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Who are we?

Firstly what are community land trusts?

The National CLT of which we are a member says the following:-

“Community Land Trusts (CLTs) are set up and run by ordinary people to develop and manage homes as well as other assets important to their community, for example community enterprises, food growing or workspaces. CLTs act as long-term stewards of housing, ensuring that it remains genuinely affordable, based on what people actually earn in their area, not just for now but for every future occupier.”

Wilsford Communtiy Land Trust Ltd  (Wilsford CLT) officially came into existence on 8TH May 2013.

Briefly we are a not for profit organisation formed to help the village provide affordable homes to rent for people with a connection to Wilsford. We were formed as an Industrial and Provident Society and as a limited company we are overseen by the FCA. Our nine Directors are all village residents giving their services voluntarily and elected by the Shareholders.

Community Land Trust: See and Do

How does wilsford CLT benefit the village?

The ten new homes has meant that people with a connection to the village have the opportunity to become a tenant of an affordable rented property. This has had an  important impact on the quality of life of these households, for instance helping them reconnect with family members.  Also enabling some to relocate to the area and provide full time care to loved ones. For others it had helped them re-establish family ties in the area, which has been important for them in order to address for instance health and wellbeing difficulties. For others the housing was a direct solution to their housing problems.

One of the major additional benefits for the Village has been the ownership of the land the homes are built on and the land where the Village Hall stands. By holding the land and leasing it to a housing association, the CLT is able to receive a small amount of income annually. This provides resources for wider community benefits, as it invests much of the surpluses in improvements to the village hall.

The CLT now lease the Hall to the Village Hall Committee and knowing the Village ownership of the Hall is secure  they are now able to look at ways to develop and improve its facilities. Wilsford CLT together with the Parish Council and the Village Hall Committee have formed a Steering Group to move the refurbishment of the Village Hall forward as this proved to be the preferred option following various village surveys. Their joint efforts  and finance from the three committees have brought about the double glazing of the upper Main Hall windows, and the replacement of the front roof. The CLT have funded Blackout Blinds for the Hall and have paid for architects plans and planning permission for the refurbishment of the cloakrooms and a new storage area.

In the future the CLT hope to be able to support the development of the Playing Field but we are also keen to help promote rural housing in other villages so  for instance in 2016  we provided a case Study for Rural Housing Week. More recently we hosted a team from Norfolk County Council who were exploring the possibility for villages in their county which is on-going. Then last year  we  contributed to a  “Power to Change “report as a case study. The Board were pleased to receive the following affirmation in this report.

“An effective board and supportive stakeholders

The CLT’s development of housing and its continuing role in the community relates, in part, to the diverse skills and experience of its board. Without paid staff, board members had carried the administrative and technical burdens of embarking on a housing development project. Here it had to overcome multiple barriers relating to land negotiations, the installation of services, and initial local scepticism about its plans. At key points in the process the board’s knowledge of legal issues, building and construction processes and also contacts with the local officials had proved invaluable.”

We hope that we can continue to be an effective board and fulfil our role  as stewards of this scheme and we welcome all villagers to become Shareholders and have a stake in this project. This will give you a say in our future ventures and  the possibility of joining our Board of Directors. We meet three times a year and hold and  an annual AGM to which all Shareholders are invited, come and see for yourselves.

You only need to buy one share for £1 and the application form is on the following pages.

Community Land Trust: See and Do

Our History

In 2009 supported by Wilsford Parish Council, North Kesteven District Council (NKDC) carried out a ‘housing needs survey’ in the village. This survey identified a need for 6 affordable properties.  Following a call for land several potential sites were put forward by local landowners, including the land between the Village Hall and Wilsford Playing Field, a site owned by Lincolnshire County Council (LCC). The Parish Council judged that LCC was likely to build houses on the site anyway. Also, the land the village hall stands on, next to this site, was not owned by the village; instead it was leased to them by the County Council, so came the idea that a cooperation on both sites could help provide the housing that was needed and help develop the Village Hall.

At this time, Central Government (Localism Act, Big Society etc.) was now backing the formation of Community Land Trusts (CLTs) for the delivery of community-led affordable housing schemes. The County umbrella CLT were key in advising Wilsford Parish Council who agreed that the formation of a Wilsford CLT would present an opportunity for the community to exercise greater control over significant village assets. In particular, the proposed affordable housing and the Village Hall and it would secure them for the benefit of the village in perpetuity. Therefore, with the support of John Mather and the newly formed Lincolnshire Community Land Trust, the Parish Council sought to put this to the village in the hope of recruiting a CLT Steering Group with a view to forming a Wilsford CLT.

