Rossendale Borough Council

Community Right to Bid: Assets of Community Value

Rossendale Borough Council's Approach

Policy and Process

The Council has developed a local policy to implement the Community Right to Bid which can be viewed as a download from the right hand side of this webpage.

Assets of Community Value Register

The Council is required to keep and maintain an Assets of Community Value Register, which is published on the Council’s website. The Assets of Community Value Register lists nominations received under Community Right to Bid and shows the current status under the scheme.

Before submitting a nomination please:

  • Read the policy and guidance
  • Read the FAQs 
  • Check the Assets of Community Value Register for existing nominations
  • Complete the Nomination Form which can be downloaded from this webpage

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the Community Right to Bid?

The Localism Act came into force on 15 November 2011. One of the principal provisions of the Act is to introduce new powers for local communities, including a Community Right to Bid. This came into force on the 21 September 2012.

Through the provisions in the Act, local authorities are required to maintain a register of land and buildings nominated by local voluntary and community organisations as well as Parish councils as assets that are of value to the community. When listed assets come up for sale, community interest groups will be able to trigger a six month moratorium – a delay before the owner can dispose of the asset - to prepare a business case and secure the funding to bid to buy them on the open market.

What does nominating an asset of community value mean?

This means proposing that a building or land is included on an ‘assets of community value list’. This list will be maintained by the local authority. This type of listing should not be confused with the listing of buildings of special architectural or historic interest.

What is the purpose of the Community Right to Bid process?

It aims to give communities a fairer chance to bid to buy community facilities and buildings such as village shops, pubs or community centres when they come up for sale. Putting facilities on the Council Assets of Community Value Register means that the owner cannot sell it without giving the community the time to prepare to bid for it themselves.

What is the Community Right to Bid not intended to be?

It is not intended to result in a comprehensive list of all assets of community value in the local area. It is not intended for assets in public or other ownership that will remain in public use. There is only a benefit in listing an asset if it is likely that it might be put up for sale by the owner. It does not override individual property rights and it is not a right to buy.

Does the Community Right to Bid give community groups a right to buy assets within their community?

No, the legislation only provides for a delay in the selling process to give suitably constituted community groups a period of time to prepare a proposal and raise the funds required to put in an offer. The sale takes place under normal market conditions and the owner is under no obligation to sell to the group.

What is an asset of community value?

An asset of community value is an asset that furthers the social well-being or social interests of the local community (or has done in the recent past). Social Interests can include cultural, recreational and sporting interests. For example the village shop, the local pub, a community centre, former schools, a library, a children’s centre, an allotment, or an open public space.

Assets are deemed to be of community value if, in the opinion of the Council:

  • Its actual current use furthers the social wellbeing and interests of the local community, or a use in the recent past has done so; and
  • That use is not an ancillary one - e.g. a space used for an annual village fete; and
  • For land in current community use it is realistic to think that there will continue to be a use which furthers social wellbeing and interests, or for land in community use in the recent past it is realistic to think that there will be community use within the next 5 years (in either case, whether or not that use is exactly the same as the present or past).

How is ‘community value’ defined?

There is no clear definition of community value; however community value is defined by the current or previous use and potential use of the asset. The council will need to consider:

The principle use of the asset currently; or in the recent past furthers the social wellbeing or cultural, recreational or sporting interests of the local community and whether this use could continue to further the social wellbeing or interests of the local community.

Where the asset does not currently demonstrate `community value’ (as above), it may still be nominated where it is possible to demonstrate that the asset’s main use did further the social wellbeing or cultural, recreational or sporting interests of the local community in the recent past and where it is realistic to think that it will do so again in the next five years.

Can anyone nominate an asset of community value?

No, you need to be from what the Act classes as a relevant body, that is:

  • A Parish Council in England
  • An unincorporated group with at least 21 members who are on the electoral register in that local planning authority area;
  • Neighbourhood forums (as established by the Localism Act 2011);
  • Company limited by guarantee;
  • Community interest groups – legally constituted community organisations such as charities,
  • Community Interest Companies, Industrial & Provident Societies, etc.

What effect does the listing have?

The owner: The owner is required to notify the Council in writing of their intention to dispose of the asset. The Regulations detail circumstances where a disposal is exempt from this – for example where the disposal is as a result of a court order, a separation agreement made between spouses or civil partners, upon inheritance and as a result of insolvency proceedings. The Regulations should be consulted for the full list of exemptions and detailed definitions. This notification will trigger a moratorium period (a period of delay) during which the asset owner may not dispose of the asset (other than where the disposal is exempt under the Regulations).

This interim moratorium is for a period of six weeks from the date upon which the council receives written notification of the owner’s intention to dispose of the asset. During this six week period, suitably constituted nominating groups may submit an intention to bid. The owner is under no obligation to sell the asset to the community group or any other person.

If the owner decides to sell to the community group, they may do so within the six month moratorium period [second stage of the moratorium period should the nominating group express their intention to bid].

