Planning Reform Advisory (England)

Since Autumn 2011, there have been several major reforms to the planning system in England, primarily through the Localism Act and the introduction of the National Planning Policy Framework. This document gives a simple overview of the changes the fresh opportunities now available to benefit community growing projects. Please note this document is applicable to England only.


Planning: Section 106 Agreements

Section 106 Agreements are a piece of planning legislation which can be used to bring benefits to local communities as a result of development of a piece of land, which can include the creation of a community green space.


Finding Land: Site Features Checklist

Before you can decide whether a site or land agreement is suitable for your group, you need to plan what you will use the land for, both now and in the future. This checklist will help you prepare for your land search and for the agreement with the land owner. Tell the landowner what you expect to build and what you think your requirements will be. Make sure essential items are permitted in the lease.

Site Features Checklist



Buying Land: Community Owned Farms

This document has useful information, based on the experience of Fordhall Community Land Initiative in Shropshire, about buying land, tenancy issues etc

Setting Up And Running A Community Owned Farm



Planning: Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations

If you are considering a new community growing project, or expanding your current project, you may need to do an Environmental Impact Assessment, particularly if this is on previously uncultivated or semi-natural areas, or projects that physically alter rural land holdings.

Projects on uncultivated land, or semi-natural areas that increase its productivity for agriculture. The types of work covered will include


Planning: ACRE - Community-Led Planning Toolkit

Community Led Planning (CLP) is a step-by-step process in England, that enables people to participate in, and contribute to improving the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of their local area. This unique approach to community empowerment has been developed and refined in rural areas since the late 1970s, largely as a response to the gradual withdrawal of public sector services and the increasing need for communities to look after their own affairs.


Useful Link: Urban Fringe Food Report

A Making Local Food Work report outlining a range of issues for urban fringe food production. Concerned with commercial scale production but also covers community participation with an excellent section on planning issues and land access.

Urban Fringe Food Report



Useful Link: Community Rights (Localism)

The Community Rights are a set of powers which give people more control over their community, allowing them to have a say in what happens to important local amenities including open spaces, and how the area develops. It also means groups have the chance to deliver local services and develop them into community enterprises. The new Rights are contained within the 2012 Localism Act, devolving power from government to communities, local authorities and individuals. There is information on community right to bid, buy, challenge and on neighbourhood planning.


Planning: Planning Aid England

Planning Aid England is a charity that provides free and independent planning advice and support to communities and individuals, who cannot afford to pay professional fees.

08708 509 807 – Planning Advice Line



Useful Link: Ethical Property Foundation

Ethical Property Foundation

02070 650 760

The Ethical Property Foundation advises charities and community groups on property issues. Its Property Advice Service offers independent, ethical advice and training, and has helped almost 600 organisations to rent, buy, let or manage property since 2005.



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