Community led housing guide: a route to better planning for communities and neighbourhoods in England

Community led housing guide: a route to better planning for communities and neighbourhoods in England

A planner’s guide to help local authorities support more community led housing development has been launched. The guide has been written in partnership with the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and has also been endorsed by the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA), National Community Land Trust Network (NCLTN) and Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE).

The development of the guide has been funded by Nationwide Foundation. It draws on examples and experience from both urban and rural Local Planning Authorities to show how Local Plan policy and development management practice can support CLH delivery, as well as how it can be promoted through Neighbourhood Plans.

The number of community led housing groups forming has risen sharply in the past five years. There are currently 87,000 people involved in community led housing groups producing a potential pipeline of 15,000 homes. A £163m Community Housing Fund was opened by Government in July 2018.

Community led housing (CLH) are homes that are built, controlled and owned by the community and includes community land trusts, cohousing and housing co-operatives.

Leah Swain, Chief Executive of Community First Yorkshire, who commissioned the Guide, said: “It was apparent from work in North Yorkshire and other areas that there was a gap between the ambition to provide community led housing and knowledge amongst planners. This Guide fills that gap.  It is written to be relevant to planners working in both rural and urban areas, but will also be will also be helpful to other professionals, particularly those coming to community led housing from a housing or Neighbourhood Planning perspective.”

Victoria Hills, Chief Executive at the Royal Town Planning Institute, added: “The community led housing movement may be small at the moment, but major growth is underway and planners need to be ready for this. We hope this document will inspire more planners to explore how community led housing could benefit their areas. And show them how they can support it through proactive development management and plan making.”

Samantha Jones, Head of Community Led Homes Programme, commented: “With budgets stretched, local governments are looking for innovative ways to solve local housing problems and help neighbourhoods thrive — community led housing is one of these ways. A third of councils of all political colours have used either policy, grants or land disposals to help community projects to succeed. With the help of this guide we hope to see even more councils working community led housing into their strategies.”

Copies of the Guide are available to download for free here

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