The Nominating Group: If the owner of the listed asset wishes to dispose of the asset, the nominating group is given six weeks, interim moratorium, in which to decide whether or not to submit an intention to bid in writing to the council. Where this is received, the full six month moratorium period (starting from the date upon which we receive written notification of the owner’s intention to dispose of the asset) is triggered during which no disposal may take place other than to the community group. This six month period is intended to enable the nominating group or organisation to prepare and submit a bid to the owner to purchase the asset. Any subsequent sale takes place under normal market conditions unless the owner decides to sell to the nominating group by negotiation, they may do so within the six month moratorium period.

There is no obligation for the group to make a bid and the group has no rights of purchase over other potential buyers.

How do I nominate an asset for listing?

By completing the Nomination form which is available on the Council’s website and returning it by e-mail or post to the address shown on the form or by posting it to the address shown on the form. Please read the Council’s Community Right to Bid Policy in full before completing a nomination form.

Can I get any help completing the form?

As the Council is responsible for assessing all nominations we are unable to help groups complete the form. The guidance that goes with the nomination form explains everything that needs to be included.

Does listing an asset place a restriction on what the owner can do with it, while it remains in their ownership?

No, because planning policy determines permitted uses for particular sites. However, the fact that the site is listed may affect planning decisions – it is open to the Local Planning Authority to decide that listing as an asset of community value is a material consideration if an application for change of use is submitted, considering all the circumstances of the case.

How will nominations be approved?

The Council will assess all nominations against criteria set by Government and list those assets which:

  • Are judged to be of community value in contributing to social well-being; and,
  • Are located within the local planning authority area; and
  • Have been nominated by an eligible organisation.

See policy for full details.

When will I be told if my nomination is successful?

If there is a problem with the form itself then you will be contacted within 10 working days. If the form has been correctly completed then you will be notified within 8 weeks If a nomination is not successful we will write to the nominator and give the reasons why within 8 weeks.

Can the owner of the asset object to being listed?

Yes. The owner will be contacted when a nomination is received so that they can comment on whether they feel the asset meets the criteria or not. If the Council approves a nomination but the owner does not agree with the decision, the owner can ask for a review, and if that does not succeed, they can take the issue to an Independent Tribunal. See below for further questions in relation to this.

How will the lists be made publicly available?

The Council will publish both a list of assets of community value whose nomination has been accepted and also a list of those which were unsuccessfully nominated. The lists will be available on the Council website, with hard copies or alternative format will also available on request. The lists will be free of charge.

How long will an asset remain on the list?

Assets which are assessed as being of community value will stay on the list for 5 years in line with the Act’s regulations. After this time they will be removed from the list. Such assets will need to be nominated again in order to be put back onto the list.

What does the owner need to do if they wish to dispose of an asset included in the list of assets of community value?

The Localism Act 2011 and the Assets of Community Value (England) Regulations 2012 exempt certain types of disposal. Where an owner wishes to dispose of an asset which is included in the list of assets of community value and it is not an exempt disposal, they must notify the Council in writing of their intention to do so. The notification should be sent to:

Stuart Sugarman, Director for Business

Email: stuartsugarman@rossendalebc.gov.uk

Address: Community Right to Bid: Assets of Community Value, Rossendale Borough Council, The Business Centre, Futures Park, Bacup, Rossendale, OL13 0BB.

What happens once an owner has notified an intention to dispose of an asset included in the list of community assets?

We will acknowledge receipt of the notification, confirming the dates upon which the interim moratorium took effect and when this period will end. The list of assets of community value will be updated to show that we have received notice of an intention to dispose of the asset, together with the date of that notification and the resulting interim and full moratorium periods and the protected period.

What does the community group need to do if it wishes to make a bid to purchase the asset?

An intention to bid may only be submitted by suitably constituted `community interest group’. The Regulations provide a full definition of `community interest group’ for the purpose of the Community Right to Bid legislation (Regulation 12). The intention to bid should be submitted in writing/email together with evidence to support that the bid is being made by a suitably constituted `community interest group’. The intention to bid should be sent to:

Stuart Sugarman, Director for Business

Email: stuartsugarman@rossendalebc.gov.uk

Address: Community Right to Bid: Assets of Community Value, Rossendale Borough Council, The Business Centre, Futures Park, Bacup, Rossendale, OL13 0BB.

We must receive the intention to bid within 6 weeks of the notice to dispose of the asset (ending at midnight on the last working day of that period). Nominators are advised to obtain proof of delivery either through using appropriate recorded receipt postage or by obtaining a receipt for hand delivered post. We will pass the intention to bid to the owner of the land, or inform them of the details, as soon as practically possible after receipt. This will then trigger the full six month moratorium period during which the asset cannot be sold.

Can the owner market the asset during the moratorium period?

Yes, there is nothing to prevent the owner actively marketing the asset during the moratorium period; the restriction refers only to exchange of contracts on the sale of the asset.

If the owner of the asset is happy to sell to a community interest group (nominator), can they go ahead with the sale without waiting for the moratorium period to end?

Yes, where the owner and a community interest group (nominator) are able to agree terms within the six month period, they may proceed with the sale without waiting for the moratorium period to end.

