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Community Housing and Self-Build Conference

Community-Led Housing and Self-Build Conference 18th June 2019

We had a very successful day at The Ark in Dover and we want to say thank you to all those who attended and shared the day with us.

Thank you for attending and sharing at the Community-Led Housing and Self-Build Conference, from your Community-Led Housing Officers at Dover District Council Naomi Palmer, Canterbury City Council Emma Bartlett, Folkestone and Hythe District Council Alex Samson and Thanet District Council Ashley Jackson. 

We have a short video from the conference we would like to share with you: 


Spotlight on Exhibitors- Folkestone and Hythe District Council 

We are eagerly awaiting the workshop session from Julia Wallace from Folkestone and Hythe District Council who will be exploring some recent case studies of self-build and community-led housing. Julia has very kindly given us a glimpse of what we can expect from her workshop followed up with her Ask the Expert Q&A session.

Self-Build and Community-Led Housing Case Studies on Mixed Development Sites

An increasing number of people are getting involved in Community-Led Housing and Self-Build housing projects. Hear more about recent projects in the Netherlands and UK, and about a range of opportunities that will be available for self, custom and community build at the new community of Otterpool Park Garden Town, between Folkestone and Ashford.

Image title: Self build housing project, The Hague

Self Build at Hague for Julia Wallace FHDC

Spotlight on Exhibitors - Ecology Building Society 

We are delighted to announce that Ecology Building Society will be hosting a workshop and Q&A session at the Conference. Business Development Manager, Jon Lee has very kindly provided us with a taster of what his session will include. 

Community-led housing and self-build - where does the money come from?

There will be an interactive session looking at the various sources of funding and help currently available for community-led housing projects and self-builders in the UK, led by Jon Lee, Ecology Building Society’s Business Development Manager.

The session will  include some helpful tips for groups and self-builders when approaching organisations for funding and offers delegates the opportunity to share their own experiences and ask questions. Jon will also provide some practical examples of successful projects drawing from his experience of working in the community-led housing, self and custom build and sustainable construction finance field for the past 13 years at Ecology.

Ecology Building Society provides mortgages for self-build, and also lends on community led projects that have restrictive resale covenants and complex needs. Their mission is to support Building a Greener Society through the projects they support, including renovations, conversions and of course new build homes and community assets, all supported by the members that save with the Society.

For Further information please contact: 

Business Development Manager, Jon Lee Ecology Building Society Logo

Ecology Building Society 
7 Belton Road
West Yorkshire
BD20 0EE

Telephone: 01535 650 770
E: jon.lee@ecology.co.uk
W: www.ecology.co.uk

Spotlight on Exhibitors - Lindsay Frost Planning

We look forward to welcoming Lindsay Frost from Lindsay Frost Planning to the conference. Lindsay has kindly given us a glimpse of what his workshop session on Planning Policy will include.

Getting your community housing or self-build project through the planning system

The Government wants to increase the supply of new housing and widen the range of suppliers, including more self-build and community led housing. You will need planning permission.

This interactive session will tell you what you need to know about the planning system and how to improve your prospects of gaining planning permission. It will be led by Lindsay Frost, who has many years’ experience in both local authorities and consultancy.

Spotlight on Exhibitors - Dover District Councils Community Development Team

We look forward to welcoming the Community Development Team from Dover District Council to the conference. The team will be presenting an interactive workshop session on:

Becoming a Community Group, Grants and Raising Your Groups Profile

Elliott Allen, Assistant Community Development Officer kindly provided us with a taster of their workshop.

This workshop session will give information on setting up a community group, along with the associated requirements of becoming constituted and becoming affiliated. It will also address some of the different types of funding available and the requirements which need to be in place to secure this. We will also be looking at building an online footprint for increasing the profile of your group. 

For Further information contact: 

The Community Development Team Dover District Council

Council Offices, White Cliffs Business Park, Whitfield, Dover CT16 3PJ

Tel: 01304 821199   Web: http://dover.gov.uk  




Spotlight on Exhibitor - Popplett Taylor Consulting

We are delighted to announce Popplett Talyor Consulting will be attending the conference. Director, Roger Taylor of Popplett Taylor has kindly shared a few words about his business and a taste of what his workshop session will involve.

Financial Viability for your Project

Popplett Taylor is an Independent Management Consultancy specialising in working with ‘not for profit’ organisations from the voluntary and public sectors and also with small community groups, associations and clubs. We provide support and advice on Business and Project Planning, Financial Strategy, Financial Management & Controls, Options Analysis, Financial Modelling, Financial Feasibility, Public Consultation, Governance, Board Training, Funding Bids, Contract Tendering and Project Management.

In our session at the Community-Led Housing and Self-Build Conference, we will look at the role that Feasibility Analysis plays in the development of a project and feeds into your Project / Business Plan and why it is necessary. We will look at the component parts of Feasibility Analysis and explore the different types of information that you will need in order to successfully complete it. We will consider how to account for risk and uncertainty in the development of your Feasibility Analysis and how to make your analysis as robust as possible.

