Current Newsletter

HNCLT logo headed paper.png

Hook Norton Community Land Trust 

 Welcome to our March 2021 Newsletter

I don’t know whether it’s something to do with Spring arriving but after a quiet period of financial and funding negotiations we’re pleased to say that things are moving forward again with the Hooky community housing project.

Membership of HNCLT is now open and we’ll be launching a community share offer in May. We have a new board member, Nina Frere and we’re pleased to be working with freelance Project Manager, Phil Cringle. The detailed design of the homes has begun and we have a great new blog on our website that discovers how young people feel about the housing crisis.

Please read on….

HNCLT Membership



Membership of HNCLT is now open and costs just £1

We are thrilled to announce that membership of HNCLT is now open and costs just £1.  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. Details of membership can be found here on our website

streamers 3.png

HNCLT Share Offer

HNCLT will be launching a Community Share Offer in May 2021

Look out for our Community Share launch in May when you will be able to invest in the Hook Norton Community-led homes and shared facilities. Community shares are a great way to support local community enterprises, providing them with the long-term finance they need to start and grow. They have been used to finance community housing, shops, pubs, community buildings, renewable energy initiatives and food growing schemes.

You can make a real difference by investing in your community and receive a return on your investment.

After months of consultation and financial planning we are nearly ready to start the build. We will be looking to raise £600,000 from community shares to enable us to put the equity in place to develop the pre-construction phase of the project and begin the build of the homes and communal building.

We will be holding a webinar to introduce and explain how community shares work and how to invest in them. Details will be announced on our website and social media soon.

Research by the University of Cambridge found that the main reasons people buy community shares are to use their money to invest in projects that have a positive social and environmental effect in their community.

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.  

Welcome our new Board Member


We are delighted to welcome Nina Frere to the HNCLT Board. Nina has a wealth of experience in preventing homelessness, tenancy management and employment development. She lives in Hooky and works at Aspire, where she runs a supported housing project for young people in West Oxford.

She believes that by providing housing, access to skills support, apprenticeships, work experience, training and education, we can develop better opportunities for young people in Oxfordshire. 

We look forward to working with Nina as our project develops

Meet our new Project Manager

Phil Cringle.png

We are delighted to welcome Phil Cringle our new temporary Project Manager who will help to keep progress moving and keep on track the many overlapping threads of the project. He is an Accredited Advisor of the Collaborate Housing Hub which provides an invaluable support service for community-led housing groups. Phil has over 20 years experience as a housing development professional, specialising in all aspects of community – led housing. He originally qualified as an architect in Edinburgh and moved into affordable housing after undertaking a further course of post-graduate study in housing in Oxford. He has worked for six different housing providers in Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire, and London, as well as on the largest self and custom build development in the country at Graven Hill, Bicester, Oxfordshire. Phil will oversee all elements of the Hooky project leading up to the start of the build and ensure they are completed on time and within budget.

Design of the Homes

Our project Architectural Designers, Charlie Luxton Design, are currently re-working aspects of the design of the homes in order to simplify the layout to decrease unnecessary costs from the project. The maisonettes on both terraces have been redesigned to be simply houses or flats in a much clearer layout. This has enabled the overall height of the buildings to be reduced which will be beneficial for the existing houses in The Bourne and Cascade Road that are close to the site. The previous South Terrace configuration of a 3 bedroom maisonette with a 1 bedroom flat above has become a simpler layout of 2 three bedroom houses and 2 one bedroom houses.

All of the homes are still above the minimum space standards and the four ground floor flats on the North terrace are designed to Lifetime Homes standard. The Lifetime Homes concept was developed by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation to make homes more easily adaptable for lifetime use at a minimal cost.

Woodland Trust Saplings

Thanks to Charlie for looking after our Woodland Trust Saplings


HNCLT recently applied for and received an award from the Woodland Trust of a small copse of 30 saplings to plant on the community housing site to enhance the wildlife friendly landscape that will surround the homes.

Trees form an important part of the landscape design, which will encourage wildlife, green the space and provide vibrant Autumn colour. The problem is that the homes will not be completed until next year and the saplings needed to be planted out and supported by March 2021. Charlie Luxton stepped in and agreed to plant the copse of saplings on the slopes of the land near his studio and look after them until the community homes are built and ready for occupation. When the time comes the mixture of Silver Birch, Rowan and Cherry Blossom will be gently lifted and re-planted around the housing site.

Recycling help from CLD

Recycled balconies donated from a generous CLD client


With sustainability at the core of the project, another client of Charlie Luxton Design has agreed to donate some hefty steel trusses from a re-designed barn construction. Once the barn is fully supported, the steel frames will be able to be recycled and repurposed to form the basic frames of the balconies on the Hook Norton project.


Here are the steel frames in their present home

What do young people think of the Housing Crisis?

What do young people think of their chances of ever being able to afford to live independently?

Luke Fallon 2.jpeg

Find out by reading Luke Fallon's blog post


Luke is a final year A-level student at The Warriner School in Bloxham, Oxfordshire and is hoping to study Architecture and Environmental Design at university. His passion for greater equality in the housing market and sustainability in the environment motivated him to conduct a survey of young people between the ages of 16 and 20 to find out what they think of the housing crisis.

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.

Register with CDC


If you would like more information about any of the items in this newsletter, please visit our website or email us at

Click icon to view PDF 

Previous Newsletters

Our newsletters are a great way to keep up to date with the project. Please select a newsletter below and click or tap to view