Stroud homes trust pilot scheme stalls

Proposals for a 77-home Community Land Trust pilot scheme to offer permanently affordable homes in Stroud were left hanging in the balance this week.

Gloucester Land for People (GLP) has accused English Partnerships of reversing its decision to transfer the former Cashes Green hospital site so the organisation can provide affordable homes through mutual home ownership. A meeting between GLP and the agency to discuss the matter was due as Planning went to press.

GLP claims that English Partnerships failed to inform it about an additional sum the agency would have to pay the NHS before GLP raised the number of homes from 40 to 77 in June following a community consultation. The rise in housing numbers has now increased that sum.

English Partnerships director David Warburton said no firm decision has been made. He insisted that GLP's project is not feasible, arguing that the agency will have to pay double the public money invested in similar affordable housing projects in the South West. He said the pilot will fail to meet "the real need" for affordable homes to rent in the area.

In a letter last month to CDS Co-operatives, GLP's partner housing association, English Partnerships proposed allocating up to half the 4ha site to the pilot and the rest for mixed tenure.

But GLP chairman Martin Alder insisted: "We are not convinced that this is financially viable because you need a certain amount of homes to make mutual ownership work."

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