Plans for first UK land trust at St Clement’s go to Tower Hamlets Council

Artist impression... St Clement's housing scheme at Mile End

Artist impression... St Clement's housing scheme at Mile End - Credit: East London Community Land Trust

A ground-breaking scheme in London’s East End for Britain’s first community land trust housing has been submitted to Tower Hamlets council for formal planning approval.

The former six-acre Grade II-Listed St Clement’s Hospital in the Mile End Road is being transformed by the East London Community Land Trust in partnership with developers Land & Property.

Land Trust director David Smith said: “The plans for St Clement’s are a new model for London designed with and for the community of Mile End.”

The trust is to sell 23 of the 252 homes at a-quarter of the London property market value, while retaining ownership of the land itself. These homes would then be sold back to the trust if the families move on, at a fixed price for future generations.

The trust won backing for the scheme from London Mayor Boris Johnson earlier this year to create low-cost housing on a similar model to urban land trusts in the US.

Deputy Mayor Richard Blakeway said: “We are releasing surplus land owned by City Hall because of a pressing need for more housing.

“These plans also give the historic St Clement’s back to the public with land ownership transferred to the community, breathing new life into this long-neglected area.”

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The former workhouse that later became a mental hospital closed in 2005 and has been lying empty ever since.

A third of the new homes will be low-cost, most being retained by the Peabody housing group for social rent, while the remaining two-thirds go on the open market.

The complex includes a public square with café or restaurant and other open spaces.

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