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Assets of community value
An asset of community value is a legal right under the Localism Act 2011. It gives communities the opportunity to control the assets and facilities that matter to them.
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Nomination and review process
A policy statement /process is used for dealing with any nominations and reviews.
The Council will consider each submitted nomination form and supporting evidence and decide whether the asset is and/or will be of ‘community value’ and should be listed. This can take up to 8 weeks - during this time the parish council, ward councillors, owners, leasers, occupants and people with a legitimate interest will be informed of the request to list.
When an asset is listed, some restrictions on the owner come into force. If the owner decides to sell the asset they must inform the Council; an initial period of 6 weeks is provided to allow a community interest group (charity or body with a legal identity of their own, separate from members) to register an interest in making a bid to purchase the asset.
If the community decides not to submit a bid, the owner is free to dispose of the asset on the open market.
When an interest to bid is registered the asset cannot be sold for 6 months. This period starts from the date the owner informed the council they want to sell the asset. This time gives the group an opportunity to develop a proposal and raise the finance to bid for the asset. During this period the asset cannot be disposed of, unless it is to the community group.
It is important to note that the listing serves only to give a window of time for groups to prepare to bid alongside other potential buyers. The sale takes place under normal market conditions and the owner is under no obligation to sell to the community group. Equally, community groups that have registered an interest to bid are under no obligation to purchase.
If the owner does not receive a bid from the community or does not accept the offer during the 6 months period then the owner is free to dispose of the asset on the open market for a further 12 months, at the end of which the whole process begins again, if the property has not been sold.
Pages 3 and 5 of the DCLG non-statutory advice note for local authorities have diagrams of the processes for nominating an asset for inclusion on the list of asset of community value and the selling of a listed asset.