Community Right To Bid

Community Right To Bid

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The Council is required to maintain a list of assets of community value which can include either land or buildings which are determined to be Assets of Community Value following the exercise of the Community Right to Bid,

What is an Asset of Community Value?

Under the Localism Act the Council is required to maintain a list of ‘community assets’ which can include either land or buildings.  The building or land is likely to be considered an asset of community value if:

1.  - its actual current use furthers the social well-being and interests of the local community, or a use in the recent past has done so, and
  - that the use is not ancillary to another purpose, and
- for land in current community use it is realistic to think that there will continue to be a use which furthers the social well-being and interests
or

2. - for land in community use in the recent past it is realistic to think that there will be community use within the next 5 tears (in either case,  whether or not that use is exactly the same as the present or past), and
- It does not fall within one of the exemptions.  The exemptions are set out in Schedule 1 to the Assets of Community Value (England) Regulations and  include privately owned residential property and land (although land can be listed if an otherwise eligible building is partly used as a residence),  temporarily unoccupied residences, holiday lets and caravan sites. 

Social interests’ are defined in the Act as including cultural, recreational and sporting interests.

In determining whether a nominated community asset should be listed, the Council will take all relevant matters into consideration.

 

What is the effect of inclusion of the Asset on the Council’s register?

The provisions give communities a right to identify a building or other land that they believe to be of importance to their community’s social well-being.  The aim is that, if the asset comes up for sale, then they will be given a fair chance to make a bid to buy it on the open market.  The scheme only applies when the asset is being put up for sale and there is no requirement for the owner of the asset to sell it. It is not a community right to buy the asset, just to bid.  

The Council must add details of any community interest group that wishes to be treated as a potential buyer of an asset to its list of assets of community value within 6 weeks of receiving the request; and must remove the entry if an appeal against the listing is successful.

Once an asset is included on the register nothing further will happen unless and until the owner decides to dispose of the asset, either through a freehold sale, or the grant or assignment of a lease, granted for at least twenty-five years.  

Listing of a property as a Community Asset is a Local Land Charge.  A non-compliant disposal of property is ineffective from the outset (i.e. void). The effect of this will be that the ownership of the land has not changed hands.

Unless the proposed disposal falls within an exemption (for example transfer made by gift, transfer within a family, transfer due to inheritance or transfer where the listed community asset forms part of a larger estate) the owner will only be able to dispose of the asset once the following steps have been completed:  

 1.    In an interim period of six weeks community interest groups will have the opportunity to express a written intention to bid.   If no group expresses a written intention to bid in this period, the owner is free to sell their asset.

2.    If a community interest group does express an intention to bid during this interim period, then a six month moratorium applies during which they can prepare a bid.  At the end of the 6 month moratorium the asset owner retains all their usual rights to dispose of their asset as they wish.  Thereafter no further opportunity to bid is available to community interest groups for a protected period of 18 months. 

3.    Where a community group wishes to purchase a community asset and is able to pay the price determined by the owner, the owner will have the option of disposing of the community asset to that group without waiting until the end of the moratorium to do so.

Who can make an Application to add an asset to the register?

 “Community assets” can be nominated by a voluntary or community body with a local connection.   A voluntary or community body cannot be a local authority but the definition includes — 

             (a) a body designated as a neighbourhood forum pursuant to section 61F of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990(1);

(b) a parish council;

(c)  an unincorporated body—

(i)whose members include at least 21 individuals, and

(ii)which does not distribute any surplus it makes to its members;

(d) a charity; 

(e) a company limited by guarantee which does not distribute any surplus it makes to its members;

(f)  an industrial and provident society which does not distribute any surplus it makes to its members; or

(g) a community interest company. 

What should be included in a Community Nomination?

A community nomination, should include:

·         a description of the nominated land and its boundaries

·         the names of the occupants of the land and those holding a freehold or leasehold estate in the land

·         the reasons why the land should be considered of community value

·         evidence that the nominator is eligible to make a community nomination

A form for completion by qualifying applicants can be downloaded here

What happens when an application is made?

The Council must decide within eight weeks whether to include a community nomination in the list.   When an application is received the owner, other interested parties and Local Ward Members/Area Committee are consulted and must respond within 6 weeks.

If the asset is included on the list the Council is required to notify the owner(s), occupier, nominator(s) and other interested parties of the outcome.

The Council is required to maintain a list of unsuccessful community nominations so as to provide transparency, and deter repeat nominations.  Successful outcomes will  be retained on the Local Land Charges register.

 

Does the owner have a right of review or appeal against a decision?

The Council is required to provide a right of review to the owner against inclusion of an asset on the register. The owner will have 8 weeks from notification of the inclusion of the asset on the register to request a review.  The review must be completed within 8 weeks (unless otherwise agreed with the owner). The owner has the right to request an oral hearing and to be represented.

If after a review the Council decides to continue to include the asset on the register, the owner  may appeal against the decision to the First-Tier tribunal. This is an independent tribunal managed independently of the Council.

Is Compensation payable?

Compensation may be paid to an owner of land, other than a public authority, who has incurred loss or expense in relation to the land which would not have been the case if it had not been listed.

Any claim for compensation must be made to the local authority within 13 weeks of the end of the interim or full moratorium period.   The owner may request a review of a decision relating to compensation by the Local Authority.  There is a subsequent right of appeal to the First Tier Tribunal.

HM Courts & Tribunals Service
First-Tier Tribunal 
3rd Floor, Temple Court
35 Bull Street
Birmingham
B4 6EQ