Published: 12th Jul 2019

A new ‘planner’s guide’ for community-led housing has been published.

It draws on examples and experience from both urban and rural planning authorities to show how Local Plan policy and development management practice can support community-led housing, as well as how it can be promoted through Neighbourhood Plans.

The guide has been written in partnership with the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and has also been endorsed by the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA), National Community Land Trust Network (NCLTN) and Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE). Development of the guide has been funded by Nationwide Foundation.

The number of community-led housing groups forming has risen sharply in the past five years. There are currently 87,000 people involved in community-led housing groups producing a potential pipeline of 15,000 homes.

A £163million Community Housing Fund was opened by the government in July 2018.

Leah Swain, Chief Executive of Community First Yorkshire, who commissioned the guide, said: ‘It was apparent from work in North Yorkshire and other areas that there was a gap between the ambition to provide community-led housing and knowledge amongst planners. This Guide fills that gap.

‘It is written to be relevant to planners working in both rural and urban areas, but will also be will also be helpful to other professionals, particularly those coming to community-led housing from a housing or Neighbourhood Planning perspective.’

Copies of the guide are available to download for free here.

In May, it was revealed that a third of councils are now supporting community-led housing development.

Freedom of Information requests made to all councils in England last December by the National Community Land Trust (CLT) Network revealed that one in three councils have given grants or loans to community-led housing, while one in six has specific policies to support it.

In total, 208 public sites have been leased or sold to community-led housing groups, highlighting how authorities are looking to the sector to build new homes or bring old properties back into use.

Photo Credit – Thomas Barrett

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