CLT News – May 2018

Following on from the CLT AGM, where a number of questions were asked about the rental rates and occupancy of the houses gifted to the village, it has been felt that an update was needed to clarify the situation.

Unfortunately, completion of the development has been delayed from the original Spring ’18 estimate to now a more realistic Autumn ’18 – mainly thanks to “The Beast from the East” and its associated knock-on effect to the progress of the CLT houses. When completed and ready for occupation, it is anticipated that each house will be offered for tenancy, with floor coverings, at least a cooker and some basic fittings, towel rails, curtain tracks etc. The properties will also benefit from underfloor ground-floor central heating, and upstairs there will be conventional radiators both running on gas.

The remaining 10 houses are now being marketed with Stags of Taunton. The stone work on the final properties are near completion and scaffolding is soon to be removed. The garages are well on their way and the floor coverings are being laid to plots 5 & 6, which are the 4 bedroom show houses. We hope the CLT will have access to the gifted houses by next month’s newsletter. So hopefully the building progress report then should be more accurate.

The anticipated rental amount per month for each house will be in the region of £480 (there will be a small difference between the three houses, as one will benefit from a garage) this figure taking into account that these housing rents cannot be more than 80% of the going rate for a similar sized local house, and this will not include Services or Council Tax, that will both be the responsibility of the tenants. The rental figure also includes a development management charge agreed between the Owners and the developer, for basic maintenance of all the houses.

The legacy of the gift of the houses to the Village primarily was to provide a starter home for the younger element within the Local Community, permitting a lower than usual level of rent with the expectation that younger tenants could save for their own houses. It is appreciated that this aspiration is nowadays less easy to achieve, so tenancies may not now be as short lived as originally thought or particularly limited to just the youth of our villages.

Overall it has been determined that a strong connection to the villages is paramount and if this means that the age threshold goes up, it is felt that this is more acceptable than spreading the catchment area wider to keep the tenants younger. These are a village asset that primarily should be occupied by Villagers. In order to protect both the tenant and the Trust, it is felt advisable to offer initial 12-month tenancies with a rolling short-term renewal period, but not to limit the length of the overall tenancy to a hard and fast set time.

We hope this has clarified the position of the Trust, but if not please ask and we would urge anyone who wishes to express an interest in being a tenant to register their interest by contacting the CLT, and their interest and application will be forwarded to the next process.

26th May 2018