The Localism Act was given Royal Assent on 15th November 2011. This Act is designed to shift power from central government back into the hands of individuals, communities and councils.
One of the five key measures introduced by the Act is Community Rights. These are:
Right to challenge - this allows certain community groups to bid to run a local service. Groups need to submit a written expression of interest. Authorities must consider and respond to expressions of interest which, if accepted will trigger a procurement exercise for that service. The challenging body will then participate, alongside others. This came into force on 27th June 2012
Right to bid - this gives community groups a chance to prepare and bid to buy community buildings and facilities that are important to them. It came into force on 21st September 2012.
Right to build - this enables local people to bring forward small scale, site specific, community-led developments. Development proposals will need to meet minimum criteria and have the agreement of more than 50 percent of local people that vote through a community referendum. In order to be able to use the right, members of a community will need to set themselves up as a corporate body with the purpose of furthering the social, economic and environmental well being of the local community. This came into force on 6th April 2012. Visit the Community and Local Government website for more information.
Right to build - this allows communities to shape new developments by coming together to prepare neighbourhood plans. Once written the plan will be independently examined and put to a referendum of local people for approval. This came into force on 6th April 2012.
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