Assets of Community Value

22 Feb

This little nugget of information buried on the East Devon District Council website might have gone under the radar of many people:

Assets of Community Value

Who can do what?

The Community Right to Bid (‘the Right’), which is also known as Assets of Community Value is one of the new community rights derived from the Localism Act, 2012,  all of which have a stated aim of devolving power to local communities.

The aim of the Right is to empower communities wishing to protect valuable local assets (land and buildings) by requiring the Council to maintain a list of assets in its area which are of community value, so that upon  sale, the community will have a chance to delay a sale in order to prepare a bid to buy it.

The Right does not restrict in anyway who the owner of the asset can sell his property to, or at what price and it does not confer a right of first refusal to community interest groups.

A building or land in a local authority’s area will be listed as an asset of community value if, in the opinion of East Devon District Council,:

  • current primary use of the building/land or use of the building/land in the recent past furthers the social well-being or social interests (cultural, recreational, or sporting interests) of the local community
  • it is realistic to think that now or in the next five years there could continue to be primary use of the building/land which will further the social well-being or social interests of the local community (whether or not in the same way as before)

Owners of listed assets cannot dispose of them without:

  • letting the local authority know that they intend to sell the asset or grant a lease of more than 25 years
  • waiting until the end of a six week ‘interim moratorium’ period if the local authority does not receive a request from a community interest group to be treated as a potential bidder
  • waiting until the end of a six month ‘full moratorium’ period if the local authority does receive a request from a community interest group to be treated as a potential bidder

The owner does not have to sell the asset to the community group.

There is also a ‘protected period’ (18 months from the time that the owner notified the local authority of their intention to dispose of the asset) – during this time there can be no further moratoriums.

Who can nominate?

  • Parish Councils.
  • Neighbouring Parish Councils.
  • Unicorporated Groups.  
  • Neighbourhood Forums
  • Community Interest Groups with a local connection

The Process

The Government has published an Assets of Community Value Policy Statement and Statutory Regulations, which set out statutory elements of how the Right should operate; however, they do not specify how the Right should be administered by individual local authorities.

This section of the policy statement explains our local process for operation of the Right.  The process has been developed through consultation with Legal and Property experts, Elected Members and community representatives.

The process falls into three sections:

  1. Listing
  2. Review and Appeals
  3. Sale

Forms and Guidance

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