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We first set up as a small group of likeminded individuals in July 2018, receiving grant funding from the National CLT Network.

In December 2018, we submitted our first planning application to Lewes District Council for four affordable houses to be built on Laughton Road, Ringmer.

January 2019, an agreement was reached with a developer for the transfer of freehold land to create a Community Woodland at Lower Lodge Farm.

Affordable houses for Ringmer at Neaves Lane

On 24 April 2019 land at the corner of Neaves Lane and Laughton Road was given outline planning consent, subject to conditions, for two market houses and four affordable houses by Lewes District Council Planning Applications Committee.

The owner Grant Parsons, a local builder, has generously agreed that Ringmer Area Community Land Trust should undertake the completion of the two 2-bed and two 3-bed affordable houses so that they will be available for local people at substantially below market rent levels.

A panel of Trust members recently interviewed six local firms and unanimously concluded that Emma Petrykow of Flint Architecture is best suited to act as architect for the affordable houses.

Flint Architecture is located in Ringmer where Emma was brought up and lives with her young family. She is a Chartered Architect with a wide range of experience in private and social housing seeing projects through from conception to completion. Her particular interests are conservation and sustainability.

The Trust is delighted to have found such an outstanding architect locally and is confident that this will result in a design of really high quality worthy of the people of Ringmer.We are now making progress with developing and costing a scheme for full planning consent.

RACLT 30 August 2019

Firle Community Housing Launch Day

On Friday 6 September in Firle Village School residents were invited to drop in to hear about an exciting proposal to provide significant additional affordable housing for local people.

Firle Estate with Ringmer Area Community Land Trust (RACLT) has identified apotential site in the village for 14 houses of which 12 will be for rent by those with a close connection to the village.

Firle Village has a particular need to realise accommodation for young families who cannot afford the price of houses in commercial schemes. These young families will be the source of much needed pupils for the primary school and help to ensure Firle remains a sustainable community into the future. In addition, there is a need for suitable housing for older members of the village to move to, whilst remaining close to friends and family.

Firle Estate is generously offering the land for the scheme. It will build 2 or 3 houses for sale on the open market to cross subsidise the building of 6 affordable houses for rent. RACLT will build the other 6 affordable houses, also for rent.

The need for affordable housing in Firle has already been discussed with the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) and it has been agreed to enter into a Pre Planning Agreement to lay out the route to gaining the necessary planning approvals. A local firm of architects has been appointed after an invitation to tender and a design scheme is now being developed so that a planning application can be submitted.

The launch day was well attended by local residents, including Lord Gage and Henry Gage, several parish councillors, District Councillors Sharon Davy and

Johnny Denis, as well as our local MP, Maria Caulfield. All are enthusiastic about this new initiative. A number of Firle residents who attended signed up to become members of the RACLT and help to shape the scope of the proposed project, whilst others expressed interest in becoming tenants. Opinions on what types of houses are needed in the village were recorded and will go towards finalising the design brief.Max Pengelley, Chair of the Community Trust said: “This evidence of local support gives us confidence that the project will be successful and the first of several for the people of Firle”.

RACLT 8 September 2019