Who are you ?

We are a group of local people who have come together to try and find a different way to create housing and manage land.
Our mission statement :
“Crystal Palace Community Land Trust aims to steward land to provide affordable homes, workspace and other community assets, building local resilience and sustainability.”

Where is your project ?

Our first project is to build a small number of homes on land at The Lawns SE19.
We would love to grow from this in the future to develop more projects in the area.

What is a community land trust ? Isn’t this just another developer ?

Community Land Trusts are very different. They are non-profit organisations, made up of local volunteers and anyone can become a member.
Our priorities for the Lawns project were chosen by our resident design group:
1. Affordability
2. Sustainability
3. Community

What does affordable mean in practice ?

Our initial aspiration was to provide rental social housing, but the practicalities have meant that we have had to divert from that plan. With the cost challenges associated with the project we are now aiming to sell these properties  for significantly lower than the market rate. Usually this means 80 % of market rate, we’re aiming for better !

Who profits from this development ?

First off, the residents of the property will profit most, as they get a beautiful “below-market” home within our community !

ALL surplus from the community land trust project will be returned to the land trust to sustain existing projects and initiate new ones – including the sale of the properties*. The Community Land Trust will need to demonstrate a surplus to keep potential lenders happy, however we will divert most of this back into the scheme to lower the market value.

Our Community Land Trust volunteers give 1000s of hours for free – from attending engagement stalls and planning meetings to input from board members, with a diverse range of skills, knowledge and experience.

* if the property is sold on by the original buyer, the property will be sold at the same percentage of market rate. This will be written into the leaseholder agreement. The trust will always own the land for the community. 

Where have you received your funding from so far ?

Core funding:

This is how we pay for the core activities of the Community Land Trust – costs like meeting rooms and refreshments for our AGM, and general publicity.

  • £600 – grant from the Crystal Palace and Upper Norwood community ward budget.
  • £350 – grant from CLH London to legally incorporate as a Community Benefit Society.
  • £100 – donation from Martin & Co estate agents for our housing needs survey.
  • Fees from members (£1 each).

Project funding:

We have received £100,000 in the form of two grants from CLH London to cover legal advice, architects’ fees, surveyors, advisors and other costs to design our scheme and develop the planning application. Given the tricky nature of the location due to the slope and constraints, making this site viable has proven to be resource-consuming and expensive.
A subsequent grant from GLA will take the work right up to planning. The land is then used as a collateral to fund the process and to make it financially sustainable.

How will you make this development sustainable ?

Crystal Palace CLT is committed to building sustainable homes. The new homes will be built to high environmental standards to reduce the impact on the planet. This will make them easier to heat in the winter and to keep cool in summer, helping to reduce energy bills for residents.

In this project we will be applying Passivhaus principles* where possible.

This will impact at 2 levels:

1. Energy level :
Works to reducing the amount of energy required.
Additional heating will be usually come from electric heating.

2. Comfort level:
This design allows for a very comfortable setting – where the temperature is highly regulated.

Passivhaus* certification is seen as a very high benchmark – we are aiming to get as close to this as possible. Due to cost constraints, we don’t think we will meet the benchmark but the building will be based on those principles. Hopefully in our next development we will make it all the way to full passivhaus accreditation ! 

What does community mean in practice ?

Community Land Trusts are very different from other bodies that lead on building projects. Anyone who lives locally can become a member here. If the project is successful, we’d also love local people to apply for the residences as they become available.We’d love you to join – we’re stronger together !

As part of the proposed plans we have designed a space for a community garden, to connect the new homes with the existing community.