If you’ve been keeping an eye on the Community Right to Build (CRTB) initiative, you might be forgiven for thinking it’s gone a bit quiet recently. This is partly true; the initial flurry of interest in the press following the publication of the Localism Bill in December, and its second reading at the end of January, has abated somewhat. There is also a slight shift in terminology, with the CRTB now being presented as the simplest form of the new Neighbourhood Plan process outlined in the Bill. There is still a steady stream of interest in the CRTB however.
Two recent articles confirm my view that the CRTB will not be widely used for schemes containing only affordable housing, because an established procedure for granting permission for affordable homes outside existing development boundaries already exists – in the form of the ‘rural exceptions’ policy. I made this point in response to a piece at 24Dash.com about the CRTB and social housing, and Derrick Dyas, Chairman of Warwickshire Rural Housing Association agreed (read the article and our comments here).
This piece from InsideHousing.co.uk presents a project for 12 self-built affordable homes in St Minver, Cornwall, in the context of the Community Right to Build – but it is worth pointing out that this proto-typical CRTB scheme happened before the CRTB, under a rural exceptions policy. If a community can bring forward a proposal containing only affordable homes based on a demonstrated local need, and they have even secured a site, I can’t yet see why they would need to use the CRTB.