Hook Norton Community Land Trust
Welcome to our July 2021 Newsletter
We’ve been searching for a preliminary name for the Hooky Community Housing project and have decided on ‘Bourne Green’. The site sits behind Bourne Lane and The Bourne and the homes will be built around a new green space, inspired by a village green. One of the Old English meanings of the word bourne is ‘destination’ and that seems in keeping with the ethos of the project. We hope that the homes, shared facilities of a community run café, workshops and EV car club will prove to be a regular destination for the whole community, bringing life to a dormant and overgrown space.
What's in a name?
Homes for Hooky at Bourne Green
The aerial shot below shows the site of the housing project outlined in red.
HNCLT Share Offer
Membership of HNCLT now open
Join for just £1
Membership of HNCLT is now open and costs just £1, and a huge thanks to everyone who has already applied to join and offer their support for the project. As a Community Benefit Society, owned and run by its members, you can join us by purchasing a £1 share and help to transform the dream of affordable, sustainable, community – led homes into reality. We are delighted that so many people have registered interest in the project so far and by becoming a member you can contribute to the decision - making process and help to shape the future of this innovative project. Membership is simple and affordable and open to anyone over the age of 18 who lives or works in the local and wider community and who supports the aims and ethos of HNCLT.
We have agreed our allocations policy with Cherwell District Council and are awaiting the final details of the Section 106 agreement and land transfer document. Everything has been combed through in fine detail and we are looking forward to signing the documents so that our community share offer can be developed.
Meet Frances Cole
Our new project architect at Charlie Luxton Design
We are delighted to be working with Frances Cole, our new project architect at CLD. She has taken over from Henrietta Smart who is now on maternity leave. Congratulations to Henrietta who gave birth to a daughter, Tiggy, recently.
Frances grew up in Stourton and she and her partner have, impressively, built their own house in Hooky. This is what Frances had to say:
“I first worked at Charlie Luxton Design prior to undertaking my Masters at Oxford Brookes University. However, until recently, I had been working at a large multi-disciplinary firm, working on large residential, research and development and automotive projects.
Hook Norton has such a thriving sense of community and my partner and I both adore living here. Having the opportunity to work here too, returning back to Charlie Luxton Design, has been brilliant. However, we had to think creatively to be able to achieve this.
My partner and I both grew up locally (Paul in Charlbury and I in Stourton). We wished to stay in the local area due to family and our love for the countryside but unfortunately, like many people our age, were unable to afford to buy a house around here. We came to the conclusion that using both our skills sets (myself as an architect and Paul as a carpenter/builder) was the only way we were going to be able to stay local.
We lost out to quite a few sites and were close to moving towards Gloucester but after looking for over 3 years we were delighted to be able to start building our home in Hook Norton. Our budget was tight so we did 90% of the work ourselves, managing other trades required on site to complete our home."
Community Share Offer Update
We are working with Community Shares Advisor, Dave Boyle, on drawing up our share offer document. The board of HNCLT and our project manager, Phil Cringle, have been scrutinising and re-modelling the financial appraisal which will inform the details of the share offer, such as the interest rate payable to people who invest. The financial case will then be assessed by Ethex, a not for profit, ethical investment platform.
Established in 2013, Ethex set out to provide pioneering businesses with the vital finance they need to scale and grow. To empower those working in renewable energy, organic farming, sustainable housing, fair trade and sustainable transport. Since then, they’ve been at the forefront of ethical finance and positive investing.
Our share offer will be regulated by The Community Shares Standards Mark which is awarded to community benefit societies whose share offers meet national standards of good practice.
If you choose to invest in HNCLT you will be helping to create the first community led, environmentally sustainable homes that are permanently affordable to people with a local connection to Hook Norton.
Support from David Miskin of the Plunkett Foundation
We have been very lucky to receive funding from the Plunkett Foundation for help from a specially trained advisor to help us put together a business plan for the community run café and the shared workshop space in the communal facilities on the site.
The Plunkett Foundation provides practical advice, support and training to help rural communities establish and run successful community businesses with long term survival rates. For more information about the range of support that Plunkett Foundation offers to communities, please visit https://plunkett.co.uk
David visited Hooky recently to see for himself the site for the community housing project and to meet some of the HNCLT board members and hear more about the project. He has supported several village community run cafes, shops and pubs with advice on setting up costs, profit and loss forecasts and help with organising and training volunteers.
At the Hooky Community Café, we hope to employ a full-time manager who will work with a trained group of volunteers to run the café and help the space to thrive. The café is designed to be somewhere that people can meet, chat and enjoy healthy, simple food in relaxed surroundings. If you are interested in volunteering or helping out at the café, we would love to hear from you. Please drop us a line at:
From the Ground Up
The Old Fire Station, Oxford, Opening 28th August 2021
We’re so pleased to be taking part in the CAG Network exhibition “From The Ground Up” at the Old Fire Station, Oxford from 28 August onwards. CAG have invited 20 community groups across Oxfordshire to tell their story of community - led action on climate change through images, film and video, photos and text. The exhibition will be in a digital form on a new website and physically curated at the Old Fire Station Gallery from August to October 2021. The opening night is planned for 28th August. We will be showing the housing designs from CLD, our popular Journey Map image and documentation of our design and consultation process, including the video we made of Hooky residents talking about the need for affordable housing in the area. The exhibition will be a legacy to all of the communities in Oxfordshire that are taking action at grass roots level to reduce carbon emissions and protect the environment.
More details to follow soon.
You can view the video on our website here
Guest Speaker at the Westmill Solar and Wind Cooperatives AGM
Westmill Solar and Wind Farm Co-operatives held their AGM on 18 June with Charlie Luxton as the opening speaker. Westmill are looking for good examples of sustainable building projects in Oxfordshire and Charlie delivered an inspiring presentation on the HNCLT Community Housing project in Hooky. Some attendees at the AGM were so inspired by the talk and the project that they have applied to become members of HNCLT.
Interested in living in one of the homes?
Our Allocations Policy will soon be available on the website, along with details of the
Local Connection Criteria.
Ahead of that, if you are interested in living in one of the affordable homes available to rent please be sure to register with
Cherwell District Council Housing Register.
If you would like more information about any of the items in this newsletter, please visit our website or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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