West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC) recently commissioned Collaborative Housing to undertake a scoping report that looked into options for delivery and stewardship approaches for a Community Land Trust (CLT) at the Oxfordshire Cotswolds Garden Village (OCGV).

Led by Charlie Fisher, the research found a strong desire within the local community for engagement and control through establishing a CLT for long-term stewardship and ownership of assets on the OCGV site.

The report sets out options for CLT delivery, ownership and management at the Garden Village. Recommendations for options on ownership, identity, legal and finance include:

  1. Development of a new stewardship body using the CLT legal definition found in the 2008 Housing and Regeneration Act
  2. Incorporating ‘Village Trust’ or ‘Garden Village Trust’ into the name to establish a clear identity
  3. Ensuring there is sufficient flexibility for wider community involvement beyond the OCGV site residents
  4. The use of large-scale forms of legacy ownership to adequately meet the ‘Garden City Principles’ and ‘Garden Communities Programme Key Qualities’
  5. Incubating the CLT within partner organisations to help develop skills and administrative processes in the initial years, transitioning to independent development and management
  6. Prototyping new housing models and tenures with local cohousing groups
  7. Undertake further exploratory work on diverse long-term income streams and the impact these would have on the sitewide business plan, including the land value

Collaborative Housing believes that these recommendations have wider implications for the delivery of CLTs on other strategic sites allocated within the adopted WODC Local Plan 2031.

From August to September 2020 WODC will undertake public consultation on the Area Action Plan for the Garden Village.