Community-led Buildings

These are the frequently asked questions for community-led buildings.

We have separated these questions out into three categories:

– The community-led building process.


Note: The Community-led Buildings grant programme has now closed. We are no longer accepting applications.

The community-led building process

What are Community Right to Build Orders?

Communities can now decide what should be built in their communities and where. A Community Right to Build Order allows you to achieve automatic planning permission for community buildings without having to apply to the council in the normal way. Instead, the community holds a local referendum to decide whether projects such as community centres, playgrounds or affordable housing should be given planning consent.

A Community Right to Build order forms one of the neighbourhood planning tools introduced in the Localism Act 2011.  It can be used to grant outline or full planning permission for a specific development and can be produced at the same time as a neighbourhood plan, or separately.

A particular advantage of using Community Right to Build is that where a community organisation decides to also undertake the development, any profit generated by the project must stay within the community.  So buildings constructed by the community organisation can only be disposed of, improved or developed in a way that benefits the community.

Read more about the process and apply for funding

Can the Community Right to Build be used for the redevelopment, renovation or conversion of an existing building?

Only if that conversion or redevelopment requires planning permission.

Does a successful Community Right to Build order actually allow us to build?

Yes, but only if the land in question is under your ownership or control. It is essentially a planning consent.