Assets of Community Value (ACV)

The scheme gives eligible community groups the right to identify land or property and ask the council to list it as being of value to the community.

The Localism Act 2011 made provision for community groups to nominate local buildings or land as an Asset of Community Value (ACV). The Assets of Community Value Regulations 2012 provide clarification on procedures for nominating and registering ACV. A building or land in East Herts is of community value if the District Council considers that:

  • an actual current use of the building or land (that is not an ancillary use) furthers the social well-being or social interest of the local community, and
  • it is realistic to think that there can continue to be a non-ancillary use of the building or land which will further the social well-being or social interests of the local community

Social interests include cultural interests, recreational interests and sporting interests. Social well-being relates to social interaction and engagement - a sense of involvement with other people and the local community. ACVs can include pubs, open spaces, theatres, civic halls and buildings, heritage sites, etc.

If the Council considers that the building or land should be registered as an ACV, it will remain on the Council's Asset of Community Value register for five years.

During the initial moratorium period, any community group must then inform the Council in writing (via the Request to Bid form) if they would like to make a bid to purchase the ACV. A Request to Bid form together with guidance notes can be downloaded from the East Herts District Council (EHDC) website.

If no community group notifies us within the six weeks that they wish to place a bid, then the owner is free to sell off the asset as they see fit.

If we receive notification of a potential bid, then that group will have a period of six months within which to place its bid. If there is more than one community group interested in purchasing the property, we would encourage the groups to work together. The six month period runs from the date the owner notifies us of their intention to sell the property. This is known as the moratorium period. If a group wishes to set up a Community Interest Company (CIC), in preparation for making a bid for an asset, this process can take some time, so you are encouraged to consider and act quickly if this is what you wish to do.

At any point before the end of the moratorium period, the community group may enter into negotiations with the property owner providing they are willing to do so. Please keep EHDC informed of any developments.

At the end of the six month period, if a community group has successfully put a bid together, the owner of the ACV has the option to either accept this bid or sell the property freely on the open market. Putting together a bid is no guarantee that the property owner will sell to a community group.

A building or land in East Herts District is land of community value if in the District Council's opinion:

  • an actual current use of the building or land (that is not an ancillary use) furthers the social well-being or social interest of the local community, and
  • it is realistic to think that there can continue to be a non-ancillary use of the building or land which will further the social well-being or social interests of the local community

Social interests include cultural interests, recreational interests and sporting interests. Social well-being relates to social interaction and engagement. It is a sense of involvement with other people and their communities.

Nominating an asset

The Assets of Community Value: Guidance on completing the nomination form will help you understand the process and details the supporting documentation required when making a nomination. To see a list of the current register, please see our Assets of Community Value Register page.

Nominations for a NEW asset of community value can be made using the Asset of Community Value Nomination Form and by sending on to customer.services@eastherts.gov.uk Alternatively, you can send to the following;

Assets of Community Value
East Herts Council
Wallfields
Pegs Lane
Herts
SG13 8EQ

Nomination restrictions

Nominating an asset of community value does not mean that it will necessarily stay in community use.

If something becomes an asset of community value this merely means that a there is a mandated delay on the sale of the asset giving the community time to put together an alternative bid. The seller is under no obligation to accept that bid over what they arrange privately or on the open market, the community group is simply bidding like anyone else.

Please keep this in mind: nominating an asset of community value offers no extra protection under law to ultimately prevent the asset ceasing to be of use to the community.

As of February 2015 1,800 assets of community value have been listed under the powers of the localism act, 11 of which have been bought by community groups a success rate of 0.61%.

We share these statistics with you to make it clear what the limits of nomination are, preparing the necessary information for a nomination, and the undertaking a bid, responding to a landowner's appeal, is a significant bureaucratic burden, which can be quite overwhelming, especially to smaller community groups.

We would advise that groups think carefully about what goal they want to achieve from nominating an asset of community value and whether this is the best route to that goal.

A moratorium will be applied when a listed asset is put up for sale.

There is an initial six-week interim period, during which a community group must express interest in bidding. If one does, there is a six-month moratorium beginning from when the asset is put up for sale, i.e. including the six-week interim period, to allow a community interest group to put a bid together.

The right to bid, is not the same as the right of first refusal, the seller is free to ignore the bid at their discretion.

After a moratorium period has ended, another moratorium period cannot begin for a further 12 months.

There is no provision for a community nominator to appeal if the local authority rejects an application to list land or buildings as an asset, although the owner of an asset may appeal against its inclusion on the list.

Regulation 11 of the 2012 regulations provides that the owner of a building may appeal against its listing as an asset of community value.

Please get in contact via the following methods;

customer.services@eastherts.gov.uk -  Please ensure that ‘Assets of Community Value’ is in the subject line

Or to:

Assets of Community Value, Communications, Strategy and Policy, East Herts Council, Wallfields, Pegs Lane, Hertford, SG13 8EQ