East Cambs DC Supplementary Planning Guidance

East Cambridgeshire District Council has drawn up a list of criteria for grass roots community-led housing organisations as part of its Community-led Development Supplementary Planning Document to its Local Plan. The Council’s starting point is that all genuinely community-led housing schemes will be supported, even on some sites where planning permission would not normally be granted. The expectation is that each organisation should be able to demonstrate:

  • That it is representative of the local community – this might be evidenced by the number and type of local members of the organisation, petitions, letters of support etc. Also evidence that all members of the local community have been encouraged to become members and/or play an active part in its work
  • That it has a democratic structure – the local community are able to be involved in the activities and decisions of the organisation, and there is a committee which is representative of the local community with a balanced decision-making process
  • That it is controlled by the local community – the local community are able to influence the strategic direction of the organisation through election onto a local board of management. Where there are professional partner groups involved it will be important to demonstrate that the local community group leads on the major decisions and has appropriate control of matters
  • That it has a clear communication strategy – to ensure effective communication with the community, providing information on the purpose of its work, scheme progress and activities and clear feedback on decisions that are made
  • That it has clear management policies and procedures in place – particularly to deal with conflicts of interest on decisions around allocation of resources
  • That it avoids any suggestion of financial impropriety – its local board of management acts solely in a voluntary capacity in the best interest of the organisation
  • That it is not-for-profit – any profits generated by the organisation cannot be paid by way of dividend or otherwise to its members but must be used to further the community’s interests
  • That it can demonstrate that the proposal has been ‘initiated and led’ by the local organisation. This is particularly important where a partner organisation is involved
  • That it is able to provide evidence of organisational structure. This may include a constitution or rules of the organisation, codes of conduct, membership policies, governance and decision-making policies, evidence from community engagement and local publicity (newsletters, websites, evidence from workshops, meetings, questionnaires and events), to accompany any planning application

For more information see the East Cambs District Council site here


Published in March 2018