Monday 13th July 2020
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Assets of community value - Community right to bid

Sub heading

St George's Square

The Localism Act 2011 gave voluntary and community organisations the right to nominate land and buildings as ‘assets of community value’. If a nomination is successful the asset will be entered on the register of assets of community value.

If the owner decides to dispose of an asset that is on the register, there is a moratorium period - of up to six months – to allow community groups time to develop a bid.

What the community right to bid will do:

  • allow community interest groups and unincorporated groups to nominate important local land and buildings as ‘assets of community value’
  • ensure that community interest groups are informed when the owner of a nominated asset (land or buildings) decides to dispose of the asset through a sale or a long lease
  • give community interest groups up to six months to develop a bid to buy the asset or the lease when it goes up for sale.

What the community right to bid won’t do:

  • guarantee that the community interest group will  be the successful bidder – the owner can still choose who can make the purchase
  • prevent a change of use by the owner
  • ensure the continuation of any particular services on the site
  • enable to community interest group to buy the asset at a preferential rate
  • prevent the owner from discussing disposal with other potential purchasers.

Who can nominate assets of community value?

Individuals cannot make a nomination, only certain types of organisation can. These are:
  • parish councils in the area
  • parish councils in neighbouring areas
  • unincorporated groups involving more than 21 local people
  • neighbourhood forums (set up under section 61F of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, added by the Localism Act 2011)
  • community interest groups with a local connection - a charity, a community interest company, a company limited by guarantee that is non profit distributing ,or
  • an industrial and provident society that is non- profit distributing

What ‘assets’ can be nominated?

Buildings and land can be nominated. This does not cover just property owned by Luton Borough Council but any land or building although there are some exceptions. The main exceptions are: 
  • residential properties (including gardens, outbuildings, associated land)
  • licensed caravan sites
  • operational land for services know as ‘statutory undertakers’ (eg land to deliver services such as railways, roadways, waterways, airports, ports, power, post offices).

When will property be considered to be of ‘community value’?

Land or building will be of ‘community value’ if a current or recent main use can be shown to have furthered  the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community and it is realistic to consider that it can continue to do so during the next five years.
 
The listing of the asset means that it is the building or the land that is listed rather than any service that may be provided there.

How are nominations submitted?

A standard form is available to download below. If you need a hard copy, please contact [email protected] or telephone 01582 546034. It asks for information about the organisation making the nomination, the land or building including who owns it and why it is of community value. 
 
Nominations can be submitted at any time. Nominations must be submitted in writing and can emailed to [email protected] or posted to the address below:
 
Capital Asset and Management team
Luton Council
Town Hall
George Street
Luton, LU1 2BQ

What happens when we receive a nomination?

When we receive a nomination, we will check that the organisation making the nomination fits the description of voluntary or community organisation. We will also inform the owner of the land or building and any occupiers (if different) or anybody else with a ‘legal estate’ about the nomination.

When will a decision be made about listing?

We will make a decision about listing within eight weeks of receiving a valid application.

How will the decision be made?

Nominations will be assessed by the Capital and Assets Forum, a group of senior officers with responsibility for ensuring the best use of assets. Local councillors will be consulted as part of this process.

What happens if somebody is unhappy about the decision to list the asset?

If the owner of the land or building is unhappy with a decision to list the land or building, they have eight weeks from when they are given written notification of the decision to request a review. 

What happens if an asset is successfully nominated?

The asset will be placed on the Register of Assets of Community Value for a period of five years (see bottom of the page). During this time, if the owner wishes to dispose of the asset, they will need to inform us.
 
There will then be a period of six weeks when local community interest groups – not just the body that made the successful nomination - can express an intention to bid. If a community interest group does express an intention to bid, the full moratorium lasts for six months from when we were first informed of the intention to dispose of the asset.
 
After the moratorium ends, there is then a ‘protected period’ of eighteen months from when we were informed of the intention to dispose when the owner can dispose of the asset however they wish.
 
Although unincorporated community groups can nominate assets of community value, only incorporated community organisations can trigger the full moratorium.

If we nominate as asset, do we get first refusal?

No. The moratorium simply allows community organisations the time to develop their bids. At the end of the moratorium period, the owner can dispose of the asset however and to whomever they wish. There are some disposals that are exempt and will allow an owner to dispose of an asset; for example, during the moratorium period, the owner can dispose of the asset to a community interest group.

Not answered your question?

If you need further information, please contact [email protected].
 

 Register of assets of community value

 
 

 Downloads

 
 

 List of unsuccessful nominations

 
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