The goal of The Place Station is to make the most out of public and private sector buildings and land not currently being used, with the intent of benefiting “social and community entrepreneurs” hoping to transform their area.
Where locations have fallen into disuse or been abandoned, the Place Station basically wants to reverse the trend and give them a purpose. The Localism Act of 2011 by the Government has greatly helped supplement the idea, giving the community the “Right to Bid” for council owned locations around the UK. The council then are obliged to consider and respond to the request, which must come from a voluntary or community body, a charitable group or trust, a parish council, or two or more employees of the local authority responsible for the service delivery.
The majority of reclaimed locations have so far, been in London, but there are others across the U.K. For example, the 700 club in Darlington now provides a range of temporary accommodation and support for homeless individuals, families who are homeless, people in need of help, hardship or distress. Touchstone in Leeds offers services to people experiencing mental health difficulties and their carers.
There are a number of other websites, such as My Community Rights which emphasise the opportunities afforded by the reclamation of these sites. If they come up for sale, and your group has made an application via the Localism Act, your right under the act comes into play and you will have 6 months to prepare a bid to compete to buy it.
So if you’ve been driving past the same building every day for the last few years, and never seen someone use it; and if you feel you’ve an idea for what it could be used for effectively – then you could say, this website... is the place to be.
Written by the honorable Ethan Loughrey
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