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Assets of Community Value - Community Right to Bid

Part 5 Chapter 3 of the Localism Act 2011 ("the Act"), and the Assets of Community Value (England) Regulations together deliver the "Community Right to Bid". The scheme means that communities can ask the Council to list certain assets as being of value to the community.

If a landowner wants to sell a registered property, they must tell the council. If a community group wants to buy the asset, they can trigger a 6 month moratorium to give them a chance to raise funds but the landowner can still sell at the going market rate.

This moratorium 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.

The regulations and explanatory note published by the government provide detailed information on:

  • The bodies that can make nominations (such as local parish councils)
  • Land that is exempt from being listed (such as premises which are primarily residential)
  • The steps that Three Rivers District Council has to take when considering whether to list land as an Asset of Community Value and upon listing that land (including notifying relevant parties)
  • Arrangements for owners to make appeals on decisions to list or award compensation on any losses incurred as a result of being listed (including internal reviews and external tribunals)
  • Exemptions to the 6 month moratorium being applied when land is put up for sale or long term lease.

Three Rivers District Council welcomes nominations for land or buildings to be considered as an Asset of Community Value. Nominations should be made by an established community group, such as a Parish Council, neighbourhood forum or community organisation that meets the relevant legislative criteria to nominate.

The Council will consider whether the nominated land or building furthers the social well-being or social interests (cultural, recreational, or sporting) of the local community. Whilst buildings such as libraries may be easy to determine as an asset to the community, areas of land such as car parks are not considered an asset as their primary purpose is for car parking generally, including for visitors and those supporting the local economy, not just for those in the local area.

If land or a building is considered to be an asset, it is held on a Register for five years, after which it needs to be re-nominated and reconsidered. Recognition of a site as a community asset does not necessarily protect the site, but it does become a material consideration if a change of use planning application is submitted, taking into account the circumstances of the case.

The nomination process should not be used to try to maintain any existing rights in relation to land or buildings, or to primarily block future development or redevelopment. Organisations are strongly encouraged in the first instance to contact the Council before making a nomination, so that all options and means can be explored to achieve the intended objectives.

The process is summarised below.

Three Rivers District Council’s list of Assets of Community Value

Three Rivers list of Assets of Community Value will appear here once we have assessed the first nominations. There will also be a list of previous successful and unsuccessful nominations. After a period of 5 years the property is taken off the register. At this point the property can be nominated again.

List of Assets of Community Value (pdf)

What counts as an ‘Asset of Community Value’?

A building or piece of land is deemed to have community value if:

  • The current primary use of the building/land or use of the building/land in the recent past furthers the social well-being or social interests (cultural, recreational, or sporting interests) of the local community
  • it is realistic to think that now or in the next five years there could continue to be primary use of the building/land which will further the social well-being or social interests of the local community (whether or not in the same way as before)

Assets may be either privately or publicly owned.

Please note that generally, residential property is excluded and may not be listed.

Who can nominate an asset?

Currently only eligible community groups, local Parish Councils, or local neighbourhood planning forums and charities are able to nominate Assets of Community Value.

How to nominate an asset

A nomination must come from an eligible community group, Parish Council, neighbourhood planning forum or a locally connected voluntary or community body. The nomination has to be made for land or buildings in the nominee’s local area. We aim to assess any nominations within 8 weeks of receipt.

Assets of Community Value Nomination Form (doc)

Assets of Community Value Nomination Form Guidance (pdf)

If the Local Authority deems that the asset does have community value, and it is in their local area, then it will add that asset to the ‘Assets of Community Value’ list. If land is included on the List of Assets of Community Value it will remain on that list for five years.  After that time it will be removed from the list or a new nomination may be submitted.

If the nomination is unsuccessful the Council will notify the nominee in writing and provide an explanation as to why the nomination was unsuccessful. The nomination will also be added to the list of ‘land nominated by an unsuccessful community nomination’ that the Council is required to maintain. Nominees are not able to appeal a decision not to include land on the list. However a complaint can be made using the Council’s complaints procedure if a nominee feels that the Council has not followed the correct procedure.

The Council 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 Council to review the inclusion of the asset on the list and there will be a process for an appeal to an independent body. Further guidance will be provided to the owner of the property at that time.

Sale of an Asset of Community Value

Once the property is registered, the owner of that property must notify us of his/her intention to sell that property. This will be publicised on our web-site and all interested parties will be notified in writing.

Any community group wishing to make a bid must write to us within 6 weeks of receiving our written notification, confirming its "expression of interest (EOI)" to purchase the property. An "expression of interest" form, together with guidance notes can be downloaded below. Once completed the form should be returned via email to julie.scott@threerivers.gov.uk  or alternatively by post to the address below:

Community Right to Bid
Land and Property
Three Rivers District Council
Three Rivers House
Northway
Rickmansworth
Hertfordshire
WD3 1RL

Expression of Interest Application Form (doc)

The group will then have a period of 6 months within which to make a bid. If there is more than one community group interested in purchasing we would encourage those groups to work together. The 6 months runs from the date the owner notifies us of their intention to sell the property.

At any point before the end of the 6 months period you may enter into negotiations with the owner of the property provided the owner is wiling to do this. You must, however, keep us informed of developments.

At the end of the 6 months period, provided you have successfully put a bid together, the owner has the option to sell to the community group or to sell it freely on the open market.

During an 18 month period from the time that the owner notified the local authority of their intention to dispose of the asset, there can be no further moratoriums.

Useful Links

Further information can be found using the links at below. N.B. External links are selected and reviewed when the current page is published. However, TRDC is not responsible for the content of external websites.

HM Government’s webpage on community right to bid

My Community Rights webpage

Community Right to Bid Non Statutory Advice Note for Local Authorities

Localism Act 2011

Contact us

If you are interested in expressing an interest on a community asset or require information on how to submit nomination please contact julie.scott@threerivers.gov.uk