Rural communities urged to plan for their future

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RURAL communities are being urged to plan for their future, by seizing new opportunities to protect the buildings and businesses which play a vital role in local life. 

The charity, Rural Community Action Nottinghamshire, wants to raise awareness of new rights within the Localism Act and wants more villages to consider what they value and what their future needs are.

Local campaigners struggling to save their pub, village shop, or the conversion of a former school into housing, feature often in the media, but few are aware that there is need for action now, by using the Localism Act to register assets with the local authority.

Under the 2011 Localism Act, local authorities (i.e. unitary or district council) are required to maintain a list of assets of community value and communities are able to nominate the assets which are important to them.  When listed assets come up for sale or change of ownership, community groups will have time to develop a bid and raise the money to buy the asset when it comes on the open market.  This will help local communities keep much-loved sites in public use and part of local life.

Rob Crowder, Chief Executive at Rural Community Action Nottinghamshire, said “Our recent research has shown that there are very few registered assets with local authorities across Nottinghamshire and few people know about the process.

“Rural communities need to start talking to their local authority about places they value: there are many treasured and important buildings which need including on these registers”.

So, if you love your local pub, if you rely on your village shop, now’s the time to act.

The new laws give communities the chance to nominate the assets that matter to them and shape where they live – so don’t miss out! If you want to talk about registering something in your area, contact RCAN on 01623 727600 or email: - jkirkwood@rcan.org.uk