How to develop a Community Right to Build Order

These are the key steps to developing a Community Right to Build Order to construct or rebuild community buildings such as a community centre or undertake community-led housing.

Decide on the area relevant for your project (the ‘neighbourhood area’)

If the site or area that you want your Community Right to Build Order to apply to is already in a designated neighbourhood area, then you don’t need to apply again for a neighbourhood area to be designated. Your local planning authority will be able to tell you whether the area has been designated. If it hasn’t been designated, you can apply to your local planning authority. Guidance on this can be found in the Government’s planning guidance.  This becomes the minimum area in which people will be eligible to vote at the referendum.   If you are not a parish or town council then you will need to demonstrate that the majority of members of your organisation live in the neighbourhood area.

Carry out good quality publicity and consultation

Make sure you give appropriate time and opportunities for everyone to put forward their views on the project. You will ultimately need to reach a separate legal agreement with the owner of the land or buildings you want to develop, so this is a good time to investigate that too.

Submitting to the local authority

Present your proposals in the form of a Community Right to Build Order and submit it – and the other required documents – to your local planning authority for independent examination. An independent examiner checks to make sure the proposal is legal and that it meets certain rules and regulations. If it does, it will be approved.


Your local authority will then arrange a local referendum. They will bear the cost. If over 50 per cent of those voting support the Order, your local planning authority will make it (bring it into force) and you will not have to seek a traditional planning permission. No building work can actually start though, until your agreement with the landowner is reached. (Land and building owners are not compelled to agree to your proposals.

A successful Community Right to Build Order results in planning permission for development consistent with the Order. An order may be used to grant outline or full consent. If it grants outline consent, there would still be reserved matters applications to consider. Other consents, such as building regulations, must be applied for separately.

Step by step to the Community Right to Build