP said: “Community Land Trusts are an excellent solution to delivering genuinely affordable homes for people with a strong connection to the local community. With London Boroughs often shipping people out to areas like West Sussex, I know how hard it is for deserving local people to find an affordable home in the community they have a connection with.

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“I was pleased to get an extra £20 million of funding from the Chancellor in the Spring Budget and hope we can get good local bids in for some of that money to benefit residents here.”

For more information, or if you can give your time or skills to help the Trustees, see www.abecommuntylandtrust.org.uk.