People of Newham to have real say on developing neighbourhoods

Communities to get voice on housing, shops and facilities

Newham communities are promised a bigger and more influential say on the future of their neighbourhoods.

In launching the new Community Right to Build proposals, now before MPs, housing minister Grant Shapps has called on communities to start laying the foundations for the future developments they would like to see in their area and to start looking at the opportunities that the proposals could offer them.

The scheme has been extended so that all communities benefit from the new homes, shops and facilities they really want.

The change, he said, will shift power from government and councils to neighbourhoods and allow people to deliver the homes and development that they really want.

To kick off the discussions the minister launched a guide that gives people an idea about what the new powers could mean for their area and encourages them to think about the sort of community-led development they want to see.

Local developments will not go through the normal planning application process, as long as the proposals meet certain criteria and there is community backing in a local referendum.

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This gives communities the power to decide how to meet the local priorities in their area. For example additional housing to meet the demand of future generations, new shops where communities want to offer low rent deals to local convenience stores or farm shops, or a new community hall or sports facilities.

Mr Shapps said: “I want communities of all shapes and sizes, living in the smallest of villages and the largest of cities, to have the chance to drive forward their own plans for the future of their neighbourhoods without being hindered by bureaucracy and red tape.

“Whether these communities are living in an urban area or a countryside setting, it should give them the pointers they need so they can lay the foundations for making their housebuilding dreams a reality.”

The online leaflet, The Community Right to Build: An Opportunity in the Making is at: