‘New Life brought to an Old Industrial Site’ Peak District National Park Affordable Housing Scheme Wins National Award
Wednesday 15 March 2023
A newly-completed housing scheme, providing affordable rental homes in the heart of the Peak District National Park, has won national recognition for its contribution to local housing needs and land regeneration in a National Park community.
Bradwell Springs, in Bradwell (Derbyshire), beat off competition from housing developments in London, Hastings and Bridport.
The ‘Beautiful Community-Led Homes’ award has been presented by the Community Land Trust Network to Bradwell Community Land Trust for the Bradwell Springs affordable housing development.
Bradwell Springs is a development of 55 houses, 12 of which are two-bedroom affordable rental houses owned by Bradwell Community Land Trust and managed by Peak District Rural Housing Association. The rest of the houses are open market housing.
The site was formerly an engineering works with various industrial sheds and buildings of no architectural interest in a central village location. The new houses have been sympathetically designed with an appropriate external appearance that reflects local building traditions.
Positive seeds were sown for the success of the development as early as 2015, when National Park planners and the community worked together to identify both the local need for affordable homes and to earmark Bradwell Springs as a site for community development.
Peak District National Park community policy planner Clare Wilkins explains: “The award celebrates the development of a former industrial site, the scheme’s high quality design and its success in helping to achieve community housing needs.
“The success story began in 2015, with a Neighbourhood Plan developed by residents working together with Peak District National Park planners to identify both the local need for affordable homes and to earmark Bradwell Springs as a site for community development.
“This strong Neighbourhood Plan policy resulted in a reduced number of open market dwellings being built on the site and outlined that affordable housing was to be delivered by a Community Land Trust.
“And so, Bradwell Community Land Trust was set up, one of 225 community land trusts in the UK. It owns the houses on behalf of the community and secures them as affordable rental properties for local people.
“Now with the policy implemented and the houses built, the scheme has won national recognition from the Community Land Trust Network in its annual awards to projects of exceptional standards.”
The award citation from the Community Land Trust Network says that the scheme: ‘balanced the needs of the community with the heritage of the surroundings. In the middle of a National Park and as part of the redevelopment of an old engineering works, this project has been able to bring about much needed housing that has been designed to blend seamlessly with existing houses. The project has brought new life to an old industrial site.’
Clare added: “The recognition matters because the global Community Land Trust Network is rapidly developing as a unique organisation capable of linking the role of governments and planners with the needs of the community. Community Land Trusts now exist throughout Europe and are also rapidly developing in South America.
“It showcases the importance of community work, and what can be achieved with a Neighbourhood Plan. We would like to see more of this happen in other areas of the National Park.”
Paul Downing, a trustee of Bradwell Community Land Trust, said: “We are particularly proud of the award because it has been a collaborative project. We gratefully acknowledge the contributions of the landowner, developer, Peak District National Park Authority, Derbyshire Dales District Council and Peak District Rural Housing Association, who have been invaluable partners in the project, and above all the people of Bradwell whose support made the achievement possible.”
Communities interested in finding out more about Neighbourhood Planning should contact the Policy team on