The Localism Act 2011 now allows defined community groups to ask their local authority to list assets that meet the relevant criteria as being of 'community value'. The aim is to create more opportunities for local groups to bid for buildings and land defined as community assets when the owner wishes to sell them, enabling them opportunity to preserve facilities that are important to them.
The Act defines land or a building is an asset of community value if:
it is realistic to think that there can continue to be (or it is realistic to think that there is a time in the next five years when there could be) non-ancillary use of the building or land that would further the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community.
Non-ancillary means a group could not nominate a building and just use a part of the building – they would have to use the full building. For example, in the case of a large building with a small annex on the back, anyone wishing to nominate would have to nominate for the main use of the building – not the annex.
There are certain assets that cannot be listed. These are set out below:
If an asset is listed it will remain listed for five years and the owner must notify the local authority when intending to dispose of a listed asset, which will trigger a moratorium period. During this time, community interest groups can apply to be treated as potential bidders. The owner will be able to begin the sale process as usual, after a six week moratorium period, if no community interest groups have come forward as a potential bidder.
If a written intention to bid is received during that initial period, then a full six month moratorium period will take place which gives community groups time to prepare a bid and generate the necessary funds.
The sale itself takes place under normal market conditions and whilst the community group will be given an opportunity to submit a bid, the owner is not bound to accept it.
The following organisations are eligible to nominate assets:
The nominating group will also need to have a local connection with the asset, which means the group must demonstrate that its activities are wholly or partly concerned with the West Lancashire borough or with a neighbouring authority which shares a boundary.
If you want to nominate a building or area of land as an asset of community value, please download and complete our nomination form (PDF, 214kb) in accordance with our guidance notes (PDF, 139kb) and return it to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
A decision on whether or not to list an asset will be made within eight weeks of receipt of a fully completed nomination form from an eligible organisation.
If successful, the asset will be placed on the list of successful nominations (PDF, 67kb)
Unsuccessful nominations will also be published on the list of unsuccessful nominations (PDF, 16kb).
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