Witherslack CLT near Kendal

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Witherslack CLT is a company limited by guarantee established in 2006 to develop assets required by the community following the completion of a Parish Plan and housing needs survey. The trustees have a wide variety of skills - from accountancy to archaeology - and range in age from 30's to 50's, with people of 20’s and teens actively sought.


The first project undertaken was the purchase and renovation of the closed village pub which was then leased out as a going concern with an associated shop co-operative. Surprisingly none of the Cumbria regeneration agencies were able to help so that this scheme was financed by loans from local people themselves, loans from the Co-Op Bank, and a most welcome £10,000 grant from South Lakeland District Council from second home council tax receipts used to employ a project worker.


In 2007 the trust moved on to identify a small site for the development of 2 affordable self built homes. Two families were identified through an anonymous process with the help of Cumbria Rural Housing Trusts Rural Housing Enabler. The Trust, the National Park and the self builders were all keen to develop state of the art eco homes. Outline planning was approved in February 2008. The two homes have now been built to Passiv House specifications and are due for handover at the end of April 2015. The land was gifted and the self builders will have freehold ownership with covenants for affordability in perpetuity which locks out the land value providing a form of shared ownership scheme.  



Nick Stanley chair of the Witherslack Community Land Trust comments, “It has been a long and winding road to get this far. We know that these issues face most villages in the UK, but hit particularly hard in the national parks. We hope that our work will have some, small influence on Government in all its forms, and that they will now accept that many of rural England's problems are solvable by the communities themselves, and move to actually support and encourage such actions.”


This project is part financed by the European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development: Europe Investing in Rural Areas with Defra as the Managing Authority.