One of the last decisions made by Suffolk Coastal District Council was for its Cabinet to award a £455,000 grant to the newly formed Peninsula Villages Community Land Trust (PVCLT).
The money is to support the PVCLT to achieve its vision of providing affordable homes in the area, by purchasing four affordable homes in Bawdsey for rent to people with a local connection.
The grant was awarded at Suffolk Coastal’s last Cabinet meeting (on Tuesday, 5 March, 2019). On 1 April, Suffolk Coastal will cease to exist, when the new East Suffolk Council comes into existence (which will provide services to the residents of the area currently covered by Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils).
Christine Block, Suffolk District Councillor for the Deben Ward, said:
“The representatives from Parishes on the Peninsula have worked together for over a year to set up a Community Land Trust – an organization dedicated to tackling the lack of affordable homes for local people in the coastal villages.
“With help and guidance from Suffolk Coastal, the Trust has been able to make tremendous progress and it is now at the stage where it can offer tangible help to local people needing affordable homes."
PVCLT is working with Crocus Homes to purchase their first four affordable homes on a site in School Lane Bawdsey. Once built, the homes will be managed by Orwell Housing Association on behalf of the PVCLT.
“The problem local people face is that many of them, who were brought up here or work on the peninsula, find there is a lack of suitable accommodation and house prices are a barrier to living here,” said Clare Walker, a PVCLTTrustee representing Bawdsey.
“Our primary aim is to work collaboratively with housing associations to ensure that there is more affordable housing for rent in our parishes. This will enable local people to stay in the area, to live and work in these villages and help provide our communities with a more sustainable future."
Welcoming the work of PVCLT, Suffolk Coastal District Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Housing, Cllr Richard Kerry, said:
“We welcome this positive development on the Wilford Peninsula. It is a great step forward for the villages involved.
“It sums up the ‘can do’ attitude of our local communities, banding together to make a real difference to the housing situation in their area. We will do what we can to support this, and similar initiatives, to help provide the affordable homes needed to allow local people to stay in the area and for our economy to continue to flourish.”
John Whitlock Managing Director of Crocus Homes commented saying:
“I look forward to working with the trustees of PVCLT, together we plan to build high specification and energy efficient homes. This is a win-win situation for the local communities on the Wilford Peninsula.”