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Assets of Community Value

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.

What is the Community Right to Bid?

If an asset is listed and then comes up for sale, a community group is allowed time to prepare a bid for the property.

Listing a property as an asset of community value does not give the community group any right to buy or acquire any interest in the land/property. There is no obligation on the land owner to dispose of the land to the community group, nor does it preserve the land or property for community use or any other particular purpose.

What does 'land of community value' mean?

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.

How can my community group nominate an asset?

These guidance notes will help you understand the process and details the supporting documentation required when making a nomination. Nominations can be made using the online form; email to ACV@eastherts.gov.uk using the downloadable form. Alternatively post to:

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

What happens if an asset is listed as an Asset of Community Value

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.

What can't a nomination do

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.

Appeals Process

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.