The Community Right to Bid aims to ensure important assets remain in public use and stay part of community life.
The Community Right to Bid is part of the Localism Act and will come into full force in April 2012.
The Community Right to Bid
In neighbourhoods across the country there are buildings and amenities that are lifelines to the communities that use them – a village shop, a pub, a community centre or a library.
The closure or sale of these places can create lasting damage to communities.
Under the Localism Act, voluntary and community organisations and parish councils can nominate an asset to be included on a list of ‘assets of community value’. This list is managed by the local authority.
If the owner of a listed asset then wants to sell the asset a six month moratorium period will be triggered during which the asset cannot be sold.
This period gives community groups some time to develop a proposal and raise the required capital to bid for the property when it comes onto the open market at the end of the moratorium period.
If you’re interested in taking over a community asset, Locality’s Asset Transfer Unit can offer help and advice.
What counts as an ‘asset of community value’?
A building or piece of land will be deemed to have community value if:
- the use of the land or building currently, or in the recent past, furthers the social well-being or cultural, recreational or sporting interests of the local community
- this use (as described above) of the building will continue to further the social well-being or interests of the local community
- the use of the building or land must not be deemed ‘ancillary’, i.e. of secondary purpose. This means that the use of the land or building to further social well-being or interests of the community must be its principle use.
How to get an asset on the list
The local authority will determine the format of the list, any modifications made to any of the entries on the list and any removal of an entry from the list.
- a community nomination must come from a parish council, a community council or a locally connected voluntary or community body. The nomination has to be made for land or buildings in the nominee’s local area
- if the local authority deems that the asset does have community value, and it is in their local area, than it will add that asset to the ‘assets of community value’ list
- if the nomination is unsuccessful the local authority must notify the nominee in writing and provide an explanation as to why the nomination was unsuccessful
- the local authority must notify the landowner, the occupier and the community nominee of any inclusion or removal of an asset to the list
- a landowner can ask the local authority to review the inclusion of the asset from the list and there will be a process for an appeal to an independent body
- the local authority must also maintain a list of ‘land nominated by an unsuccessful community nomination’
- if land is included in the list of assets of community value it will remain on that list for five years.