Policy

Giving people more power over what happens in their neighbourhood

Supporting detail:

Community Right to Build

The Community Right to Build allows local communities to undertake small-scale, site-specific, community-led developments.

The new powers give communities the freedom to build new homes, shops, businesses or facilities where they want them, without going through the normal planning application process.

To get the go-ahead, the proposals must:

  • have the agreement of more than 50% of local people that vote through a community referendum
  • meet some minimum requirements (for example, they should generally be in line with national planning policies and strategic elements of the local plan)

Members of the community will need to set themselves up as a corporate body with the purpose of furthering the social, economic and environmental well-being of the local community. The developments would then be managed by this corporate body. Any benefits from any development which come to the body must be retained or used for the benefit of the community.

While it will be for communities themselves to identify suitable land, sources of finance and secure local agreement for their proposals, the government is funding a package of support to help communities that want to use the right.

We’ve created a new fund to assist community groups with the costs of using the right, run by the Homes and Communities Agency. The fund is worth £17.5 million over 3 years, and is for schemes in England excluding London where separate arrangements are in place.

Alongside the funding support, we’ve also launched a new support hub called My Community Rights managed by Locality. This gives a variety of guidance and practical advice to community groups wishing to use the right.

The Community Right to Build forms part of the neighbourhood planning provisions contained in the Localism Act 2011. It became law on 6 April 2012 as part of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations.

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