High Ham Community Land Trust FAQ's

What is the High Ham Community Land Trust?

The High Ham Community Land Trust (HHCLT) is an organisation created for the sole benefit of the community.

It is a Not for Profit organisation in its own right and is not part of the Parish Council.

It is run by community volunteers for the benefit of the community.

It was registered with the Financial Conduct Authority on 24 December 2018 as a Community Benefit Society.

Anyone can subscribe to be a member of the High Ham CLT. Each share costs £1.00. Some subscribers have chosen to buy more than one share but each member gets only one vote, however many shares they may have. Currently we have 97 members, collectively holding 133 shares.

There is an elected Board of six members with a Board Support Group consisting of a further ten members.

How can I subscribe?

If you are interested in subscribing, please click on the Become a Member tab above, submit your details, and our Secretary will then contact you to talk you through the subscription process, which is very straightforward.

What is the purpose of the CLT?

The purpose of the CLT is to oversee the process that will result in the delivery of Affordable Rental Housing which matches local need.

It will deliver ownership and stewardship of assets for the benefit of the community.

The CLT will own the land in perpetuity for the community.

What is Affordable Rental Housing?

Affordable Rental Housing is housing which is available to rent at no more than 80% of local open market rent.

Who can rent these homes?

Priority will be given to local people with a strong local connection to the High Ham Parish, through residency, work or family connections.

The CLT will determine the specific Allocation Policy and Criteria which will be agreed with South Somerset DC and the Housing Association selected for the build of the properties. The Housing Association has not yet been selected. The target for this to happen is during the first six months of 2020.

Tenants will be selected based on the agreed Allocation Policy and Criteria.

How can people express an interest in renting these houses?

Applicants will need to be registered with Homefinder Somerset.

What is Homefinder Somerset?

Homefinder Somerset is the way to find a home to rent within Somerset. Homefinder Somerset is a partnership of Local Authorities and Housing Associations working together to make the process of finding a home simple and transparent for applicants.

People looking for social housing anywhere in Somerset can complete one application form and their needs are assessed against the same criteria set out in the policy, no matter where they live.

Applicants can then use the Homefinder Somerset Choice Based Lettings service to apply for homes they are interested in.


How is the development of the homes funded?

The Government has set aside grant funding for communities for affordable housing projects, if made available, the funding will be used to cover all costs incurred to the point of gaining planning permission.

The selected Housing Association will apply for its own funds for the actual build.

How much will the project cost?

The work to cost the project has yet to be done. This is the next stage of the project.

Who will pay for the land?

The Housing Association will pay for leasehold of the land under its agreement with the CLT. The CLT will own the freehold of the land.

How can the CLT afford to buy land?

The land being acquired will be sold to the CLT at less than market value, sites such as this are known as Rural Exception sites. The National Planning Policy Framework defines Rural Exception Sites (RES) as ‘small sites used for affordable housing in perpetuity where sites would not normally be used for housing. ‘

What homes is the CLT proposing to build?

Six affordable two/ three bedroom homes for local people to rent.

What will the homes look like?

The homes will be designed to blend in with the character of other homes already built in the area.

Can the homes be sold?

No, because the CLT holds the freehold.

What has happened so far in this project?

The CLT looked at many sites, reviewing each against a specific set of criteria. Four suitable sites were identified in the parish. The landlords of each of these sites were contacted. Only one landowner was interested in selling land for the purpose of Affordable Housing. This site is in Windmill Road as presented at the Public Meeting on 6 November 2019.

What happens next?

Working with the Wessex CLT Project, the High Ham CLT will engage the required professionals to carry out a feasibility study of the proposed site. Professionals to be engaged include:

  • architects/ landscape architects
  • engineers/ ground engineers
  • topographical surveyors
  • ecologists
  • arboriculturalists
  • archaeologists

What is the Wessex Community Land Trust Project?

The Wessex CLT Project is run by the Wessex Community Assets organisation. The following extract from the Wessex Community Assets website explains the mission of the organisation:

We provide start-to-finish support for community-led housing projects and we are generally recognised as one of the leading programmes of community-led housing in England. We advise on and support not-for-profit, democratic housing models that are affordable in perpetuity and self‑managed for the benefit of the community.

Our innovative Wessex Community Land Trust Project, now in its tenth year, has supported the development of over 100 homes across Devon, Dorset and Somerset, with another 250 in the pipeline. This approach forges partnerships between CLT’s and Housing Associations to make the process of developing and managing the homes as straightforward as possible for local communities.’

This is a link to the Wessex Community Assets website: https://wessexca.co.uk/

How does the Wessex CLT Project help the High Ham CLT?

The High Ham CLT is working with an Affordable Housing Advisor from the Wessex Community Land Trust Project. Our advisor attends all Board Meetings and Board Support Group Meetings, and gives advice, guidance and proactive assistance at each stage of the project. The advisor is not a Board Member and is not involved in making decisions or voting on proposals put to the Board.

What happens after the Feasibility Study?

If the outcome of the feasibility study is positive, the selected firm of architects will draw up site plans and dwelling designs. These will then be presented for public consultation as a step in the process towards obtaining planning permission.

Finding out about the on-going activities of High Ham CLT

As well as our periodic newsletters, and occasional articles in Roundabout, we publish regular updates on this website.   You can also email us with questions at:  highhamclt@outlook.com