The Localism Act 2011 introduced Assets of Community Value (ACV) enabling certain community groups to express an interest in and potentially buy an asset that enhances the social wellbeing and interests of the local community. This procedure has been developed to help Fareham Borough Council administer this new community right.
Bodies eligible to nominate an ACV are as follows:
A community nomination must include a description of the nominated land or building including its boundaries, the name of current occupant / owner, reasons why the land or building is felt to be of community value, and evidence that the nominator is eligible to make a nomination.
Nominations must be written, submitted by one of the bodies above and contain the information specified. The Council has provided a nomination form and once completed, this can be submitted at any time to the Head of Leisure & Community.
An initial assessment will check that all required information has been submitted in order to establish that the land or building is eligible for nomination (e.g. not a residential property or operational land), that the body submitting the nomination is eligible to do so and that the land or building does, or could, enhance the social wellbeing and interests of the local community.
Part of the assessment process will be to consult with the current owner of the land or building nominated. The owner can object to the land or building being included on the registered list and the Council must consider the grounds for objection but the owner of the land or building does not decide whether the asset is included on the list or not.
A decision to include an asset on the register of Assets of Community Value rests with the Council and this decision will be delegated to the Director of Community following consultation with the Executive Member for Community and the ward councillors from the area in which the asset is located. The Council will make a decision in response to a nomination within 8 weeks of receiving the nomination on the appropriate form.
A decision is then made as to whether the land or building is considered to be an AVC or not. If the decision is that it does, or could, benefit the social wellbeing or interests of the community then it is listed on a register of Assets of Community Value and published on the Council's website. See Appendix 2. Unsuccessful nominations are also published on the Council's website with an explanation of why they were unsuccessful. See Appendix 3. Both the nominating group and current owner of the land or buildings will be notified of the decision.
If an asset is included on the list, an owner has the right to request the Council to review its decision. This request must be submitted 8 weeks from the date written notice of the listing was given. The asset will remain listed while the review is carried out. The internal review will be conducted by a Council Officer of appropriate seniority not previously involved in the decision to list the asset. This officer will be nominated by the Chief Executive. The Council will aim to complete the review within 8 weeks, if a longer period is necessary this will be agreed in writing.
If the owner is not satisfied with the outcome of the Council's internal review they have the right to appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal against the Council's decision. This appeal must be made within 28 days of the notice of the decision of the Council's internal review.
The published list of Assets of Community Value will be reviewed every two years to ensure it remains current. The Council is also required to remove an asset from the list as soon a practicable in the following circumstances:
a) After a relevant disposal (other than an exempt disposal)
b) When an appeal against a listing has been successful
c) When in the Council's opinion that the Asset is no longer of community value
d) No later than 5 years from the date of entry on the list.
The owner of a registered asset must notify the Council if he wishes to sell. The Council will then inform the group who originally nominated the asset of the owner's intention to sell.
The nominating group has a six week window of opportunity to decide whether or not it is in a position to put forward a proposal to buy the land or building if the owner of the nominated asset wishes to sell. It does not have to put forward the proposal within this six week window, just express an interest. This expression of interest triggers a six month moratorium period during which the owner cannot sell the asset and the community group has time to put together a bid for the asset.
The owner of the asset is not obliged to sell to the community group. They may still choose to sell the asset on the open market following due consideration of the community bid and the end of the six month moratorium. This process gives the community the opportunity to bid for an asset; it is not a requirement for the owner to sell to the community.
Under these circumstances, the owner of the land or building is free to sell it on the open market.
Where necessary the Council will consider claims for compensation from owners of registered assets that find themselves barred from selling whilst the community prepare a bid for ownership. The compensation scheme does not apply to public authorities. The process for considering payment of compensation will be consistent with that set out in the Assets of Community Value (England) Regulations 2012.Claims must be submitted in writing to the Director of Community stating the amount of compensation sought and supporting evidence within 8 weeks of receiving written confirmation of the Council's decision. The Council must consider the claim and provide written reasons for its decision but there is no time limit for responding to the claim.
If the owner is not satisfied with the Council's response to the compensation claim they may request a review by the Council of its own compensation decision. The internal review will be conducted by a Council Officer of appropriate seniority not previously involved in the decision to list the asset. This officer will be nominated by the Chief Executive. The Council will aim to complete the review within 8 weeks, if a longer period is necessary this will be agreed in writing.
If the owner is not satisfied with the outcome of the Council's internal review on compensation, they have the right to appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal against the Council's decision. This appeal must be made within 28 days of the notice of the decision of the Council's internal review.
To limit any unintentional non-compliance, the asset will be a local land charge. Therefore a non-compliant disposal of property would be ineffective from the outset. The effect of this will be that the ownership of the land has not changed hands.
General information on the provisions relating to the Assets of Community Value provision can be found on the Department for Communities and Local Government website which also provides a link to the Localism Act 2011:
The statutory regulations which accompany and clarify the legislation can be found on the following website:
If you need any further information please contact the Head of Leisure and Corporate Services. Tel; 01329 824567 email: firstname.lastname@example.org.