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... for greater sustainability and local resilience

Organizations & Campaigns

This space is intended as a register for North Cornwall-wide organisations that wish to support the Transition Movement or that may be useful to Transition Groups.

To add your organisation either add in a new 'comment' or use the 'contact' form to send in the information you wish to publish.

The Land Society CIC

Community Land Trust (CLT) developments of village self-build sustainable homes.

This project is designed to help solve the problem of local rural residents who are unable to afford the high property prices in their South Devon villages by enabling local people to find their own affordable land and build their own high-quality homes.

The Project includes;
- A one-year evening course at a local college; all the skills required to build your own eco-home
- a simple but advanced self-build eco-house design (Code 5) adaptable to family, local and site conditions
- a monthly ‘just-in-time’ supply of the required natural low-carbon materials, locally-sourced where possible
- a Community Land Trust (CLT) structure offering access to affordable land, with shared equity and homes-for-locals, affordable in perpetuity
- applicants trained to help find their own local potential development sites for small numbers of village homes
- future planning under the new Community Right to Build due late 2011 (51% village approval), or a community supported Planning Application
- Meets local housing needs as identified by each Parish Council or community
- Re-skilling of participants, and creating strong community ties.

To be eligible, local applicants must meet local-needs housing criteria, basically;
- children of local, long-time residents,
- have pre-school children, or children in local schools,
- work locally, especially in core/low paid services, e.g; education, healthcare, agriculture
- people who the community decides will help regenerate the local rural economy

Preference will be for a number of small sites spread around each community to minimise local impact and so the community can quickly assimilate these new developments.

Primarily self-build homes, to include a one-year training course and professional help. The Project includes cost of a practical training course for 2 people per house, one evening per week, initially at South Devon College to include 20 hours of on-site inspections and tuition, a manager to manage materials supply and help work flow, and a Quantity Surveyor to sign off of each stage of the work to satisfy insurance and mortgage/funding requirements and release next materials delivery.

Simple passive-solar eco-home design primarily using local materials, such as; gabion foundations, straw bale walls, rammed earth thermal mass floor and chimney, solar conservatory, lime/clay plaster, shingle roof, etc. Supplies of locally-sourced materials will be delivered as required for each phase of construction on a just-in-time basis. Designs will be adapted by a local Architect for community and residents requirements.

The cost of land, materials, training course and legal/planning will typically be about £85k, with a deposit of £5 -10k, then balance payable quarterly in stages from a pre-arranged mortgage. In addition the self-building work is valued at between £40-50,000, which becomes part of their equity in the property (or provides funds to complete the home if required). Members will typically own 60% equity in a home valued at about £225 - 300,000, and the balance will remain in the Land Society or CLT to enable further social investment. The mortgage repayments for a 2 bedroom house will typically be around £460 per month* and the self builders will have a substantial equity stake of about 20% from their contribution of labour.
* Based on an £85,000 repayment mortgage over 25 years at 6% interest rate.

We’ll offer a ‘shopping list’ of additions such as solar panels & wind turbine, greenhouses, workshops, orchard, play equipment, landscaping etc for each community.

A key part of the Project is that each member and their family, friends and co-workers help to find possible local development sites by canvassing local opinion and becoming local advocates to aid a positive planning outcome, either under the Community Right to Build (due later 2011) or a community-supported Planning Application. Members should help create strong personal, family and community ties as well as learning new skills.

College Courses and Program of development
We have worked with South Devon College (SDC), to develop this 3-hours-per-weekday evening, one evening per week, 12-month course, teaching the skills each month for the next month’s build. Work on site will be checked and signed off at each completed stage, with professionals to sign off stages of work and approve the release of funds.

Future Project Development
We are working on this project as a replicable business model with the aim of ‘social franchising’ the training course, house conceptual design and support to other colleges and communities.

Financial Arrangements
We are working with specialist mortgage providers for participants.

Contact: Donal Lang, Director, The Land Society CIC, 07902 279 844,