Waveney Local Plan

Built Community Services and Facilities

221 Tramway Hotel8.111 To help retain community facilities, community groups can nominate non-residential buildings or land within their communities which is important to them as 'assets of community value'. Once an asset is listed, if the owner of the asset decides to sell, within five years of the listing, they must inform the local authority of their intention to do so. The community then has up to six weeks to express an interest in becoming potential bidders to buy the asset. Once an expression of interest has been received, a further four and a half month pause in the sale process is triggered. This gives potential bidders a total of six months to raise the funds required to purchase the asset. At the end of the period, the owner may sell it to whoever and at whatever price they choose. However, the listing of an asset does not provide protection against a change of use or redevelopment of the land or buildings. This can mean the value of the asset is greater due to its potential to be converted to non-community uses. This can frustrate the ability of the community to raise sufficient funds to purchase the asset. Therefore Policy WLP8.22 gives strong protection to these assets from changes of use and redevelopment proposals.

8.112 There is a need to also provide a level of protection to community services and facilities which have not been identified as assets of community value. These facilities could still be important to members of the community and help enhance the sustainability of a locality. However, there is a need for flexibility to allow the change of use or redevelopment in certain circumstances such as a lack of community need, lack of viability or reprovision of the building in an equally or more accessible location.

8.113 In demonstrating that there is no community need for the facility or an alternative community use, evidence should be submitted with a planning application which provides details of consultation with the local community and an analysis of service provision in the locality which demonstrates that accessibility to similar services and facilities will not be adversely affected.

8.114 In demonstrating that the community service or facility is not viable in its current use or an alternative community use, applicants will need to provide evidence that premises have been marketed in a manner agreed with the Council for at least 12 months for the current use or alternative community use facility in line with the requirements in Appendix 6. The evidence will need to clearly show there has been no interest in continued use as a community facility.

8.115 It should be noted that the General Permitted Development Order 2015 allows for some changes of use to take place without the need for planning permission. For public houses, these permitted development rights are removed when they are designated assets of community value. Policy WLP8.22 applies where planning permission is required. 

 

Policy WLP8.22 - Built Community Services and Facilities

Proposals for new community services and facilities will be supported if the proposal meets the needs of the local community, is of an appropriate scale, well related to the settlement which it will serve and would not adversely affect existing facilities that are easily accessible and available to the local community.

Proposals to change the use, or redevelop for a different use, a facility registered as an asset of community value will not be permitted.

Proposals to change the use or redevelop for a different use existing built community facilities which are not registered as an asset of community value will only be permitted if:

  • It can be demonstrated there is no community need for the facility and the building or site is not needed for an alternative community use on site; or
  • It can be demonstrated that the current, or an alternative community use is not viable and marketing evidence is provided which demonstrates the premises have been marketed for a sustained period of 12 months in accordance with the requirements set out in Appendix 6; or
  • Development would involve the provision of an equivalent or better replacement community facility either on site or in an appropriate alternative location in the vicinity that is well integrated into the community and has equal or better accessibility than the existing facility which meets the needs of the local population.