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Assets of Community Value

What is Community Right to Bid?

Under the Localism Act 2011, the Community Right to Bid process enables eligible groups and entities to nominate land or property (in private and public ownership) to be registered on the Assets of Community Value Register (ACVR). The process is designed to offer communities greater opportunities to take ownership of assets and facilities important to them.

When a listed asset is considered for disposal, owners of the listed asset are required to inform us of their intention to dispose. Eligible groups will then have up to 6 months to prepare a bid for the property, during which time the owner is unable to enter any other arrangements to dispose of the property. In the context of the Community Right to Bid, the legislation defines disposal as a freehold sale or a leasehold transaction of 25 years or more.

The legislation does not provide a right for the eligible group(s) to purchase the property, nor does it restrict the use of the nominated property for community activities. The process affords eligible groups up to six month’s (the moratorium period) to raise finance, develop a business plan and make a bid to acquire the property. On expiry of the six-month moratorium period, the owner of the listed asset may sell to whomever they wish.

A building or land in West Northamptonshire may be an asset of community value if we consider that:

  • the primary current use of the asset furthers the social wellbeing or social interests (cultural, recreational and/or sporting) of the local community; and
  • it is realistic to think that there can continue to be use of the asset which will further the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community, although not necessarily in the same way as before
  • the asset had a use which furthers the social wellbeing or social interests (cultural, recreational and/or sporting) of the local community in the recent past and it is realistic to think that there is a time in the next 5 years when it could do so again (whether or not in the same way as before)

The assets can be in private or public ownership, although some categories of assets are excluded from being eligible to be listed. These include:

  • any residential property and land connected with a potential asset of community value except where the residential aspect of the use of the property is ancillary to its non-residential use (for example accommodation within a Public House). Further defined within Chapter 3 of the Localism Act 2011
  • land licensed for use as a residential caravan site
  • operational land of statutory undertakers. Please refer to Section 263 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990

The following groups are eligible to nominate:

  • Parish and Town Councils
  • Local neighbourhood forums
  • Charities
  • Industrial and provident societies
  • Companies limited by guarantee
  • Community interest companies
  • Unincorporated groups comprising at least 21 members who are registered to vote in the West Northamptonshire area

All interested groups must be able to demonstrate a local connection to the property they are nominating. In order to submit a bid for a property on the list of Assets of Community Value, the group bidding must be legally entitled to own property.

To nominate an asset as an asset of community value, eligible groups are required to complete the Asset of Community Value Nomination Form.

  • Once a nomination has been received by us we will validate the application nomination to confirm that all requisite information has been provided by the nominating group
  • Once validated, we have 8 weeks to consider the nomination against the eligibility criteria stated within the Localism Act 2011. We will then write to the nominating party, and the property owner, informing them of our reasoned decision
  • If the asset is eligible for listing as an asset of community value, we will add the asset to the Asset of Community Value Register (ACVR) and a land charge will be registered against the asset
  • If the owner has not opted to dispose of the asset within 5 years from the date that it was added to the ACVR, the listing will expire, and the asset will be removed from the list. At that point, eligible groups would need to restart the nomination process

Any owner of a property which has been listed as an asset of community value has a statutory right to request a review of that decision. This review must be submitted in writing to us within 8 weeks of the date that they received notification from us of our decision to include the property within the ACVR at the following address.

Assets of Community Value Team
C/O Estates Department
West Northamptonshire Council
One Angel Square
Angel Street
Northampton
NN1 1ED

A review of the decision will be conducted by our senior officers, or our legal advisors, who were not involved in the original decision to include the property within the ACVR. During the review process, the owner will have the opportunity to make representations to us (either in writing or orally) to set out the reasons why they feel that the listing is incorrect. A written response should be provided by us within 8 weeks of the request being made.

If the owner of a listed asset decides to dispose of the property, the owner must inform us of their intention to do so.

  • We will then write to the nominating party and inform them of the owner’s intention to dispose of the asset. The nominating party will then have 6 weeks (initial moratorium period) to inform us if it intends to bid for the asset.
  • If the nominating parties confirm to us that it intends to bid for the asset, the nominating party will have up to 6 months (the extended moratorium period), from the date that the owner informed us of its intention to dispose, to develop and submit a bid directly to the owner. For the avoidance of doubt, the 6 month period afforded under the extended moratorium period, includes the 6 week period afforded under the initial moratorium period
  • During the initial and extended moratorium periods (as applicable), the property owner may enter negotiations and dispose the asset to any eligible community groups however it is not permitted to enter any other arrangements to dispose of the asset.
  • Dependant on whether the nominating group has confirmed to us that it intends to bid for the asset or not, at the end of either the initial, or extended moratorium period, the owner is free to dispose of the property to whomever they wish. If the asset has not been disposed by the owner within the following 12 months (the protected period), the process will need to recommence.

Should you have any specific queries on the Asset of Community Value process, please contact [email protected].

Last updated 17 January 2023