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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Community Rights: shaping development and running services in your area

Community Rights and community asset transfer give local people more control about what happens in their area. Find out what they are and where to find more information.

What are Community Rights?

Community Rights website

For the latest information, available support and case studies

Community Rights give local people and groups a greater say about what happens to local amenities, how local services are delivered or how new development is planned.

Two Community Rights came into effect in April 2012:

  • Community Right to Build – giving communities the right to build small-scale, site-specific projects without going through the normal planning application process
  • neighbourhood planning – giving communities more say about what can be built in their area

Another Community Right came into force in June 2012:

  • Community Right to Challenge – giving communities the right to bid to run local council and fire and rescue authority services where they think they can do it differently and better. The Department for Communities and Local Government has published statutory guidance which explains the legislation in more detail

The Community Right to Bid is expected to come into effect in the Autumn. This will give communities the right to bid to buy and take over the running of local assets that are important to them.

Get more information on all the rights on the Community Rights website, including case studies and a list of available support.

What is community asset transfer?

Councils can help local community organisations take on responsibility for buildings or land in their area. This is called 'community asset transfer'. An 'asset' refers to a building or land. 'Asset transfer' is the change in either management or ownership (or both) of a building or land.

This gives local community organisations the chance to:

  • keep open a service that the community relies on, which might otherwise close, like a community centre, swimming pool, or library
  • bring an underused building or piece of land back into use for a new service
  • attract new investment into the area

The Asset Transfer Unit website has practical guidance that can help you through all stages of the transfer process. Your local council's property services team can also help you.

You can also get advice from websites like Community Matters and the Building Community.

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