Low cost homes needn’t mean low quality homes. That’s the message from Cornwall Community Land Trust (CCLT) which today, the first day of Rural Housing Week (Monday July 1-5), launches a new charter of its construction standards guide.

Cornwall Community Land Trust builds affordable homes in Cornwall specifically for local people. The homes it builds can never leak out onto the open market and stay as a community asset forever.

CCLT’s new charter lists 20 planning and building requirements above and beyond UK basic building standards which will apply to all homes built by the trust in the future. And a further 26 aspirations and ambitions which Cornish community groups and parish councils will be offered to work towards if opportunities and funds allow.

These include better space standards, energy efficiency, space and design for easy management and storage of waste and recycling and bee bricks, bird and bat boxes as standard.

Based around energy-efficiency, environmental and ecological principles, the charter confirms that CCLT is continuing to set high standards for the provision of quality affordable housing that local people can afford.

CCLT director Andrew George said: “Just because a home is affordable to buy or rent, doesn’t mean there should be any compromise on quality.

“If a developer wants to produce homes which maximise corporate profit while satisfying the basic regulatory standards there are many corners which can be cut. In contrast we are seeking to raise standards and improve quality still further.

“An energy efficient home is more affordable to run. That is why our charter includes the community option of incorporating energy generation in the project, such as ground source heat pumps and solar panels.

“We build homes in rural areas, where there is established housing need, so for us it’s especially important our developments respect the sensitive natural environment. That’s another reason why our wildlife mitigation standards are set so high.”