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Community Right to Build

The Community Right to Build aims to give local communities the power to decide what is built in their area. Where developments for new buildings such as community centres on or next to allotments or parks, have the agreement of the local area through a 'community referendum', and meet a minimum criterion, communities will not need to go through the normal planning application process. This will give communities the freedom to decide how to meet the local priorities in their area, and allow new homes, shops, businesses or community facilities to be built where they want them.

Communities would be able to decide the type of developments they want to see, and the benefits would be retained for the community - managed by a corporate body formed by members of the local community. Whilst it will be for communities to identify suitable land, sources of finance and secure support for their proposals, there will be help and guidance available, and advice from people who already have experience of taking forward community-led schemes. For more information, visit the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government website.

To ensure that communities can effectively utilise the Community Rights contained in the Localism Act 2011, there is a package of support to help groups who want to use the new rights. This includes the provision of information, tailored advice, guidance and funding to help community groups navigate and exercise the rights.

Neighbourhood planning provisions

Neighbourhood Planning provisions in the Act provide communities with a means to boost the amount of space for food growing or leisure and recreational activities with powers to protect existing green spaces and identify other land that could be used for the community. A referendum at the end of the process ensures communities have the final say on whether a neighbourhood development plan or development order comes into force in their area. For more information about how neighbourhood planning will work, visit GOV.UK or view how impact assessments will be assessed.

Community Led Project Support

In March 2013, the Housing Minister, Mark Prisk announced funding, originally earmarked for communities seeking to achieve planning permission via a Community Right to Build Order would be expanded to also cover community groups who want to submit a planning application, but who need some help to achieve this. All community groups in England (outside Greater London) are invited to apply for a share of the £14m fund which is being made available to help groups to formally establish, build up their development proposals and submit a either a Community Right to Build Order or a planning application.

The Community Led Project Support funding programme is a revenue funding programme which helps communities to achieve their development ambitions for their local area. The fund will provide revenue funding to help community groups to build their capacity to either submit a Community Right to Build order, which is an alternative way for communities to deliver the development they want – be it homes, shops, businesses or facilities – where the benefits of the development will be retained by the community for the community, or to apply for planning permission.

Communities interested in applying for support have the choice of applying for funding through two different routes:

Community Right to Build – provides support for community groups who want to submit an application for a Community Right to Build Order as an alternative to achieving planning permission by submitting an application for planning permission.

Planning Application Route – provides support for community groups seeking to achieve planning permission through a planning application.

Applying for funding

Any community group or parish council can seek to access the funding provided that they have constituted a formal organisation that meets certain basic standards. Community groups that are considering applying for either a Community Right to Build Order or submitting a planning application are encouraged to first discuss their proposals with the Community Led Project Support Hub.

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