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Britain’s first-ever urban community land trust has got the go-ahead in London’s East End, it has been announced this-morning.

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Boris Johnson has reached a deal with the East London Community Land Trust and chosen a developer to go ahead with the scheme on the derelict St Clement’s Hospital in Mile End.

He has confirmed today that Galliford Try contractors have been selected as the preferred developer for 200 homes at the six-acre site in the Mile End Road where the freehold is to be held in trust for the community for future generations.

The Mayor of London said: “This is a huge step forward for the UK’s first urban community land trust, an example of how in tough financial times we can release public land to increase housing supply. The East London Community Land Trust will take stewardship of what will be a new neighbourhood with 200 homes.”

Some homes will be directly owned by the land trust which will sell properties at fixed prices—but not the land which is to be retained by the community.

Families will pay a-quarter of the property market price for a home which they would sell back to the trust when they move on, so future generations can benefit.

The community trust’s Dave Smith told the Advertiser: “Today’s announcement marks the start of a new chapter in east London in building homes for local families—not match boxes to be bought and sold like a commodity.

“We’re going to create secure and permanently affordable homes that will forever belong to the people of east London.”

The Mayor has also pledged a second community land trust in the Olympic Park area after the 2012 Games.

The bid for community land trust housing has been driven by Telco, the East London citizen’s network, over the past 10 years. They held an open day last summer at St Clement’s, which has been vacant seven years.

Its founder Neil Jameson said: “The Mayor is sticking to his promise and pioneering the UK’s first-ever urban land trust at St Clement’s. And we share his ambition to see it used to build a lasting legacy of permanently affordable housing at the Olympic Park.”

The development will also preserve historic buildings, including a 19th century Grade-II listed workhouse.

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