Plans approved for developing a framework to ‘accelerate’ delivery of affordable homes in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Mayor James Palmer

Mayor James Palmer - Credit: Archant

The framework for how up to £40 million of loan funding will be used to support an innovative way of delivering affordable housing in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough has taken a step forward.

Part of the devolution deal was a commitment to facilitating new Community Land Trusts (CLTs) as a new way of bringing much-needed affordable homes to communities.

Earlier this year the Combined Authority Board agreed to explore an acceleration of the model which would see it make up to £40 million of loan funding available to deliver 1,850 homes.

Around 550 of which would be affordable, over a ten year period, across a range of sites in East Cambridgeshire.

Last week the Combined Authority Board agreed to develop this proposal further with the potential for the framework to be expanded to other areas in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to bring forward more CLT schemes.

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East Cambs District Council is already close to completing 24 CLT homes in Soham and Ely.

In March the Combined Authority Board approved in principle to give £6.5 million in loan funding for a CLT scheme at Haddenham for 54 homes, 19 of which would be affordable.

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The £6.5 Haddenham loan would ultimately form part of the proposed £40 million loan fund.

At the Combined Authority meeting on Wednesday (June 27), the proposals put to the board were approved by all members except Cambridge City Council leader Lewis Herbert, who abstained, and South Cambridgeshire District Council leader Bridget Smith, who voted against the scheme.

Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, James Palmer, said: “CLTs offer several key benefits, namely that they can be enabled by the Combined Authority through a continuous revolving fund that costs the taxpayer nothing, that they bring forward affordable and market homes on additional sites to those brought forward in local plans, and that they offer affordable homes managed by local people, for local people, with real community buy-in.

“CLTs are what the Combined Authority should be about – finding new and innovative ways of solving the key issues of our time which we have in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.”

Deputy Mayor of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, Cllr Charles Roberts, who is also leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that our ambition to deliver much needed affordable homes to help grapple with our very serious and potentially crippling housing crisis can move forward.”

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