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Community group wins competition to build affordable homes in Upper Norwood

Community group wins competition to build affordable homes in Upper Norwood

A community group from Crystal Palace has been chosen to develop its own affordable homes after winning a council-run competition.

Crystal Palace Community Lane Trust (CLT) will transform a piece of council owned land at The Lawns in Upper Norwood into high-quality, low-carbon affordable homes, working with residents to provide a scheme fitting with the area.

The winning group, formed of locals with a range of professional expertise, submitted a bid aiming to meet low-carbon building standards, build a food garden and explore volunteering and job opportunities.

Jemima Foxtrot from Crystal Palace CLT said: “We’re thrilled that we’ve won the bid and thank the council for the opportunity.

"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.”

Crystal Palace CLT grew out of the Crystal Palace Transition Town initiative, which already runs a weekly food market and community gardens to reduce the area's carbon footprint.

A panel, formed of deputy leader Councillor Alison Butler and council officers, chose the winning community-led homes bid on Tuesday out of four shortlisted applicants from across the borough, considering factors including viability and design.

The council intends to make more sites available across the borough in future for local groups to apply for similar community-led homes.

Crystal Palace CLT’s proposals will become more detailed as the scheme progresses, with issues such as design, layout, whether the homes are flats or houses, the number of homes and the number of bedrooms to be considered before a planning application is submitted.

Council owned developer Brick by Brick will provide support throughout the process.

Before applying for the bid the Crystal Palace CLT team met residents local to the site to listen to their thoughts about the area, talk about their ideas with them, and will now begin a community engagement process so neighbours can help shape the design.

The first such engagement event is from 12-3pm on Saturday 21 September at The Lawns.

Councillor Alison Butler, Croydon Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for homes and Gateway services, said: “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.

“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.

“Council and Brick by Brick staff will offer help and guidance at every stage of the process, and I look forward to Crystal Palace CLT working with the community to turn their ideas into full proposals that boost the supply of much-needed affordable homes for local people.”

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