Local residents given the nod to develop affordable homes in Croydon

The Crystal Palace Community Land Trust won a council-run competition will now get the chance to build high-quality low-carbon homes on council land

A group of residents have been given the go-ahead to build affordable homes in Croydon to tackle the housing crisis in their area.

Crystal Palace Community Land Trust (CLT) has seen residents pool professional skills and specialisms in architecture, transport, housing management as well as planning and sustainability to impress councillors.

They have now been selected to build high-quality, low-carbon affordable homes on council land at The Lawns in the Upper Norwood in Croydon.

Croydon Council announced their community-led housing programme at its cabinet meeting in January and opened the bidding process to build on the land in June.

Last week the panel, formed of deputy leader Councillor Alison Butler and council officers, announced that the CLT had beaten three other shortlisted applicants.

The group already runs a weekly food market and community gardens to reduce carbon footprint, now they will build a mix of London affordable rent, London Living Rent and an equivalent to London Shared Ownership homes on the land.

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The CLT has grown out of the Crystal Palace Transition Town initiative – a movement supporting grassroots community projects to address local issues and promote sustainable ways of living.

“We’re thrilled that we’ve won the bid and thank the council for the opportunity,” said Jemima Foxtrot from Crystal Palace CLT. “We’ll now develop our plans to build sustainable homes that are as affordable as possible. We’re not for profit and we’re fully controlled by our local members, so we’d love for local residents to join our group to have a say about how we proceed.”

Members of the CLT have already communicated their plans with residents but will now hold an extensive community engagement process to let those living in the area shape the final designs.

They will then with council-created developer Brick by Brick to deliver the homes.

“The passion and expertise in our communities for developing high-quality homes for local people has shone through our bidding process, and I want to thank all applicants,” said Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes and Gateway services.

“However, we had to pick a winner, and Crystal Palace CLT was the outstanding applicant. They impressed me with their commitment to not just design sustainable homes but also work with neighbours at every stage of the process so the proposal is the best it can be.”