For further information please contact:

Roger Taylor - Director
Popplett Taylor Consulting
Tel: 07539 110 130

Spotlight on Conference Exhibitor - The South Downs Specialist Advisory Service 

We are delighted to announce that the South Downs Specialist Advisory Service is presenting a workshop and Ask the Expert Q&A session at the conference.

Communities Lead, Chris Paterson has kindly shared a little about the South Downs National Park and a taster about their workshop session.

An Introduction to Neighbourhood Planning

The South Downs Specialist Advisory service will be giving a brief introduction to Neighbourhood Planning. Neighbourhood Plans were launched under the Governments Localism Act in 2011, and the take up has been quite incredible with over 500 Neighbourhood referendums to date. Neighbourhood Plans devolve power to Local Communities to determine how their community will grow over the next 15-20 years. Town and Parish Councils can prepare neighbourhood plans to deliver much needed local services, locally affordable housing, protect important local facilities or protect important local green spaces.

This introduction to Neighbourhood Plans will allow delegates to better understand the statutory process to preparing a plan, identifying possible pitfalls, and highlighting best practice. The presentation will highlight how neighbourhood plans can be used to encourage locally led housing development.


For more information contact: Chris Paterson, Communities Lead South Downs National Park Neighbourhood planning group

South Downs National Park Authority 

South Downs Centre, North Street, Midhurst, West Sussex GU29 9DH

Tel: 01730 814810




Spotlight on Conference Exhibitor - Clague Architects 

We are delighted to announce Clague Architects will be attending the Conference. Seb Willett, Associate at Clague has provided us a snippet about Clague and what to expect from their conference sessions. 

Clague Architects are proud to be supporting East Kent Community-Led Housing and Self-Build Conference 2019

Clague Architects – formed in 1934 and based in Canterbury, Harpenden and London - have worked closely with national and local bespoke housebuilders on a wide portfolio of projects over the years. This ranges from masterplanning new mixed-use settlements of up to 4,500 houses, to the detailed design and delivery of bespoke new single family homes. They have gathered an enormous wealth of experience in residential projects at every scale, and are keen to bring these skills to bear on helping to grow the community-led and self-build housing sector.

Seb Willett, Associate at Clague, said: "We are excited to be playing a part in community led residential development. The value of good placemaking in building new communities cannot be over-stated, and we are delighted to be able to share our skills in this area. We are looking forward to attending this year's Conference, and discussing the exciting new opportunities that are emerging in East Kent."

Clague are running a number of workshops across the day, and will be offering an open design 'surgery' throughout the afternoon. They are available to review projects at any stage, whether that's just early site evaluations, or more detailed 'in-progress' concept and design development ideas.

For more information please contact: Stonegate Place Wye

Seb Willett

Clague Architects – 62 Burgate, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 2BH

01227 762060



We can now reveal details of the speakers, exhibitors and workshops at the conference! 

This is subject to final confirmation, but we think you will agree there really is something for everyone who is interested in Community Led Housing and Self Build, The event is free to enter but tickets must be booked in advance.

We are excited to announce that our Keynote speaker will be from Polly Adam-Felton from the National Community Land Trust Network. 

Workshops will run throughout the day and will include:

  • Setting up a Community Land Trust
  • Approaches for Group Self-build
  • Meet the architects
  • Overview of the Community Led Housing Tool-kit
  • Introduction to Planning Policy
  • Self build and Community Led Housing Case Studies
  • Neighbourhood Planning
  • Community Led housing in rural areas
  • Mortgage options for Self build and community led housing

Ask the Expert Q&A Sessions will also run throughout the day with experts including:

  • Community Land Trust
  • HACT
  • South Downs National Park
  • English Rural
  • Action on Empty Homes
  • Ecology Building Society
  • Lindsay Frost Planning
  • Urban and Rural Ltd
  • Clague
  • Brachers Solicitors
  • Popplett Taylor Consulting
  • Optivo Housing
  • Dover District Council, Community Development Team
  • Folkestone & Hythe District Council
  • Dover District Council with Folkestone & Hythe District Council
  • Canterbury City Council and Thanet District Council

Organisations exhibiting at the conference include:

  • Kent Co-housing Group
  • Clague Architects
  • Ecology Building society
  • No Use Empty
  • Popplett Taylor Consulting
  • Roe Ltd
  • Eternal Energy Ltd
  • South Downs National Park
  • Convert Energy Ltd
  • Dover District Council
  • Thanet District Council
  • Canterbury City Council
  • Folkestone & Hythe District Council

Following the success of the Community Led Housing and Self Build Conference in 2018, this year's conference promises to be bigger and even better!

We are joined by our neighbouring authorities in Canterbury, Folkestone and Hythe and Thanet to make this a conference for the whole of East Kent.

For the most up to date information as it is released, sign up to the Community Led Housing topic on Keep Me Posted.

Bookings for delegates and exhibitors are open now, and are free of charge.


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