Ferring, West Sussex – using Community Right to Build Orders

Ferring Parish Council started a Neighbourhood Plan so that they could have more control over local development – especially over where new houses were to be built.

Local people particularly wanted to avoid developers building on their one area of remaining green space, so they used a series of Community Right to Build Orders within their Neighbourhood Plan to make an ambitious idea possible.

They wanted to release two plots of land they already owned and use them to build houses for older people and first time buyers. These plots were the village hall site and the local allotments site. But the loss of these amenities posed a problem, and even though the existing hall was old and in need of attention, building a new one seemed to be too expensive to contemplate.

They solved the problem by using three Community Right to Build Orders. Two were used to grant permission for housing on the village hall and allotments sites, and one was used to allow the building of a new hall a little further down the road. The parish council was supported by planning and architecture consultants RCOH Ltd to develop their Community Right to Build Orders and their Neighbourhood Plan. When the community voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Orders at a local referendum, the necessary planning permissions were automatically granted without the Parish Council having to apply to the planning authority.

The value of the Parish Council’s two sites was significantly raised thanks to the new planning permissions – and by selling off the land as building sites, enough capital will be raised to build a new community hall and buy some more land for allotments.

Ferring’s Community Right to Build Orders were the first three to be passed in the whole country.

Note: Community Right to Build Orders do not have to form part of a Neighbourhood Plan and can be used separately.