By Sarah Easton, Senior Associate in Commercial Property.
Under the Localism Act every local authority must maintain a list of land in the area that is of ‘community value’. Find out if your property or land could find its way onto the list and what it could mean for the future of your assets.
Assets of community value include:
- community centres
- swimming pools
- village shops
The idea is to allow people ‘the opportunity to take control of assets and facilities in their area by levelling the playing field by providing the time for them to prepare a proposal’.
The community can nominate assets to be included on the register.
In order to be included on the register, the current use must satisfy three criteria:
- further the social wellbeing or social interest of the local community
- have a realistic prospect of continuing
- have existed in the recent past and stand a realistic chance of existing within the next five years.
The local authority must consider every application made.
The owner of the land must be notified by the local authority of the proposal to include the land on the list.
The owner can request that the local authority carry out a review.
The local authority and the owner must bear their own costs of any review. It will therefore be very important for the local authority to be sure that land should be added to the list before doing so. This could mean unwanted costs for landowners.
The owner can appeal against the local authority’s decision on a listing review. The Regulations mention compensation for legal expenses.
The significance of a property being included on the list is that the community can bid for the assets when they are offered for sale.
If land is designated as an ‘asset of community value’ a moratorium will be imposed on any proposed disposal to allow the local community time to formulate a proposal to buy the land.