Purpose of the Trust
In recent years it has become more profitable for land owners to sell their land to unscrupulous "land banking" organisations rather than use it for agricultural purposes. These land banking companies typically buy agricultural land in areas where there is little chance of getting permission for building development and then split the land into large numbers of small "building plots" to sell to unwary investors.
This happened to a large 14 acre field in Bryants Bottom which was purchased from the local land owner and split into 90 plots to be sold on the internet. As Bryants Bottom is in the Green Belt and the Chilterns area of outstanding natural beauty, there would be no chance of purchasers being able to get planning permission to build their dream property in the Chilterns. However, many people, unaware of the situation, bought plots as an investment for the future.
Regardless of the fact that development would not be possible, it was still unnerving for the local community to know that developers owned the field behind their houses and that the rare Chiltern grassland was being allowed to turn into scrubland. So, a number of residents decided that the best safeguard against this was to form a Trust that would purchase any available land, that it deemed at risk, and to hold it in perpetuity for the benefit of the village.
This Trust was legally constituted in March 2011 under the name Bryants Bottom Community Trust Limited. Its aim is "to secure indefinitely the natural, undeveloped state of the land adjoining Bryants Bottom Road, to the east and west of the road falling between the Bryants Bottom village signs at the northern and southern ends of the village, and to maintain the openness of such land for the benefit of the community of Bryants Bottom."
Every homeowner or occupier in Bryants Bottom, or their spouse/partner, is entitled to become a Member of the Trust and decide upon the future actions of the Trust.
In January of 2012 the Trust converted from a Private Limited Company (Ltd) to a Community Interest Company (C.I.C.). Since its inception the Trust has managed to acquire approximately 40% of the field in question and has been supportive of the successful action to include the land in the register of Town or Village Greens.