A GROUP of residents in Wyre Forest have officially registered their own Community Land Trust in an effort to bring more affordable and alternative housing to the district.

The Wyre Forest Community Land Trust (CLT) will work alongside the district council to look at alternative models of housing including eco homes, self-builds and group builds, as well as small homes, affordable rentals and co-operative housing, to provide options for people on a lower income who want to continue living in the area.

The Trust began as a group of Cookley villagers who formed the Cookley and Caunsall Action Group to protect the green belt from redevelopment outlined in the Local Plan.

Trust chair Katrina Willetts, who lives in Stourport, said: "We started off focusing on development plans around Lea Castle, and from that we soon realised that the majority of people in Wyre Forest that need to get on the property ladder or want eco builds or self builds or social housing just aren't being catered for.

"I've had to move out of a property in Cookley because there was nowhere locally for me to downsize to. We want to help people in a similar situation to stay in the district."

The Trust is officially registered with the Financial Conduct Authority as a community benefit society, and is now appealing to members of the community to volunteer, or join as a member of the CLT by purchasing a £1 share.

Katrina said: "The more people that join, the more influence we could have as our voice becomes stronger and our futures look promising.

"This is a community trust run by community volunteers. We're all members of the community with fulltime jobs."

The Trust is now organising feasibility studies on plots of land around the district and is working on designs for a 'micro home' that can grow and shrink with the size of the household.

The CLT is inviting residents and local businesses to come along to its launch event at the Corn Exchange at Kidderminster Town Hall on Saturday, May 18 from 10am to 12.30pm.

Kate Bailey, head of strategic growth for Wyre Forest District Council, said: “We are really pleased to have supported the development of the Community Land Trust.

"Going forward we will continue to work closely with the trust to help increase the housing supply in the district.

"This is a great opportunity to come along and share your views and aspirations for housing in the Wyre Forest.”