Nominating an asset - FAQ

What is the Community Right to Bid?

The Localism Act came into force on 15 November 2011. One of the principal provisions of the Act is to introduce new powers for local communities, including a “Community Right to Bid”.  This came into force on the 21 September 2012.

Through the provisions in the Act, local authorities are required to maintain a list of land and buildings nominated by local voluntary and community organisations as well as Parish councils as assets that are of value to the community. When listed assets come up for sale, community interest groups will be able to trigger a six month “window of opportunity” – a delay before the owner can dispose of the asset - to prepare a business case and secure the funding to bid to buy them on the open market.

What does “nominating” an asset of community value mean?

This means proposing that a building or land is included in a register/list of buildings and land of community value. This list will be maintained by the local authority. This type of listing should not be confused with the listing of buildings of special architectural or historic interest.

What is the purpose of the Community Right to Bid process?

It aims to give communities a fairer chance to bid to buy community facilities and buildings such as village shops, pubs or community centres when they come up for sale. Putting facilities on the list of ‘Assets of community value’ means that the owner can not sell it without giving the community the time to secure funding to bid for it themselves..

What is the Community Right to Bid not intended to be?

It is not intended to result in a comprehensive list of all assets of community value in the local area. It is not intended for assets in public or other ownership that will remain in public use. There is only a benefit in listing an asset if it is likely that it might be put up for sale by the owner. It does not override individual property rights and it is not a right to buy.

What is an ‘asset of community value’?

An ‘asset of community value’ is an asset that furthers the social well-being or social interests of the local community (or has done in the recent past). ‘Social Interests’ can include cultural, recreational and sporting interests. For example, assets of community value could be village pubs and shops, community centres and library buildings.

A building or land is deemed to be of community value if, in the opinion of the council:

its actual current use furthers the social wellbeing and interests of the local community, or a use in the recent past has done so; and

that use is not an ancillary one; and

for land in current community use it is realistic to think that there will continue to be a use which furthers social wellbeing and interests, or for land in community use in the recent past it is realistic to think that there will be community use within the next 5 years (in either case, whether or not that use is exactly the same as the present or past); and

Are any assets excluded from being listed?

The following are the exemptions which preclude the asset from being listed:

Land and buildings which are primarily residential in purpose

Licensed (and some unlicensed) caravan sites

‘Operational land’ as defined in s263 Town & Country Planning Act 1990 – which is land owned by organisations like the Post Office, Civil Aviation Authority, Transport providers, utilities, etc.

In addition, the Act excludes:

The listing of assets which might have a community value in the future but which have not been used for that purpose for a long time – e.g. an area of derelict land that has been unused for some years. Assets are only apt to be listed by virtue of their present or recent use, not just by planned future uses.

The listing of assets which are occasionally used for the social benefit of a local community but which are not primarily used for this purpose – e.g. a space used for an annual village fete. This would be deemed as an ancillary use.

Can anyone nominate an asset of community value?

No, you need to be from what the Act classes as a ‘relevant body’, that is:

A Parish Council in England, or a Community Council in Wales;

An unincorporated group with at least 21 members who are on the electoral register in that local planning authority area;

Neighbourhood forums (as established by the Localism Act 2011);

Company limited by guarantee;

Community interest groups – legally constituted community organisations such as charities, Community Interest Companies, Industrial & Provident Societies, etc

How do I nominate an asset for listing?

By completing the Nomination form which is available on the council’s website and returning it by e-mail to the address shown on the form or by posting it to the address shown on the form.  This requires you to provide details about:

Your organisation

The asset you wish to nominate

Why you believe it is of community value

Can I get any help completing the form?

As the Council is responsible for assessing all nominations we are unable to help groups complete the form. The guidance that goes with the nomination form explains everything that needs to be included.

Does listing an asset place a restriction on what the owner can do with it, while it remains in his ownership?

No, because planning policy determines permitted uses for particular sites. However, the fact that the site is listed may affect planning decisions – it is open to the Local Planning Authority to decide that listing as an asset of community value is a material consideration if an application for change of use is submitted, considering all the circumstances of the case.

How will nominations be approved?

The Council will assess all nominations against criteria set by Government and list those assets which:

are judged to be of community value in contributing to social well-being; and,

are located within the local planning authority area; and,

have been nominated by an eligible organisation

When will I be told if my nomination is successful?

If there is a problem with the form itself then you will be contacted within 14 working days.

If the form has been correctly completed then you will be notified within 8 weeks. If a nomination is not successful, we will write to the nominator and give the reasons why within 8 weeks.

Can the owner of the asset object to being listed?

The owner will be contacted when a nomination is received so that they can comment on whether they feel the asset meets the criteria or not. If the Council approves a nomination but the owner does not agree with the decision, the owner can ask for a review, and if that does not succeed, they can take the issue to an independent tribunal.

How will the lists be made publicly available?

The Council will publish both a list of assets of community value whose nomination has been accepted and also a list of those which were unsuccessfully nominated.

The lists will be available as an Excel spreadsheet on the Council website, with hard copies also available to local people who prefer that. The lists will be free of charge. The assets on the list will be easily searchable by location and type of use.

How long will an asset remain on the list?

Assets which are assessed as being of community value will stay on the list for five years. After this time they will need to be nominated again in order to be put back onto the list.