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Hook Norton Community Land Trust 

 Welcome to our October 2021 Newsletter

Reasons to be Cheerful

After the excitement of being granted planning consent in May 2020 we have been through a long period of administrative and financial negotiations that became protracted by the pandemic. There are now signs that we are about to enter the next exciting phase of positive action and progress.

 

COP 26, the UN Climate Conference, will feature a dedicated Built Environment Day on 11 November to highlight the importance of the built environment in tackling climate change. Buildings are responsible for around 40% of global CO2 emissions so it’s brilliant to know that Hook Norton Community Land Trust is leading the way with its community - led housing scheme, Bourne Green, in Hooky. The homes and shared building on the site will have a positive impact on the planet and people’s lives by being both  affordable, super-insulated and energy efficient.

 

Our project could be replicable and scalable and lead to a transformation of the way new homes are built to be fit for the future.

Our new members attend HNCLT AGM

It was wonderful to hold our first AGM on 30th September with our new members present.

It was especially poignant to provide an overview of the project for our new members and we were delighted to have our project architectural designer, Charlie Luxton, to talk us through the journey and the different stages of the design process. It was a chance for all of us to be reminded of the inspiring and collaborative nature of the project and of the incredible involvement of the community in all stages of the journey.

Charlie Luxton's Presentation

  

Charlie’s talk was complimented by a fantastic presentation by Ian Pritchett, Managing Director of Greencore Construction. Ian shared his knowledge and passion for constructing new buildings with sustainable materials such as lime and hemp that would provide insulation and have a low embodied carbon footprint.

Ian Pritchett's Presentation

  

If you missed our AGM you can watch the recording via this link:

HNCLT 2021 AGM recording or read the minutes of the meeting

 

All of the existing board members were re-elected but we are sorry that Barbara Hammond, CEO of Low Carbon Hub, Oxford, has stepped down from the board, due to time constraints. We would like to thank Barbara for her invaluable contribution to the board and her wisdom and knowledge of renewable energy projects, community share offers and financial planning, to name but a few. We are pleased to say that Barbara will still be on hand to offer support and expertise when needed. Low Carbon Hub was instrumental in setting up the Hooky community housing project and provided advice and grant funding for the feasibility study.

 

Our Board of Directors for the following year :

Cathy Ryan - Chair

Kirsten Berry - Secretary

Tim Lunel - Treasurer

Andrew Bowen

Fiona Brown

Nina Frere

Mike Richardson

Martine Spalding

Gill White

  

New Board Co-opted Members; Charlie Luxton and Anne Tutt

 

We are thrilled to have Anne Tutt and Charlie Luxton join the board as co-opted members. They both bring a range of skills and experience to the project as well as passion and commitment.

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Anne is a qualified Chartered - Accountant with more than 30 years experience of board membership as both an executive & non-executive director. Her current roles include being Vice Chair of Oxford University Hospitals which runs the John Radcliffe, the Churchill, the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre & the Horton in Banbury. She is also a member of Council at Swansea University and a trustee / advisor to 2 charities involved in international development.

“I’ve lived in Hooky for more than 20 years. I’m passionate about supporting the community and ensuring the village has sustainable affordable housing for the future. We live in an amazing community and we should do everything we can to preserve it. I hope my financial and governance skills can make a real difference to HNCLT for this exciting programme in the village."

 

Anne’s knowledge of the community and financial experience working with charities  will be invaluable to the board of HNCLT.

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Charlie Luxton Design has been working with HNCLT in designing the 12 Passivhaus community led-homes and communal facilities at Bourne Green. They were selected as the project architectural design team from a tendering process in 2019. Charlie has been passionately involved in the project for over 3 years, taking part in the community engagement and consultation sessions which have defined the ambitions and values of the project and shaped the masterplan and appearance.

“The result of all the consultation is a project with deep support in the community and one better for the input from the people who will live in and around the homes. We believe that true sustainability means creating buildings that are loved, and that only places that are valued in this way will last.”  

 

Charlie’s expertise in sustainable housing design, local knowledge and sheer enthusiasm will be a great addition to the board. 

