John Thompson’s Mile End project will be London’s first community land trust project
John Thompson & Partners has been confirmed as the architect for London’s first community land trust project, which will be a pilot for a scheme in the Olympic Park.
The £50 million project at St Clement’s Hospital in Mile End is set to be closely monitored by legacy chiefs, who were this week discussing plans for a community land trust project in the first legacy neighbourhood.
The London Legacy Development Corporation asked the three shortlisted teams, which include 10 architects, to develop Chobham Manor with an option for 100 community land trust homes. The winning team is believed to feature Make, Karakusevic Carson, Muf and PRP, though this has yet to be confirmed.
Richard Lavington, partner at Chobham Manor masterplanner Maccreanor Lavington, said: “There’s a long way to go to see how it will work, but community land trusts are an interesting idea in the context of a city where housing is becoming increasingly unaffordable.”
The Olympic project and its pilot are the brainchild of the East London Community Land Trust, which has the backing of London mayor Boris Johnson.
Marcus Adams, managing partner at John Thompson & Partners, said St Clement’s would prove particularly interesting because of its public realm, which would need to be resolved with the community.
Work could start on site by late 2013, with Chobham Manor following a year later.
However, Dave Smith, project director at ELCLT, said that he feared “control freakery” at the LLDC would stop Chobham Manor becoming a genuine community land trust.
“It would be more like a state-owned land trust, which would lose the quintessence of what we are trying to do,” he said. “It’s not just about affordable housing. It’s about involving the people who will live there in the design and ownership of their homes.”
Community land trusts are volunteer-run, non-profit organisations that develop permanently affordable housing by separating the value of the building from the land it stands on.
They hold the asset in trust for the long-term benefit of the community.
CLTs have been widely used in the US and a few UK examples exist outside London.
10 August 2012
7 August 2012 | Updated: 7 August 2012 10:07 am
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