What happens if the owner isn’t happy that their asset has been listed?

The owner of an asset included in the list of community assets may ask the council to review our decision. This request must be made in writing within 8 weeks of the date upon which we provided the owner with written notification of our decision, or longer where we have agreed to this in writing. The request should be sent to:

Stuart Sugarman, Director for Business

Email: stuartsugarman@rossendalebc.gov.uk

Address: Community Right to Bid: Assets of Community Value, Rossendale Borough Council, The Business Centre, Futures Park, Bacup, Rossendale, OL13 0BB.

How will a request by an owner to review a listing be dealt with?

We will acknowledge receipt of the request and advise of the procedure to be followed in connection with the review. The review will be undertaken by a senior officer independent of the original decision making process. The owner may request an oral hearing and may appoint any representative to act on his or her behalf in connection with the review. Where no request for an oral hearing is made by the owner, we will decide whether or not an oral hearing would be beneficial to the review process. The owner, or their representative, may make written and oral representation to the reviewer. We will complete the review process within 8 weeks of receipt of the written request for the review, or a longer period where this has been agreed with the owner.

We will notify the owner in writing of the outcome of the review and where the review concludes that a change to the listing is required. Where the review concludes that a change to the listing is required, we will adjust the list of assets of community value and advise the Land Registry accordingly.

What happens if the owner of the asset is dissatisfied with the outcome of this review?

Where an owner remains dissatisfied with the outcome of the review, they may appeal to the general regulatory chamber of the First Tier Tribunal against our decision on the listing review. Appeals should be sent to:

Tribunal Clerk, Community Right to Bid Appeals, HM Courts and Tribunals, First Tier

Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber), PO Box 9300, Leicester, LE1 8DJ or

via email to: GRC@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk

What recourse does the owner have if they feel that they have suffered costs or expense as a result of their asset being included in the list of assets of community value?

The owner or former owner of an asset included in the list of assets of community value is entitled to make a claim for compensation from the Council, in respect of incurred loss or expense in relation to the asset which would be likely not to have been incurred if the land had not been listed. The Regulations should be consulted for details of bodies which are not entitled to compensation. Claims should be made in writing and be made within thirteen weeks after the loss or expense was incurred or finished being incurred. Claims must state the amount of compensation being claimed for each part of the claim and be accompanied by supporting evidence of loss. Claims should be sent to:

Stuart Sugarman, Director for Business

Email: stuartsugarman@rossendalebc.gov.uk

Address: Community Right to Bid: Assets of Community Value, Rossendale Borough Council, The Business Centre, Futures Park, Bacup, Rossendale, OL13 0BB.

What happens if the owner is not satisfied with the way a compensation claim has been treated?

The person making the compensation claim may ask for a review of the decision the Council makes in relation to their claim. This must be made in writing within 8 weeks of the date upon which we have advised you of our

reasons for the decision in relation to the claim. The request should be clearly marked Community Right to Bid – Compensation Review and sent to:

Stuart Sugarman, Director for Business

Email: stuartsugarman@rossendalebc.gov.uk

Address: Community Right to Bid: Assets of Community Value, Rossendale Borough Council, The Business Centre, Futures Park, Bacup, Rossendale, OL13 0BB.

We will acknowledge receipt of the request and advise of the procedure to be followed in connection with the review. The review will be undertaken by a senior officer independent of the original decision making process. The owner may request an oral hearing and may appoint any representative to act on his or her behalf in connection with the review. Where no request for an oral hearing is made by the owner, we will decide whether or not an oral hearing would be beneficial to the review process. The owner, or their representative, may make written and oral representation to the reviewer. We will complete the review process within eight weeks of receipt of the written request for the review, or a longer period where this has been agreed with the owner. We will notify the owner in writing of the outcome of the review.

What happens if the owner is not satisfied with the outcome of a compensation review?

Where the owner remains dissatisfied with the outcome of the review, they may appeal to the general regulatory chamber of the First Tier Tribunal. Appeals on compensation reviews should be sent to:

Tribunal Clerk, Community Right to Bid Appeals, HM Courts and Tribunals, First Tier

Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber), PO Box 9300, Leicester, LE1 8DJ or

via email to: GRC@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk

Can the group nominating an asset appeal against the Council's decision not to list an asset?

There is no statutory right of appeal for the nominator. Where the nominator is unhappy with the council's decision in connection with their nomination, we will consider this in accordance with the Council's complaints procedure.

Who can I speak to for more information?

In the first instance please fully read the Council’s policy, FAQs and associated regulations and guidance that are available to try to resolve your queries. If you are unable to resolve your query please contact Stuart Sugarman:

Stuart Sugarman, Director for Business

Email: stuartsugarman@rossendalebc.gov.uk

Address: Community Right to Bid: Assets of Community Value, Rossendale Borough Council, The Business Centre, Futures Park, Bacup, Rossendale, OL13 0BB.

We will endeavour to respond to all CRTB queries within 10 working days or as soon as is reasonably practicable.

 

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