People who want to build and manage their own community-led affordable homes in the borough are being urged to join a site visit of the plot in Upper Norwood where the first scheme will be built.
As part of the council’s wider drive to both involve local communities and boost local housing supply, Croydon Council’s cabinet approved a project in January offering council land and technical expertise to local individuals and groups who want to develop their own affordable homes on up to five sites around the borough.
Now a parcel of land at The Lawns in Upper Norwood has become the first of these sites to be made available for community-led housing bids, with an advance site visit on 8 May. Suitable for around four homes and more than 1,000 sq metres in size, the site is near Crystal Palace shops and has far-reaching views of Croydon.
The application process will be through the GLA Small Sites Small Builders portal and will run for eight weeks from the end of May, after which a shortlist will be drawn up and bids will be assessed for viability, design and the council’s other community-led housing criteria. When the winning bid is chosen, the successful applicants will need to carry out detailed engagement with local residents before applying for planning permission.
Groups or individuals that submit business cases to Croydon Council can receive design and logistical support from Brick by Brick, the council-created developer that is finalising its first homes, with additional construction support available if their schemes receive planning permission. To learn more, a site visit is planned for 8 May. To book a ticket follow this Eventbrite link.
When it launched the scheme, the council was praised for having “some of the best policies in the country” by the National Community Land Trust Network, which encourages local people nationwide to develop their own homes.
To help people learn about what community-led housing is and how to apply, the council held a workshop in March attended by around 50 people. Another workshop was held in Upper Norwood in March, attended by neighbouring residents, some of whom who expressed interest in bidding themselves. The council is also writing to over 200 local residents to inform them of the plans.
Colm Lacey, CEO of Brick by Brick, said: “Since being set up by the council in 2016, Brick by Brick has received consent for more than 1,000 homes so far on over 40 sites, almost half of which are designated affordable. Other council-backed housing initiatives include the creation of Croydon Affordable Housing, a charity set up to manage more than 500 newly-refurbished homes for Croydon families in housing need.”
To find out more about community-led housing, visit the council website. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. A Facebook group has also been set up for those interested in being part of a community-led housing group in Croydon.
“This is a great chance for local people with great ideas and lots of energy to design, develop and manage their own affordable homes in the local community.
“The council will help local bidders to ensure they are high-quality and deliverable, and I’m looking forward to seeing the first applications come in.”
Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes and Gateway services