HNCLT at:
'From The Ground Up' Exhibition, touring Oxfordshire 

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We are delighted that HNCLT is a popular part of the exhibition “From The Ground Up” that tells the stories of 20 local community groups working on climate action in different ways, throughout Oxfordshire. The exhibition has completed its residency at the Old Fire Station, Oxford and is now touring Oxfordshire by electric vehicle and cargo bike. You can catch the touring exhibition at both the Vale and Downland Museum in Wantage, and Rose Hill Community Centre, Rose Hill, Oxford until 13 November. The exhibition will then travel to Watlington until December. 

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You can also explore the exhibition on the specially created website: 20 stories online  The 20 groups are all part of the Community Action Group (CAG) network, which consists of nearly 100 groups across Oxfordshire, who are at the for-front  of community - led action on climate change.

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Visit to Springfield Meadows, Southmoor

Some members of the board of HNCLT recently visited Springfield Meadows, an award winning development of zero-carbon new homes in Southmoor near Abingdon, Oxfordshire. The project is being delivered by Ssassy Property and  Greencore Construction. Greencore is an award-winning company that designs and builds climate positive homes in Oxfordshire and specialises in building to Passivhaus energy efficiency standards. The board were impressed by the standards that were being reached with an emphasis on design efficiency and a workforce skilled in ensuring that the homes are zero carbon in operation. The homes utilise an innovative construction system called the Biond system, which uses closed timber frame panels insulated with lime hemp and wood-fibre insulation. The homes are built with minimal impact on the environment and the use of natural materials delivers an approximately 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions during construction compared to a standard home in the UK. Springfield Meadows consists of 25 homes including 9 affordable homes managed by Sovereign Housing Association. It was great to see that the affordable housing was designed to the same standards as the market sale homes and were indistinguishable from each other on the site.

We also liked the amount of green open space and the other features such as an electric car club, wildlife areas and a resident run management organisation which echoed strongly with HNCLTs aspirations.

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Following the visit, HNCLT board member Gill White had this to say:

“We saw views through large triple glazed windows one way onto the tree lined boarders of the site, and the other, onto the communal green with pond surrounded by completed rented and affordable dwellings of various sizes and all having a sense of uniformity with grey timber cladding. The density of housing was not as great as with most new housing estates, giving an open spacious feel to the site.”

We hope to continue the conversation with Greencore!

Inspiration from Ilmington Community Run Café

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A group of members of HNCLT who are interested in developing the communal facilities at Bourne Green visited the community café at Ilmington for inspiration and advice. We were lucky to get both from the café and shop manager, Michele Hall, who took time out to share her knowledge and experience of running the community café.

Her strongest message stressed the importance of involving the community on the journey from initial idea to opening up on the first day. Our community café will be built alongside the homes in 2022 but we think that now is a great time to start searching for members of the community who would like to be involved in building a steering group to start mapping out the development of the café, the Library of Things and the Shared Workshop area.

At the Bourne Green 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 a destination where people can meet, chat and enjoy healthy, simple food in relaxed surroundings.

If you are interested in volunteering or helping with any of the following, we would love to hear from you:

  • Building up a list of volunteers

  • Organising volunteer shifts

  • Booking events for the space

  • Running occasional cooking classes

  • Baking cakes

  • Menu planning

  • Decorating the community café and shared facilities

  • Developing the business plan

  • Social media

  • Setting up / running a Library of Things

  • Skills sharing - do you have a skill that you could teach to others?

Please drop us a line at hello@hooknortonclt.org.uk or use the registration form.

Why not become a Member of HNCLT?

Join for just £1

We are delighted to share that we now have over 40 members since membership opened last year, and over 80 people who have registered interest and support for the project and who receive the newsletter. HNCLT is a Community Benefit Society, owned and run by its members and you can join us by purchasing a £1 share and help to transform the dream of affordable, sustainable, community–led homes into reality. Becoming a member means that you can be part of 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.

If you would like to join, the membership form can be found on our website: 

HNCLT Membership Form

Preparing our Community Share Offer

All of the legal documents that we need before we can launch a community share offer are nearly in place and we will let everyone know when we can officially launch and the offer will be open. 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. It will be a great way to make a real difference by investing in your community and receiving a return on your investment. 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.

Interested in living in one of our homes?

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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

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