With all the speculation over what may or may not happen to the planning system in the government’s proposed Economic Regeneration Bill it is important not to forget the Localism Act. On the 21st September the Community Right to Bid came into force.
Under the Localism Act, parish councils and other local and community and voluntary groups can draw up a list of local community assets in public or private ownership. This list can include everything from pubs to open space and is then managed by your local authority. If the owner of the designated asset wants to sell, it is then subject to a 6 month moratorium period. This does not give a community group the automatic right to the best price on the asset – but it does give groups time to work up a proposal and raise the necessary capital before the asset is released onto the open market.
Naturally, we think it’s well worth considering your existing woodland and open spaces for planting when drawing up your local list and we’d encourage you to look into this. One of the best ways of protecting woodland you care about from inappropriate development is to bring it into community ownership where everyone can enjoy and appreciate it. It also offers a good way of securing land for future tree planting.
If you would like to know more about this new power please have a look at the Department for Communities and Local Government website where the full details can be found.
Where are the natural assets in your community?
Victoria Bankes Price, planning adviser