The Localism Act 2011, which came in to effect on 21 September 2012, has created a provision allowing defined community groups, including Parish Councils, to ask their Local Authority to list assets that meet the relevant criteria as being of “community value”.
The Localism Act defines an asset / land of community value if:
- its actual or current use (or there is a time in the recent past when its use) furthers the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community, and
- it is realistic to think that there can continue to be (or it is realistic to think that there is a time in the next 5 years) non-ancillary use of the building or land that would further the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community.
If you require any advice or clarification please contact us on 01733 384534 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This provision is designed to create more opportunities for local groups to bid for buildings and land defined as community assets when the owner wishes to sell them, enabling them opportunity to preserve facilities that are important to them.
There are certain assets that cannot be listed. These are set out below:
- a residential property together with any land connected to that residential property, as defined in the regulations
- 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(c).
If an asset is listed:
- the owner must notify the local authority when intending to dispose of a listed asset, which will trigger a moratorium period. During this time, community interest groups can apply to be treated as potential bidders
- at this stage, groups must show a local connection and must meet certain criteria specified in the regulations
- the owner will be able to begin the sale process as usual after an interim moratorium period of six weeks if no community interest groups have come forward as a potential bidder
- if a written intention to bid is received during that initial period, then a full six month moratorium period will take place which gives community groups time to prepare a bid and generate the necessary funds
- the sale itself takes place under normal market conditions and whilst the community group will be given an opportunity to submit a bid, the owner is not bound to accept it.
The following organisations are eligible to nominate assets:
- properly-designated “Neighbourhood Forum”
- Parish Councils
- an unincorporated body whose members include at least 21 individuals, and which does not distribute any surplus it makes to its members
- 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.
The nominating group will also need to have a local connection with the asset, which broadly means the group must demonstrate that its activities are wholly or partly concerned with the Peterborough City Council area or with a neighbouring authority (which shares a boundary).
If you meet the above criteria and wish to nominate a building or area of land as an asset of community value, please complete the nomination form in accordance with the attached guidance notes .
A decision on whether or not to list an asset will be made within eight weeks of a completed nomination form received from an eligible organisation.