Community Rights

Community Rights main

Your community is in your hands!

The Localism Act 2012 gave powers known as Community Rights to the local community which enables them to potentially bid for, own or manage a local asset such as land or buildings.

What does this mean for your community?

This means it gives you a greater say over how your community develops. It can help you to save local shops, pubs, libraries, parks and football grounds.

You can decide what is built and how the area should develop. Groups of people have the chance to deliver local services and develop them into community enterprises. The four community rights are:

  • Neighbourhood Plans aim to give communities more say about what can be built in their area. Neighbourhood planning powers give people the chance to decide how their local area should develop and what should be built. You have the chance to choose where you want new homes, shops and offices to be built.
  • Community Right to Build enables the community to build small-scale, site specific projects without going through the normal planning process.
  • The Right to Bid gives communities the opportunity to bid to buy and run valued local amenities if they come onto the open market. This means land or buildings can more easily be retained specifically for community use.
  • The Right to Challenge is designed to give local groups the opportunity to express their interest in taking over a local service where they think they can do it better or differently.

Where to start?

See our FREE resources listed on the right-hand side of this page

How can Smart Communities help?

Our Smart Communities team has a wealth of experience working with communities to undertake meaningful, inclusive & robust consultation work with communities on a variety of issues such as neighbourhood plans, community plans, village shops and community buildings.

As an independent organisation, our consultations and surveys can provide you with the evidence that your community needs to demonstrate the demand for something new in your community – an essential tool when making big funding applications.

Our Smart Communities team can also support parish and town councils to take action, helping with guidance on legal structures and governance, business planning, funding for projects, peer support and signposting.