Community Right to Bid - Process

Background

The Localism Act 2012 introduced a community right to bid which aims to give community and voluntary sector groups, charities, parish and town councils a right to identify a property that is believed to be of value to their social interests or social wellbeing and gives them a fair chance to make a bid to buy the property on the open market if the property owner decides to sell.

The Right to Bid (assets of community value) places a new duty upon local councils to maintain a list of land in its area that is land of community value, as nominated by the local community. If any land or buildings on this list then come up for sale, the local community will be given six months to prepare a bid to buy the land.

What is an asset of community value

A building or land is 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; 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); and
  • it does not fall within one of the exemptions e.g. residential premises and land held with them.

Social interests include (a) cultural interests; (b) recreational interests; (c) sporting interests.

Social well-being relates to social interaction and engagement. It is a sense of involvement with other people and their communities.

The Council has now defined "recent past" to be a period up to 5 years.

Who can nominate

Only the local community can nominate an asset for inclusion in the list. Nominations must come from either:

  • A parish council, in respect of land in its own area; or
  • A voluntary or community body with a local connection.
  • Neighbourhood Forum

How do groups nominate

Community nominations may be made at any time, including after an asset has been put onto the market. However no restrictions on sale arise from nomination - it is only listing which brings the statutory provisions into play.

To nominate a facility you must tell us the address of the property, details of the owner, the extent of the site and why you feel it is an asset of community value. You must also provide evidence of your eligibility to nominate. To help with this we have provided a nomination form which you can download from the bottom of the page.

Once we have received the completed form we will check the eligibility of the nomination and then assess whether it meets the criteria. If we feel the property does have community value it will be added to the "List of Assets of Community Value". Assets will remain on the list for five years and a land charge will be registered against the property. We aim to assess nominations within eight weeks of receipt.

If the nomination is ineligible, we will notify the nominee and provide an explanation as to why it was unsuccessful. In such circumstances the property will be added to the list of "Unsuccessful Community Nominations". There is no appeal or review process for unsuccessful nominations.

The owner of the property must advise the Council when they intend to sell the property and we will publicise this on our web site as well as informing the nominator.

If you want to make a bid you must inform us within six weeks of us telling you the property is available to purchase. An expression of interest form  is available to download from the bottom of the page.

If you do express an interest there is a 6 months period for you to put together the bid. The six months runs from when the owner advises us of their intention to sell and not from when you inform us of your intention. This is known as the 'moratorium period'. At any point before the end of the six months you may enter into negotiations with the property owner providing the owner is willing to do this. At the end of the moratorium period if you have successfully put a bid together the owner will have the option to either accept your bid or sell the property freely on the open market.The Council will not be involved in this process but we would ask that we are kept informed of developments.

More details about the Community Right to Bid are available from the Government's Community Rights website.