Tuesday, 3 May 2011

St Clements site: Housing and Community Land Trusts

This post is about a local Public Meeting on 11th May 2011 at Bow Methodist Church to discuss one way forward for the development of the St Clements Hospital Site


Within the MERA area there are two major sites which are ear-marked for the development of housing - including social housing.
  • the St Clements Hospital site - which is in a conservation area and includes Grade II Listed buildings.  This is the St Clements Hospital Planning Brief - written in 2005.
  • the Southern Grove site - which is likely to also accomodate a relocated Beatrice Tate School
Housing Development

Housing will be built on these two sites and this will include social housing.  This is not in any doubt.  This will help to reduce the numbers of people on the waiting list and overcrowding for families.

In planning terms there has been no formal Council consultation whatsoever to date - in respect of either site - with the residents living locally and/or the Mile End Residents Association.

Tower Hamlets Council - as the relevant planning authority - will decide what will be permitted development on the site - AFTER the requirement for formal consultation with local residents.

The Homes and Communities Agency will decide who gets to develop the St Clements Site.

The major questions which still need to be answered - in respect of both sites - are:
  1. How many homes in total will be allowed on each site?
  2. How many private dwellings and how many social housing dwellings will be allowed?
  3. What type of social housing will be constructed and will this be suitable for families?
  4. Will the proposed social housing be affordable for local people (bearing in mind the changes to the housing benefit system)?
  5. What other facilities and activities will be permitted on the site?
  6. Which organisation will develop the site?
    • the Long List:  organisations bidding to develop the sites
    • the Short List: organisations identified to have the ability, skills and funding to deliver a cost-effective result  
    • the contract winner: the organisation with the best design and the most cost-effective proposal.

The St Clements site

Two organisations - The East London Communities Organisation (TELCO) and the East London Community Land Trust (East London CLT) are proposing that the approach used for the St Clements Hospital site should involve a Community Land Trust.

A Public Meeting is being held on Wednesday 11th May 2011, 7 – 8:30pm at Bow Road Methodist Church, 1 Merchant Street, Bow, London E3 4LY (Corner of Bow Road and Merchant Street).

The aim of the meeting is to explain what a Community Land Trust is.
  • What do they do?  
  • How do they work?  
  • How can they make family-sized housing permanently affordable?
The speaker will be John Davis.  This is what the letter we have received says about his background and experience in developing Community Land Trusts.
Back in 1984, John helped the City of Burlington in Vermont establish the world’s most successful CLT to date.  Created to promote affordable, safe housing for families and individuals with low to moderate incomes,  today it provides the state with over $220million of permanently affordable, owner-occupied homes.

John will give a 45 minute talk, entitled ‘What is a Community Land Trust?’: starting from its most basic principles, charting its rise as a tool used by the Civil Rights Movement, and through to its modern day incarnation in over 200 cities across the US.  He will then be open to questions and comments from the floor.
MERA will be attending and if you live locally you can also attend.  Please RSVP to David Smith, Project Director – East London CLT

You can read more about what TELCO has done for people living in East London here

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