Local Authority

Approaching Local Authorities - Top Tips


If you are having trouble finding a suitable site for your community growing group,  or if you have already found a site but are not sure who owns it,  then approaching your local authority is a good starting point as they often control or own disused land.  However, it can be daunting to approach such a big institution and hard to know where to start or even who to ask. The following top tips will help you get started.


Useful Link: Asset Transfer Unit

The Asset Transfer Unit (ATU) is part of Locality and was established to promote and support community asset transfer. Put simply, asset transfer is a shift in management and/or ownership of land or buildings, from public bodies, (most commonly local authorities), to communities, (community and voluntary sector groups, community enterprises, social enterprises, etc).


CLAS Advisory: What Landowners Want From Land Users

Landowners may be more willing to offer land to your group if you can demonstrate that you are able to act on a potential landowner's main needs, aims and concerns.  Finding out what these key needs, aims and concerns are will help you when negotiating with the landowner.  The following Advisory document, written by CLAS, gives more information on this important topic.

What Landowners Want From Land Users



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.


Leases: Meanwhile Leases

The Meanwhile Project, a partnership with Locality that has now unfortunately ended, promoted the temporary use of land for gardening and food growing as well as the use of vacant shops, offices and warehouses for “pop-up” enterprises.  The project developed a number of 'meanwhile leases'. Although these were called “meanwhile” they are actually suitable for more permanent occupation from 1 year to 99+years.

FAQs: Landowners

These Frequently Asked Questions cover issues about community land use which will be of interest to private landowners, local councils, businesses and institutions. You can download the FAQ document using the link below.

Land Landowners: Frequently Asked Questions (England and Wales version)

Landowners: Frequently Asked Questions (Scotland version)



Subscribe to RSS - Local Authority


© Community Land Advisory Service 2018