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Community Right to Build

What is it?

The Community Right to Build enables a small scale development of community facilities or housing to be built to meet a local need.  The development cannot increase the size of the community by more than 10% over a 10 year period.  A 'Community Right to Build' organisation creates a Community Right to Build Order which effectively means it takes on the role of property developer. 

Who can exercise the Right?

Community Right to Build must be exercised by a ‘body corporate’ (This simply means that the organisation is a legal entity: is recognised in law and therefore has the legal capacity to enter into agreements or contracts, assume obligations, incur and pay debts, sue and be sued in its own right, and can be held responsible for its actions).  A parish council is a body corporate. There are many forms of body corporate and RCCE can help you determine the most appropriate for you.

How is the Right exercised?

The 'Community Right to Build' organisation must determine the boundaries of the neighbourhood that has an interest in the proposed development: the process must take place in a defined area.  An application must therefore be made to the local authority to approve the area as a ‘neighbourhood’, and this must be made by a parish council or neighbourhood forum as set out in the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations .  The 'Community Right to Build' organisation engages with residents, businesses, landowners and developers in the neighbourhood area to draw up development proposals. The proposals must pass an independent examination and a referendum in order to become a Community Right to Build Order. 

Further Guidance about the Community Right to Build process is available from HM Government and from Locality 

Is funding available?

'Seed corn' funding is available from the Homes & Communities Agency.  A total fund of £17.5 million is available (to March 2015) for preparation of Community Right to Build Order.

What to include in a Community Led Plan

A Community Led Plan can ascertain if there is any appetite in your community for small scale development that would provide additional community facilities.

Include questions on the following in your surveys and other community engagement activities: 
  • The need for affordable housing in the neighbourhood area.
  • The scale of additional development that would be supported by the community.
  • The style and type of additional housing that would be supported by the community.
  • The need and support for improved community facilities (extensions or new buildings).
  • The need and support for commercial development.
  • Potential locations for small scale development. 
  • Seek out volunteers to work on a community right to build order.
To find out how RCCE can assist with your Community Led Plan contact Sarah Sapsford