Stories to inspire

Each month we shine a spotlight on a different community-led housing group from across Wales making a difference and creating positive change in their area.

Stories to inspire

March 2024

What is happening in Colwyn Bay?
Just last week, Colwyn Bay announced that they have launched their “Place Plan”. Place Plans were introduced by Welsh Government in 2013 as an opportunity for communities to help shape their local areas and have a greater say in local planning decision making. Place Plans must be prepared by Town or Community Councils (where they exist) and involve extensive stakeholder and community engagement. They can be adopted by Local Authorities as ‘Supplementary Planning Guidance’ to provide more local detail in specific areas as an extension to the Local Development Plan.
It is wonderful to see that Community-led housing has been included as a specific objective within Colwyn Bay’s Place plan.
Cwmpas Katherine Robinson, who has been working with the community group, had the following to say on the inclusion of Community Led Housing as an objective in the Plan:
” We’re thrilled to share the news that following a number of conversations with the Bay of Colwyn Town Council, Planning Aid Wales and the Bay’s Place Plan Steering Group over the past year they have decided to include community-led housing as a specific objective within the plan. Moving forward, we’ll be part of the plan’s Housing and Future Development working group, collaborating with local residents, officers from the Town and County Councils, and other interested parties to raise awareness of community-led housing, take inspiration from UK and world-wide success stories, and explore ideas for a CLH project that meets local need. We can’t wait to get stuck in! “
What is a Place Plan?
A Place Plan is a community-led document that can influence planning decisions regarding housing, transport, public spaces, local services and so much more. If it is adopted by Conwy County Borough Council, a Place Plan can form ‘Supplementary Planning Guidance’. This means all future planning decisions in The Bay of Colwyn will need to consider the priorities set out by local people.

February 2024

Rhisom was founded by a small group of LGBTQIA+ people living in Cardiff following a series of community-organised workshops. Our aim is to create a platform for queer people to engage in wider political action and community building. This means fostering a home rooted in connection to nature, community and culture in which justice, sustainability and compassion thrives.

Rhisom became officially registered as a cooperative society with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in May 2023, and currently has six members.

Our core values are Radical Care, Respect, Pluriversality, Interdependence, Abolition and Food Justice. We want to care for each other and other beings in a non-individualistic way, recognise, value and learn from our differences whilst challenging normative practices and beliefs. We want to foster a culture of shared responsibility, open communication and promote transformative systems whilst dismantling punitive ones. Naturally, healthy sustainable food is central to Rhisom.

Right now, we have set eyes on a property in Cardiff which is perfect for the community space and home we want to build for our members. We are in the middle of writing an application for Welsh Government’s Land and Buildings Development Fund that will hopefully award us with the appropriate funds to secure the property.

We are hoping that the Cardiff Council will recognise the importance of our project and the positive impact it will have on the wider community and will grant us a planning permission to bring our project to fruition. Casey and Jonathan from Cwmpas are doing an amazing job at supporting us through these heavily bureaucratic processes. 

January 2024

Over the past few months we here at Cwmpas’ Communities Creating Homes team have been supporting Nefyn Town Trust to realise their ambition of expanding their existing community-led housing offer by developing four new homes in the town.

The primary objective of the Trust is to provide high-quality homes to rent at affordable rates. Over a period of many years they have developed a reputation as a socially-conscious, responsive and reliable community landlord, committed to the wellbeing of their tenants and the maintenance and modernisation of the homes they manage, which currently total twenty-six.

 At the end of 2023 Nefyn Town Trust received a revenue grant through the Welsh Government’s Perthyn programme. This grant – which aims to sustain Welsh-speaking communities through the establishment of social enterprises, co-operatives and community-led housing projects – is helping the Trust to compile feasibility reports on two different sites in Nefyn. We as a team have the great pleasure of working alongside the board of trustees to identify gaps in knowledge, commission specialist surveys and – most importantly – consult the community about local housing needs and future aspirations.

 We are extremely excited to watch this project succeed in its goal to bring more affordable homes for rent to a region of North Wales severely impacted by the second homes and holiday lets crises, and we look forward to updating you again in the near future.

Feeling inspired?

For more information about the support we offer community-led housing groups, phone 0300 111 5050 or email