To consider the report of the Director (NE) (19/183) attached
The Cabinet considered a report by the Director (NE) (Reference 19/183) in respect of a feasibility funding grant for the Lealholm Community Land Trust. Members were reminded that the Council received a grant of £1.86m in December 2016 by the then Department for Communities and Local Government to support community-led housing schemes in the Borough. Last year the Council had supported Hinderwell Almshouses Trust to develop two new flats, but Lealholm was the first scheme which had come forward to feasibility stage from a newly created community-led housing trust in the Borough. The steering group arising from local interest in developing community-led housing in Lealholm was granted £4,850 by the Council in early 2018 to undertake community development work and set up as a community-led housing organisation. Lealholm CLT became constituted in late 2018 and since then had concentrated on developing the wider project proposal and an outline design brief for the project. With Council help, the CLT developed a brief for a feasibility study which was put out to tender and won by Native Architects. The full amount of feasibility funding for which Lealholm CLT was applying was made up of the Native Architects study, and some additional survey and community engagement work. The CLT had also obtained two free days of consulting from the National Community Land Trust Network. Members then asked the Housing Strategy and Development Officer, Mr Burroughs about progress made in spending the £1.86m grant and whether there was a risk that the Government could claw back unspent grant. Mr Burroughs advised that bringing the Lealholm scheme to fruition was estimated to require in total some £0.75m of grant funding. In addition, he was currently working with Scarborough Flower Fund Homes and another registered provider in Scarborough on a larger community-led housing scheme in the town which had the potential to benefit from significant grant funding. He hoped to bring a report to the Cabinet in the new year seeking feasibility support. The Government had not set a timescale by which the £1.86m had to be spent but he understood the need to promote community-led housing, as had been done to a great degree at the inception of the scheme. The development of the Lealholm scheme would provide further publicity opportunities. With the permission of the Chairman, Danby and Mulgrave ward Councillor Pearson then addressed the Cabinet to provide further background to the Lealholm scheme in which he had been involved from the outset. Lealholm’s appetite for community-led housing expressed some four years ago through a consultation had helped support the case for community-led housing in the Borough and the award of the Government grant in 2016. It had taken considerable time and effort to set up the Community Land Trust, so as to ensure the process was as transparent as possible, but he hoped Lealholm’s experience as the first community-led housing group in the Borough to reach this stage, would be of benefit to other groups in the Borough. Councillor Pearson thanked officers for their support during this long process. The Chairman commended Lealholm CLT and Councillor Pearson for their dedication in seeking to provide much needed affordable housing in the Borough, and hoped too this would be make it easier for other groups to follow their example.
RESOLVED that the Cabinet approve a feasibility funding grant of £17,936 from the Community Housing Fund for Lealholm Community Land Trust.
To enable Lealholm Community Land Trust to undertake a feasibility study into the development of a community-led housing scheme in Lealholm.