Our latest newsletters, tweets and facebook posts:
Our March 2021, Feb 2021 and Jan 2021 newsletters. Our 2020 newsletters: December late Nov Mid-Nov mid-October early October August July June May March, Feb. And our 2019 newsletters: Dec, Sep, July, May, April, March, Feb
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Our latest news
Fielden Acre – the buildings are ours!
We’re delighted to be able to report that the whole of the ‘Fielden Acre’ (the buildings and land next door to the Fielden Hall in Todmorden) now belong to the CLT. The purchase went through on March 1st.
This means that we also now have two more properties in our portfolio (posh word, but you know what we mean), to add to our four bungalows in Walsden. Our tenants at both the bungalows and the Fielden Acre buildings are on affordable rents, at least 80% below market rents.
Our arrangement with Connect Housing
We’ve faced the issue that we need to ensure that our tenants have access (if need be, 24 hours a day) to a quick and efficient call-out service, when they’ve got maintenance problems – but we’re only a small, volunteer-led organisation at the moment.
Our answer has been to partner with a locally based housing association, Connect Housing, who took over the management work of all six properties at the start of March. We’ve been impressed by the commitment of Connect Housing’s staff to making this partnership work well. They, like us, want our tenants to have the best possible service.
Big thank yous…
to all our amazing artistes who made our Fielden Acre celebratory social on Tues 16th so successful (well, we thought so!). Thank you to Pete Heat the magician, singer-songerwriter Danny Malone, Vocal Highs choir and the children from Music for the Many. And thank you if you were one of the 50 or so members able to be there on zoom to celebrate with us.
Signal box set for planning
We’ve mentioned (since as long ago as 2018!) that we are in negotiations with Network Rail to take over the decommissioned HB signal box. We are now actively progressing a grant application to National Lottery Heritage Fund for this project and we hope this will go in next month.
In the meantime, we are about to seek Listed Building Consent and Change of Use consent from Calderdale’s planners, using the plans drawn up (before covid) by local architect Jacquie Milham. We think that getting planning consent will help us finalise the Network Rail negotiations.
If you’ve already told us of your interest in the signalbox, just to let you know that we will be in touch with you soon, once the NLHF bid and planning application are in.
Hebden Bridge news
As part of our responsibility to neighbours and the environment, and as the landowner of the old High Street land near the Fox and Goose, we recently commissioned a tree survey of the site by a registered surveyor. This identified two small trees next to Heptonstall Road that the surveyor considered dangerous and recommended should be removed. They are self-seeded goat willow. We have commissioned tree surgeons to undertake this work this week, so don’t be surprised if you see them at work.
Filling properties which are empty
Some early news. We’ve been having preliminary discussions with Calderdale council about a small number of properties which, for various reasons, don’t currently have people living in them. Two are above shops in Hebden Bridge, and we think that – if we can do them up – they’d be really sought-after homes. As everyone knows, having people living above shops helps strengthen town centres generally.
We’re still in the process of discussing the formalities of how this would work with the council, but we hope to be able to bring some further news shortly.
Hebden & parishes Neighbourhood Plan
The draft Neighbourhood Plan for Hebden Royd and the hilltop parishes has been developed (over several years) by local town and parish councillors and other interested local people and is now out for first consultation. It says some nice things about the role of the CLT and some sensible things about housing provision in this part of the upper valley. The weblink is https://www.hebdenhilltopplan.co.uk/.
CVCLT gets National Lottery support
Some exciting news we’ve just heard. Our CLT has been awarded £85,000 over the next three years, from The National Lottery Community Fund (TNLCF) Reaching Communities programme.
This is a highly competitive funding stream, so we are naturally delighted to have been chosen. (In fact, we had the funding bid ready to go a year ago… before covid-19 intervened and TNLCF stopped accepting new applications. But we got there in the end.)
The funding will enable the CLT to move forward to a new phase in its life, with the prospect of being able to have a member of staff employed in due course to relieve the day-to-day pressure on the trustees. Yes, we’re growing up. We’ll be working hard to make sure this period of transition goes smoothly and without the CLT losing any of its values.
CLT Advisory Panel is recruiting!
We launched the CLT Advisory Panel last Autumn, but there is still an opportunity to offer to join, if you have skills and experience which could be valuable to our development. And now, with the National Lottery news, we are particularly looking for someone(s) with HR knowledge and experience to offer their services. Is this you?
We’ve mentioned before that the CLT was identified by Calderdale’s Cabinet last year as a suitable organisation for the development of affordable housing on the Rose Street site in central Todmorden (the old health centre site), and we understand that the housing proposal is now included in the Todmorden Town Fund £25m bid to central government, along with several other really exciting community-based proposals for the town’s regeneration. (They include for example the TLC initiative for the old community college and the Bandstand group, as well as further work to the Fielden Acre itself).
Because the Rose Street development is potentially a sizeable one, the CLT has decided that it will progress it, on a joint basis, with our friends in Connect Housing, a well-regarded housing association operating locally. Assuming central government approves the Town Fund bid, we anticipate detailed planning work during the rest of 2021 and into 2022. More news when things have developed further.
Our social impact survey
Thank you if you responded to our request to take part in our ‘social impact’ survey last month. We closed the survey at the end of August when 101 people had responded. The results are, we think, very interesting and will help us plan the way forward for the CLT.
The full social impact report is available on the website. Just click http://www.caldervalleyclt.org.uk/docs/socialvalue.pdf.
CVCLT is getting known
We’re one of the few Community Land Trusts in the country to have chosen to become a Registered Provider of Social Housing, and to submit to the regime overseen by the Regulator of Social Housing. The Confederation of Co-operative Housing (CCH) thinks this makes us potentially of interest to other CLTs, and have commissioned Phillippa Hughes of Sheffield University to research and write a short case study. You can read it here: https://www.cch.coop/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/cch_casestudy_Calder-Valley-WEB-SINGLES.pdf
National publicity for Walsden development too
Our Walsden development has attracted national attention. We must admit that we’re pretty pleased that a photo of Birks Court is on the home page of the National CLT Network’s website (http://www.communitylandtrusts.org.uk/).
The Housing Learning Improvement Network include an account of our partnership with local almshouse John Eastwood in a recent briefing note: http://www.caldervalleyclt.org.uk/docs/HLINViewpoint.pdf. We’re also featured in the latest issue of Almshouse Gazette: http://www.caldervalleyclt.org.uk/images/AAGazette.jpeg
Walsden development is case study for flood alleviation
We are impressed by the work which the Slow the Flow Calderdale group has been undertaking in recent years to try to help alleviate some of the flooding problems the valley has been suffering in recent years, so we’re delighted that our Birks Court development in Walsden is now featured on the Slow the Flow website as a case study in good practice.
You’ll find the case study here: http://slowtheflow.net/category/case-studies/
Our Annual Review
We’ve an illustrated 2021 Annual Review. Contact us if you’d like a hard copy. Ot just look at the PDF online. You’ll find it at www.caldervalleyclt.org.uk/docs/2020review.pdf.
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