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Community Right to Bid

Introduction

The Community Right to Bid arises as part of the Localism Act 2011 and aims to allow local community organisations to nominate local land or buildings of community value. Such nominated land may be listed by the Council and if so, when it is sold, local community groups will have a fairer chance to bid for it on the open market. The Council will inform the community if a listed asset is put up for sale and give them time to make a bid.

Which assets can be listed?

A building or land within the Council's area is land of community value if, in the opinion of the Council, its actual current use furthers the social well-being or social interests of the local community and that this will continue.

A building or land can also be land of community value, capable of being listed, if in the opinion of the Council there is a time in the recent past when the actual use of the land furthered the social well being or interests of the local community and it is realistic to think that in the next five years there could be a use of the land that would further the social well being or social interests of the local community.

Social Interests include cultural, recreational and sporting interests. Examples of possible uses could include the village shop, pub, community centre, children's centre and allotments.

Buildings or land whose main function is not community use (for example administrative offices) would not be included.

There are a number of categories of assets that cannot be listed. The most important exclusion is residential property and associated gardens and outbuildings (although not if the residential accommodation is an integral part of an asset that could otherwise be listed, such as staff accommodation above a pub).

Who can make a nomination?

The only organisations that can make a nomination are voluntary or community bodies with a local connection such as:

  • a parish council;
  • unincorporated non profit making groups with at least 21 local members;
  • neighbourhood forums;
  • a charity;
  • companies limited by guarantee that are not profit making;
  • a community interest company;

Making the Nomination

Please complete the Nomination Form below as fully as possible. We require information about the individual making the nomination on behalf of their group, details of the group itself and also detailed information about the asset being nominated (for instance, if you are nominating a public house is it just the building you are nominating, or is there also a car park which you wish to include? If you don't tell us, we won't know). Where you are not able to supply certain information (for instance the name of the registered owner of the building or site) please say so rather than leave the section blank.

We also require that you submit a site plan with the outline of the asset you wish to nominate in red. You are also advised that submitting additional documents to support your application will help us with our decision.

A list of the kind of supporting documentation that would be useful:

  • Supporting evidence of what groups and people use the nominated asset and what events take place there.
  • How the asset contributes to the social wellbeing, cultural, recreational or sporting interests of the community and whether it is likely to continue.
  • Any letters of support from groups or people using the asset.
  • Why it is realistic to think that the asset could in the future support the social interests of the community.

Nominations should be made on the nomination form and sent to the Legal Services Manager to the address given on the form. The nomination form is available in both PDF and Word formats below

When the Council receives a nomination it must make a decision within 8 weeks whether the land is of community value and whether to add the nominated asset to the list of land of community value. If the nominated land is within the Council's area, and it is of community value the Council must accept the nomination and add the land to the list. If the application is unsuccessful, the Council will add the land to the list of unsuccessful nominations (this is to prevent multiple applications for the same land).

If the owner of the land objects to it being placed on the list, they have a right to an internal review by an officer of the Council who was not involved in the original decision. If the Council confirms the original decision, the owner may appeal to a tribunal.

When land is listed as land of community value, the entry for that land will be removed after 5 years.

Nomination forms

adobe icon Community Right to Bid - Nomination Form [261kb]

docs icon Community Right to Bid - Nomination Form - Word [59kb]

Restrictions on the owner of a listed asset

Once an asset has been listed, nothing more will happen until the owner decides to dispose of the land (either the outright sale or the grant or assignment of a lease of at least 25 years). The owner cannot dispose of the asset or agree to dispose of it until the moratorium on disposing of the land has expired.

An owner wishing to dispose of a listed asset must first inform the Council in writing. The Council then advises community groups who have an interim moratorium period of 6 weeks from the owners notice to advise the Council whether they wish to be treated as a potential bidder. If the Council receives a valid request then the owner cannot dispose of the land for a moratorium period of six months from the date of the owners notice to the Council. During this time the community group can formulate its bid and seek finance. The owner may continue to market and negotiate with whomever it wishes but it may not exchange contracts to sell the asset during the moratorium period.

If the community group and the owner reach an agreement the owner may dispose of the asset to the community group before the moratorium period ends.

If, either after the interim moratorium period of 6 weeks no community group informs the Council of its interest, or after the end of the 6 months full moratorium period, the owner is free to sell the asset to whomever they choose and at whatever price and no further moratorium will apply for a period of 18 months (calculated from the date of the owners notice).

There are a number of exceptions (about 25) where proposed disposals of listed assets do not have to be notified to the Council under the scheme. These include gifts, inheritance transfers, transfers within families and selling land within a business being sold as a going concern.

Note that a community group able to make a bid is a more narrowly defined group than a community or voluntary body able to make a nomination.

The scheme does not restrict to whom the owner can sell and at what price. The scheme does not confer a right of first refusal to community interest groups.

Compensation

Private owners of listed land may be entitled to claim compensation for loss and expense incurred in relation to the land which would be likely not to be incurred if the land had not been listed. This could include claims arising from a period of delay in entering into an agreement to sell which is wholly caused by the interim or full moratorium period or for legal expenses incurred as a result of a successful appeal to a tribunal over the listing of the land or any refusal to pay compensation or the amount offered. The compensation scheme will be administered by the Council. The Owner will need to provide supporting evidence and the onus of proving the claim will fall on the Owner.

Claims should be made to the Council within 13 weeks of the end of the interim or full moratorium period as appropriate.

The owner has the right to an internal review of a decision on compensation and to a tribunal if the internal review comes to the same decision.

List of Assets of Community Value

The Council's list of land of community value and for unsuccessful applications can be found by following the link below:

adobe icon List of Assets of Community Value [28kb]

The decisions can be found at the link below:

Assets of Community Value Decisions

The reviews can be found at the link below:

Assets of Community Value Reviews

 

The New Forest District Council takes a view that, in the context of applications for Assets of Community Value, personal information such as the name and address of individual members of an unincorporated body may be disclosable to the other parties in order to ensure procedural fairness, taking into account the purpose of establishing, exercising or defending legal rights. The information may also be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Each case will be considered on its own facts and the impact on the right to privacy will be considered.     

 

Useful Links

This document is a summary of the primary rights and obligations relating to the Community Right to Bid. Further useful information can be found using the following links:

Chapter 3 of the Localism Act 2011

The Assets of Community Value (England ) Regulations 2012

Non statutory advice note for local authorities produced by the Department for Communities and local Government

Department for Communities and Local Government Community Rights website

Updated: 15 Sep 2017
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