Assets of community value
Many communities have local amenities and buildings that are of great importance to them and which contribute to the development of vibrant and active communities. These communities can join together as they have the opportunity to save and take over assets which are significant for them.
The Localism Act 2011 aims to encourage this type of community-focused, locally-led action by providing an important tool to help communities looking to take over and run local assets. It gives communities the opportunity to identify assets of community value, have them listed and, when they are put up for sale, more time to raise finance and bid for them.
When a listed asset is to be sold, local community groups have an opportunity to buy the asset at market value and protect its community value.
Any community group, Parish Council or group of 21 local electors can submit an application and the local authority will make a decision as to whether it meets the definition of social well-being or social interest within eight weeks. Applications can be made even when an asset has already been put up for sale.
When an asset is listed it remains protected for five years. At the end of the five year period a local group can apply to have the asset listed again.
An owner of an asset which is listed has the right to request a review of the decision to list it and the asset remains listed during the review period.
How to apply
Communities can identify land and buildings which contribute to their community’s social well-being or social interest, including cultural, sporting or recreational interests and which can continue to do so in the future.
Apply to list an asset
What happens next?
Once an asset has been listed nothing happens unless the owner decides to sell it. The owner has to notify the local authority of its intentions and the local authority informs the community group of this. The community group can ask to be treated as a potential bidder and ask for a six month moratorium period in which to negotiate a sale with the owner. The owner does not have to sell to a community organisation and at the end of the moratorium period can sell to whoever they want and whatever price they want.