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Mayor Dr Nik Johnson visits Ovins Rise, Haddenham


Mayor Dr Nik Johnson visits Ovins Rise, Haddenham

Dr Nik Johnson Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough visited Ovins Rise in Haddenham on 16 September 2021. Ovins Rise is a 54 home development in Haddenham which has been delivered by Haddenham Community Land Trust in partnership with Palace Green Homes. Dr Nik was shown round the site by Mark Hugo Chair of Haddenham Community Land Trust and he saw the overall development layout including the newly landscaped childrens’ play area, inside a nearly complete 2 bedroomed terraced house and round the site show home. Dr Nik learned about the progress of the HCLT which has gone from nothing when it was formed in 2016 to 11 properties under affordable rents/shared ownership by the end of summer 2021. 8 further properties will follow over the next 12 months.

Dr Nik asked about community involvement and Trustees Mark Hugo, Chris Ray and Gareth Wilson explained that there are 130 members of the Trust, all are local people with an interest in the scale and nature of local housing.  They explained the plans were changed after input from residents adjoining the site, that the Parish Council has provided input advice and support and that local conservation groups have had an input to the landscaping plans.

“I sometimes think we have lost our tradition of caring for and looking out for people in our community, but we are at our best when we look after each other,” said Dr Nik, “But this development is a great example of what I call the three “C’s”, Compassion, Co-operation and Community.”

HCLT was founded with the intention of providing affordable housing for local people priced out of the expensive Cambridgeshire housing market. The Trustees are all unpaid volunteers with a mixture of skills and backgrounds and they have worked hard together to deliver this project. They worked alongside and in collaboration with, many different groups including

Palace Green Homes, Homes England, East Cambs District Council and the local community. The result is 11 local families have so far been welcomed to affordable new homes.

Mark Hugo explained that HCLT would be open to further discussion with the Combined Authority to deliver more affordable houses to be managed in perpetuity by the CLT for local families, under whatever policies and schemes for housing the Authority embraces. Mark explained “We are open for business and have shown we can deliver what local people need.”

“It resonates with me that you were thinking about the housing needs of young and local people from the outset and that the Trustees obviously care about their community,” said Mayor Dr Nik Johnson.