In the month of radio-silence here at Ruralise following the end of FANN-XI there was a little flurry of publications in connection with the Community Right to Build. Most interesting of these is a set of proposed Neighbourhood Planning Regulations, published for consultation by the Department for Communities and Local Government. The Regulations give more-detailed guidance on:
- The designation of a ‘Neighbourhood Area’;
- The constitution of and process for setting up a Neighbourhood Forum;
- The necessary content of a Neighbourhood Plan; how they must be consulted on, publicised and determined by the Local Authority, and procedures for modifying or revoking them.
Part 4 gives some important information about Community Right to Build organisations:
(a) individuals who live or work in the particular area must have the opportunity to become members of the community organisation (whether or not others can also become members);
(b) the constitution of the community organisation must provide that—
(i) individuals who live in the particular area control at least 51% of its voting rights;
(ii) one of its objectives is to provide a benefit for the local community;
(iii) any assets of the community organisation cannot be sold or developed except in a manner which the trust’s members consider benefits the local community;
(iv) any profits from its activities will be used to benefit the local community (otherwise than by being paid directly to members);
(v) in the event of the winding up of the community organisation or in any other circumstances where the community organisation ceases to exist, its assets must be transferred to another body corporate which has similar objectives; and
(vi) the organisation has at least 5 members, who are not related to each other, who live in the particular area.
Part 7 sets out the arrangements by which a Community Right to Build Order can expunge enfranchisement rights from homes within the development, to ensure that lease-hold properties can be kept available to the CRTB without being ‘bought out’ by their leaseholders.