It’s a non-profit charitable group, set up by local people and run by local volunteers, which aims to build homes and offer them at special lower rents to Westbourne people. It also plans to work on other projects to benefit the community. Lots of similar trusts have been formed around the country in the last few years.

A board of local residents. Anyone in Westbourne can be a member of the trust and elect members of the board.

No. It works with Westbourne Parish Council and Chichester District Council, but it’s a separate and independent group.

We don’t have to make a profit, and as a community trust we have other special financial advantages – see the next question.

The government and local councils are keen for local communities to have trusts like ours, and are being quite generous with grants. We can also buy land at below normal market price. And as a charity, we get some tax breaks.

They could be flats or houses, but they would be owned by the community for the benefit of future generations of local people. Rents would be decided by looking at what local people earn.

We’ll have a policy based on people’s links to the village. To make sure the right people benefit from lower rents, we will also look at people’s incomes.

This is a way the community can help us – by commenting on possible sites and maybe suggesting others.

Yes, of course. We will hold regular drop in consultations within the community and we also encourage suggestion and comments about our projects on this web site.

No. They’re only suggestions. Some won’t be suitable, and there are lots of stages to go through before we could build on a site. First, we’d have to see if we can actually acquire the land. Planning permission would be needed too, just as for any development.

Westbourne’s neighbourhood plan, drawn up after consulting local people, is nearly finished. It’ll show sites where housing could possibly go. Local councils are under pressure from the government to find sites for more housing, and by suggesting sites, the plan will give Westbourne more control over where they would go. Otherwise, developers will choose.

The plan showed there was a need for more lower-cost homes in the village. The community housing trust is interested in meeting this need for lower-cost homes for local people. We’re using the work done for the neighbourhood plan to guide us, and this is where a lot of the possible sites have come from.

Our focus at the moment is building our first lot of homes. But take a look around this website and see some other ideas we have.

Using grants we get from the government or local councils, and income from homes we rent out.

Find out about our meetings and events on our blog or Facebook page. You can also contact us directly through our contact page.

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