The Government is asking for feedback on its plans to make it easier for communities to buy underused land and derelict buildings for affordable housing and other community spaces.
The ‘Right to Regenerate’ proposals put forward:
- Proposals for the public to have first right of refusal to purchase underused land
- Land to be sold by default, unless compelling reason not to
- Making it easier for the public to transform vacant land and derelict buildings into homes or community spaces
The National CLT Network has been feeding into discussions ahead of the consultation, including lobbying for a “first right of refusal” for communities which has been included. We welcome the plans so long as they recognise the importance of social value in the price of land and the benefits of disposal.
In late 2019 the Network launched its manifesto, which called on the government to introduce a Community Right to Buy to give CLTs first refusal on land and buildings and to be able to secure land at an affordable price.
There is a desperate need for high-quality affordable housing across the country. CLTs and the wider community led housing movement has plans to develop 23,000 homes in the coming years. These projects bring significant benefits to the communities they serve.
Bristol is a hotbed for community led housing. Bristol City Council is a keen supporter of the movement and has, and is, developing solid relationships with many National CLT Network members. Last year the Council approved an innovative community-led land disposal policy — part of its commitment to easing the barriers community groups face when trying to secure land.We’d like to see many more councils take this proactive approach, and where they don’t the stronger Right to Regenerate proposals could be helpful.
Tom Chance, Chief Executive of the National Community Land Trust Network, said:
“We welcome these plans that could help communities to turn abandoned and neglected land and buildings into fantastic community assets.
“There are hundreds of community land trusts across the country wanting to build much needed affordable housing, but getting hold of land at an affordable price is a huge barrier. The potential for communities to be given first right of refusal could be a gamechanger.
“But we wouldn’t want to see social housing lost, and will be urging the Government to ensure social value is considered when setting the price of any land and buildings sold.
“We encourage everyone to read through the proposals and respond to the consultation.”
The National CLT Network will share its own response with our members shortly. The consultation closes for responses on 13 March 2021.