Gittisham Community Land Trust

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Welcome to the August 2020 GCLT newsletter


Morning everyone. I see most of you around the village and it is a relief to see that the village and Vale is in pretty good health and, as far as I know, Covid-19 free. I thought that I should circulate to you all an update on progress and activity that we within GCLT have been up to since the last March Newsletter.

The direction is, of course, steadily forward together with a lot of paddling going on just beneath the surface.
We were due to have an AGM on 19th March but the “lock down” prevented that taking place. At the moment the AGM is postponed. The legal basis for the GCLT is that we are registered as a Community Benefit Society and our current society Rules require the society to hold an AGM. In theory, therefore, a decision to postpone the AGM would mean that the society is in breach of its Rules and Members of the society could challenge the CLT through the courts on this point. I would hope that this is unlikely given the circumstances but it would be good practice to invite you as Members to comment should you so wish. Any comments to davidmvalentine@btinternet.com.

An important item on an AGM agenda is the approval of the annual accounts. In the absence of an AGM the annual accounts for 2018/19 have been submitted to FCA and HMRC and the accounts for 2019/20 are currently in preparation. The 2018/19 accounts, in reality, covered a mainly dormant accounting period which was reflected in the returns. As far as the 2019/2020 returns are concerned the vast majority of accountancy has been in respect of income from grants received together with minimal expenditure. 2020/2021 will look a little different as we have appointed solicitors to act on our behalf and are now in the process of appointing architects and site investigation consultants. These consultants will be preparing reports on ground investigations, ecology, trees and other engineering and topographical detail – all essential items which will inform the design process.

FORTHCOMMING DATES

The site investigation works are due to commence during August and we hope that architects will be appointed early in September. A number of architects have expressed an interest in acting on behalf of GCLT and we will be undertaking an interview process before finalizing the appointment. Once appointed the chosen architects will become part of a Project Team which will include representatives from GCLT, the Housing Association (HA), the architects, Combe Estate and Wessex CLT Project. Other advisors/consultants will be co-opted as necessary. The Project Team will report back to the GCLT Board and the village/parish community will be consulted at appropriate stages during the design process. The work of the Project Team is key to the management of the project throughout the next period prior to and during construction. Within this period the planning application will be submitted. We need to be realistic in our expectations in relation to the completion of the planning process but I would like to set a target of June/July 2021 for this to be concluded.

Once planning permission has been obtained it will be for the HA to apply for the funds to facilitate the construction of the dwellings, to appoint contractors and manage the construction. The level of funding provided by Government for construction may require additional financial support and we have identified 2 potential sources of funding which could help to support the design/construction costs if necessary.

That’s all for now.
Stay safe and well.


David Valentine
Chairman
Email: davidmvalentine@btinternet.com

Company Secretary:
Helen Hayman, Gittisham Farm, GITTISHAM. EX14 3AX
Email: admin@gittisham-clt.org.uk