Holt and Neighbourhood Housing Society Ltd

The Holt Housing Society was founded in 1966 by Lady Harrod who became its first chairman. Its first secretary was Mrs John Sutton. The Society was founded with the sole object of acquiring and renovating old buildings and making them available to local people as tenants of the society.

Such buildings, which might have been pulled down or otherwise lost for ever to the community, now provide accommodation for 37 tenants and their families. At the beginning the Society was registered under the charity Act, however it has since deregistered, to make sure that our independence and ability to prioritise local people is not compromised.

The first property to be acquired in April 1967 were Carpenters Arms Yard, four 17th Century cottages which as their name suggests were attached to a long defunct pub. In 1968 Lees Terrace New Street was bought, this Victorian tenement block now houses five flats of one, two and three bedrooms.

In 1974 the Society was given a plot of land at Riverside Road, Letheringsett by the Nimrod Charitable Trust. This Trust set up by the 4th Baron Cozens-Hardy, could only be used for charitable purposes. Knowing that the village was not due for any council houses, he wished this land to be used to build more houses for letting to local residents. In 1975 after his death, the Trustees generously gave sufficient money needed for the building project. Two houses and two bungalows were duly built in the vernacular North Norfolk style of flint faced buildings matching their 19th century neighbours.

At this time the Society’s name was altered to enlarge the community area for a radius of 3 miles of Holt, the word ‘ Neighbourhood’ was added to the title.

In 1979 the Society bought no 23 New street followed by no 21. At the time very nice Victorian 2 bedroom labourers cottages, which over time have fallen victim to the ever increasing legislative and regulatory burdens that the charitable housing sector finds itself subjected too. In 2017 both properties have been sold with the proceeds being reinvested in more modern accommodation.

Throughout the lifetime of the Society rents have been settled, first under the Fair Rents Scheme and when that ceased the Society has shadowed the larger Housing Associations (like Victory and Broadland) trying to achieve a rent level equivalent to 75% of the open market level. Rents are reviewed every 2 years by the management committee, who are entirely responsible for the running of the Society. The committee are all unpaid volunteers and local people who meet regularly throughout the year. The Society’s buildings manager is Mr John Barlow.

Tenants of the Society are limited to those with local connections within Holt and Neighbourhood, this can be family, occupation or past residential qualification. Preference is given to applicants with the greatest housing need.

In 1984, the Trustees of the Glaven Trust Fund asked the Society to undertake a further development in the old walled garden belonging to Letheringsett Hall, now called Glaven Court. Sufficient funds were available for four two bedroomed bungalows. Work was completed in 1987, with the opening performed by the Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk MR Timothy Coleman. The development was awarded a certificate in 1988 by the C.P.R.E.

In 1987 the Society was approached by Mr Robin Combe of Bayfield Hall with a suggestion that he might be prepared to sell 6 houses in the Estate village of Glandford with their sitting tenants. The houses were built between 1896 and 1910 by the then owner of Bayfield Sir Alfred Jodrell in the Dutch style.

Robin Combe was anxious that the village remained in the hands of local people under the Society’s control, who would guarantee it’s future and by virtue of its charitable status, ensure that the tenancies would continue without the right to buy.

In June 1989 negotiations were completed and the Society became the new owners. In the spring of 1990 North Norfolk district Council voted a 65% improvement grant to modernise these houses. In 1984 a further 2 houses were bought in Glandford bringing the total to eight.

Over the intervening years other houses have been bought, mainly south of the Holt bypass and comprising ex council housing stock.