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Community right to bid (assets of community value)

Information about the community right to buy provision in the Localism Act 2011, entitling community organisations to nominate public or private assets of community value in their local area to be included by the council on a list of assets of community value.

What is the Community Right to Bid (Assets of Community Value)?

The Community Right to Buy was introduced by the Localism Act 2011 and implemented by The Assets of Community Value (England) Regulations 2012. The act allows voluntary or community bodies to nominate a building or piece of land to be listed as an 'Asset of Community Value'. If a listed asset is put forward for disposal by the owner, community interest groups are given the opportunity to show an expression of interest.

When we receive an expression of interest a six month moratorium period is put in place during which time the asset cannot be disposed of. This period is designed to allow community interest groups the time to raise the money to bid for the asset when it comes onto the open market. However, there is no obligation for the owner to sell the asset to the community and the Right to Bid does not give first refusal to any community interest group. This means that the owner at the end of the moratorium period can sell to whomever they choose and at whatever price.

What is an Asset of Community Value?

In section 88 of the Localism Act 2011, an Asset of Community Value is described as a building or other land in a local authority's area, if in the opinion of the authority:

a) an actual current use of the building or other land that is not an ancillary use furthers the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community, and

b) it is realistic to think there can continue to be non-ancillary use of the building or other land which will further (whether or not in the same way) the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community.

A building or other land in a local authority's area that is not land of community value as a result of (a) and (b) above, is also land of community value if in the opinion of the local authority:

a) there is a time in the recent past when an actual use of the building or other land that was not ancillary use furthered the social wellbeing or interests of the local community, and

b) it is realistic to think that there is a time in the next five years when there could be non-ancillary use of the building or other land that would further (whether or not in the same way as before) the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community.

Who are voluntary or community bodies?

As described within section 5 of The Assets of Community Value (England) Regulations 2012, the following are voluntary or community bodies:

  • A body designated as a neighbourhood forum pursuant to s61F of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (non parished areas);
  • A parish council;
  • An unincorporated body whose members include at least 21 members which does not distribute any surplus it makes to its members;
  • A charity;
  • A company limited by guarantee which does not distribute any surplus it makes to its members;
  • An Industrial and Provident Society which does not distribute any surplus it makes to its members;
  • A community interest company.

What is the List of Assets of Community Value?

Section 94 of the Localism Act 2011 requires the local authority to publish a List of Assets of Community Value and a List of Unsuccessful Community Nominations that explains why the nomination was unsuccessful.

View the lists:

List of Assets of Community Value (pdf 68kb opens in new window)

List of Unsuccessful Community Assets Nominations (pdf 67kb opens in new window)

What types of asset will be considered as Assets of Community Value?

We will consider all written nominations. However, some buildings or land are excluded:

  • Land or buildings outside of the council's boundary;
  • A residence together with land connected with that residence;
  • Land in respect of which a site licence is required under Part 1 of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960;
  • Operational land as defined in section 263 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

What happens when we receive a nomination?

Once we receive a nomination, it will be checked to make sure we have all the information as described in section 6 of The Assets of Community Value (England) Regulations 2012. When accepted, we will notify the nominee, the owner and all other parties of the nomination. We then have eight weeks to make a decision as to whether the nomination meets the criteria as described within section 88 of the Localism Act 2011.

What are the owner's rights?

If the owner objects to their property being placed on the List of Assets of Community Value, the owner has eight weeks from the date of notification to ask the council to review its decision. If the owner remains in disagreement with the council after the listing has been reviewed, they have the right of appeal to an independent tribunal.

What is the six month moratorium period?

When an asset is added to the List of Assets of Community Value and the owner wishes to dispose of the asset, the owner must notify the council of their intentions. We will then give notice to the community, and community interest groups will have six weeks to submit an expression of interest to the council. On receipt of an expression of interest, we will commence a six month waiting period called a moratorium  during which time the owner cannot sell the asset. This period is designed to allow voluntary or community bodies the time to put forward a bid to purchase the asset.

Do owners have to sell a listed asset to a local community group?

No, there is no community right to buy a listed asset, just to bid. This means that the local community bid may not be the successful one. The owner at the end of the moratorium period can sell to whomever they choose and at whatever price.

How can voluntary or community bodies nominate a local asset?

We will accept all written nominations that meet the criteria as laid down within the Localism Act 2011. You may also use the nomination form:

Community asset nomination form (opens in new window)

We only collect your contact details to enable us to process your nomination. However, should you require more information on how we handle your personal data there is a general privacy notice available to refer to.

When submitting your nomination, please read our Assets of Community Value Procedure Guide to make sure you have provided all the necessary information:

Assets of Community Value Procedure Guide (pdf 237kb opens in new window)