The new Community Right to Bid was introduced by the Localism Act 2011 and is now in force. It aims to keep valued land and buildings in community use by giving local people the chance to bid to buy them, if and when they come onto the market.
It gives you the opportunity to nominate public and private land and buildings to be part of a register of ‘Assets of Community Value’. If something on this register is offered for sale, the right is triggered. You will then have up to six months to prepare a bid and compete to buy it.
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions. Click on any of them to find more information:
- What could the new Right to Bid be used for?
- What is an Asset of Community Value?
- Who can nominate assets of community value?
- What information does a nomination need to contain?
- Where should a nomination be sent?
- How is a nomination assessed?
- How does the bidding work?
- Where can I inspect the list of Assets of Community Value?
Your community could use the new Community Right to Bid to nominate, and then bid for local land and buildings including:
- village shops
- village halls
- public houses
- former schools
- swimming pools
- a public open space
These might currently be in public ownership, but they could also be owned by a private company or an individual.
A building or other land is an Asset of Community Value if its main use is (or has recently been) to further the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community and could do so in the future. The Localism Act 2011 states that 'social interests' include cultural, recreational and sporting interests. Regulations list a number of situations where land or buildings are exempted from inclusion on the list or operation of the moratorium. These include homes, hotels, assets being transferred between kindred businesses, and Church of England land holdings.
A number of community organisations can nominate land and buildings for inclusion on the list:
- Parish councils
- Neighbourhood forums (as defined in Neighbourhood Planning regulations)
- Unincorporated community groups of at least 21 members, and
- Not-for-private-profit organisations (e.g. charities).
Community organisations also have to have a local connection, which means their activities are wholly or partly concerned with the area, or with a neighbouring authority’s area.
- A description of the nominated land including its proposed boundaries (this can include a plan);
- A statement of all the information the nominator has with regard to –
(a) the names of current occupants of the land, and
(b) the names and current or last known addresses of all those holding a freehold or leasehold estate in the land;
- The nominator’s reasons for thinking that Arun District Council should conclude that the land is of community value; and
- Evidence that the nominator is eligible to make a community nomination.
- The nominating organisation must provide evidence and reasons to support the nomination.
If you would like to nominate land or a building in the Arun district, please use the e-form below:
Alternatively, please send a request to the Local Land Charges department.
If the land or building is outside the Arun District, the nomination should be sent to the local authority for the area concerned.
The council will acknowledge all nominations, and must decide whether the nominated land or property should be included on its list of Assets of Community Value within eight weeks of receiving the nomination.
Nominations which meet statutory criteria will be added to the list of assets of community value.
The Community Right to Bid does not give a right of first refusal to community organisations to buy an asset that they successfully nominate for inclusion on the Local Authority’s list. What it does do is give time for them to put together the funding necessary to bid to buy the asset on the open market.
If an owner wants to sell property or land that is on the list, they must tell the Local Authority. If the nominating body is keen to develop a bid, they can then call for the Local Authority to trigger a moratorium period, during which time the owner cannot proceed to sell the asset.
There are two moratorium periods. Both start from the date the owner of the asset tells the Local Authority of their intention to sell. The first is the interim moratorium period, which is six weeks, during which time community organisations can decide if they want to be considered as a potential bidder. If none do so, the owner is free to sell their asset at the end of the six weeks.
The other is a full moratorium period, which is six months, during which a community organisation – having declared they wish to bid – can develop a proposal and raise the money required to bid to buy the asset.
Regulations list some situations where the moratorium will not be applied, even when it is an Asset of Community Value on the list. These exceptions include the sale of assets from one partner or another (for example in a divorce).
For more information about the Community Right to Bid and the support and advice available to communities wishing to take up community rights, please visit the My Community Rights website
You can inspect the list of nominated Assets of Community Value on the documents below: