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