A well-attended public meeting was held early in 2012 with detailed presentations from the Parish Council, Lincolnshire Community Land Trust and the then Community Land Trust Network. This led to the unanimous decision to form a Community Land Trust Steering Group, consisting of members of the public, and representatives from the Parish Council and the Village Hall Committee. The Steering Group then set about the formation of a CLT for Wilsford and engaging with Housing Associations and Developers to bring forward a housing scheme. The Steering Group formed the CLT in spring 2013, setting up as an Industrial & Provident Society for the Benefit of the Community. They encouraged villagers to become Shareholders and involved the Community in designing the CLT Logo by holding a competition.                                              


Together with the help and support of Lincolnshire CLT a partnership between the Wilsford CLT, Lincolnshire Rural Housing Association and Westleigh Developments was established. Early plans involved the wholesale demolition and reconstruction of the village hall, but it became apparent that without considerable additional funding it would not be possible to do this at the same time as the housing development but the final scheme left this possibility open for the future.

The housing scheme needed community-led grant funding from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) in order to proceed. To access this grant the CLT had to prove its community credentials to the HCA, which it did with flying colours. In early 2013 the CLT held a public meeting where the village residents were invited to meet the Housing Agency and the developer Westleigh.


They were able to view and discuss the suggested plans and an evaluation survey of the resident’s thoughts and comments was undertaken and analysed. The extensive consultation was very successful and villagers were very impressed with the quality of the proposed housing and the design. They were also well briefed by Lincs Rural Housing Association (LRHA) who detailed the services they would provide.

Here are some of the village responses:-

  1. “A really well presented and welcoming event. Impressive to have so many people representing the housing association and developers. Lots of information and ideas”

  2. I say go for it!

  3. I support the development of affordable homes in Wilsford for local people as long as it is limited to this development and that the housing remains for local folk.                   

Community Land Trust: See and Do

The Next Steps

Even without the reconstruction of the village hall, creating a financially viable scheme was challenging. To get to that position, the CLT successfully secured additional grant funding from North Kesteven District Council and accepted that the scheme had to be slightly larger in number than the six homes that were originally planned. A scheme of 10 family homes was agreed, along with a site layout that gave the opportunity for the village hall to either be refurbished where it currently stood or possibly to relocate to an adjacent site.

By partnering with a Housing Association, Wilsford CLT did not have to undertake the potentially risky and costly process of submitting a planning application.  Westleigh Developments submitted the application on behalf of Wilsford CLT and Lincs Rural Housing Association in the summer of 2013. There was not a single objection to the application and planning permission was granted in the autumn of 2013.

A key aim of the CLT was to ensure that any homes that were built were not only affordable but prioritised for local people with a connection to Wilsford. The CLT successfully negotiated a legal agreement (Section 106 agreement) with the District Council and the Housing Association ensuring that people and families with a local connection to Wilsford have priority.

In December 2013 Wilsford CLT purchased the entire site, including the village hall from Lincolnshire County Council, a long lease having already been drawn up between the County Council and the Housing Association. In other words, the CLT was now landlord to the Housing Association. The CLT receives an index-linked ground-rent from the Housing Association for the life of the lease (125 years).

Community Land Trust: See and Do

Plans showing the final layout of the 10 new homes for rent and the location of the existing Village Hall which was transferred from the ownership of the County Council to Wilsford CLT.

Community Land Trust: See and Do

In September 2014 Wilsford CLT held its first AGM which was a very successful event attended by shareholders from the village, Lincs Rural, Westleigh the builders LCLT and NKDC Housing Officer and our District Councillor.

WCLT Committee had regular meetings on site during the process and were impressed with the quality of the build of the new homes their energy efficiency, including solar panels for water heating and the very latest Dimplex quantum storage heaters both important as energy savers and to reduce the running costs for the tenants.

Community Land Trust: See and Do

As the homes were nearing completion, WCLT keen to involve the village, held a competition to suggest the names for the new road. The most popular name was Blackberry Way and all those voting for this name were put into a hat and the person whose name was drawn would be asked to open the road. The invitation went out to Di and Dick Fairhead to cut the tape and they were delighted to accept.

The homes were completed and ready for occupation in March 2015, and a big celebration was held in February 2015 hosted in the village hall by Wilsford CLT and supported by LRHA, Westleigh and Lincs CLT. It was very well attended by all the Providers and interested parties including some of the prospective new tenants County Councillors including Martin Hill Leader of Lincolnshire County Council. Wilsford had the honour of being one of the first in Lincolnshire along with Pinchbeck to complete their affordable housing scheme.

Community Land Trust: See and Do
Community Land Trust: See and Do
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