Our Principles

Haslemere Community Land Trust has some basic principles to guide how it is run. It needs strong support from the town’s residents, workers, businesses and institutions to function and flourish.

Our overriding principle is: “In the community, for the community, by the community”.

“In the community” means we aim to build not just affordable housing locally but also services, facilities and capability. We want to help Haslemere grow as a community by building on other local initiatives.

“For the community” means all projects are fully supported locally and are of clear benefit to the people and institutions of the town.

“By the community” means using our own and local resources wherever possible and
calling upon partners in the area for advice, information, funding. Construction (including self-build or refurbishment where practicable) will be done wherever possible by locals.

Work to the highest standards

HCLT will always work to ensure that that the highest practicable standards of design, environmental awareness and sustainability are attained.

Why a choose a CLT?

Community organisations come in many forms and sizes, but embarking on any significant financial transaction calls for incorporation (formal inception as a legal entity). Weighing the options, the Haslemere CLT steering group decided to set up as a “community benefit society”, with each member having one vote and all money raised to be used for the community, rather than be distributed among members or external shareholders.

There are many models we could have followed in establishing our project, but a CLT is best at legally ensuring the housing it owns remains affordable in perpetuity and the enterprise remains “in the community, for the community, by the community”. Plus:

  • A CLT must be set up to benefit a defined community
  • A CLT must be not-for-private-profit
  • A CLT can and should make a surplus, but that surplus must be used to benefit the community
  • Anyone living and working in the community must have the opportunity to join the CLT
  • The members control the CLT (usually through a board elected from the membership)
Development and funding

Through consultation and data analysis, Haslemere CLT will ensure that the projects it pursues are needed by the community, or to its clear benefit.

We will be flexible in our modes of development and funding as circumstances dictate, but by the community means that our first choices for sourcing will always be local. If we can fund and build from within the community, we will. Whether we sell or rent, prices will be truly affordable in perpetuity.

We will establish transparent guidelines in deciding how to make developments available to the community, but “for the community” will be the overriding principle. We will seek to build a wide network of partners who share our principles, including local councils, businesses, employers, societies and individuals who wish to help the community grow.