Part 5 Chapter 3 of the Localism Act 2011 ("the Act"), and the Assets of Community Value (England) Regulations together deliver the "Community Right to Bid".
The scheme gives communities the opportunity to identify assets of community value and have them registered and, when they are put up for sale, more time to raise finance and prepare to bid for them.
The right came into force on 21 September 2012. Currently only eligible community groups, local parish councils, or local neighbourhood planning forums and charities are able to nominate assets of community value.
Making a Nomination
First, the group nominating must be an "eligible" group. That means:
- The group must be a Parish Council or must have a local connection to the property being nominated.
- A community group is defined as an unincorporated community group with at least 21 members who are registered to vote within Stafford Borough, a parish council, a charity, industrial or provident society, local neighbourhood forum, company limited by guarantee or community interest group?
The Property to be nominated:
A building or other land in our district is land of community value if in the Council's opinion:
- An actual current use of the building or other land that is not an ancillary use furthers the social wellbeing or social interest of the local community, and;
- It is realistic to think that there can continue to be a non-ancillary use of the building or other land which will further (whether or not in the same way) the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community (see S88(1) of the Act.
Please note generally residential property is excluded and may not be listed.
To nominate you must complete our nomination form with the relevant details, including 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. Please attach a plan, where possible, showing the correct boundaries of the site outlined in red.
The form can be downloaded from the link at the bottom of this page. Forms can be returned to our email box email@example.com.
What we will do next
Once we have received the completed form, we will consider and check the eligibility of the nomination and if we feel the property does have community value it will be added to the "Register of Assets of Community Value". Assets will remain on the register for five years and charges will be registered against the property. Nominations will be assessed within 8 weeks of receipt.
If we decide to register the property you will be advised that the property has been added to the register and of the date in five years time when it will be removed. When the five year period has expired you may submit a new nomination.
Once the property has been registered, the property owner has the right to request a review and there will be a process for an appeal to an independent body. Further guidance will be provided to the owner of the property at that time.
We will notify the nominator and other interested parties of our decision, and if we have refused the nomination we will also provide an explanation as to why it was unsuccessful. In these circumstances, the property will be added to the register of "Land Nominated by Unsuccessful Community Nominations" and will remain on the register for five years.
Nominators are not able to appeal the decision made in respect of the property. However, a complaint can be made using our complaint's procedure if you feel we have not followed the correct procedure.
Our register of properties which have been subject to the nomination and registering process can be viewed using the link at the bottom of the page.
Making a bid / Expressing an Interest (EOI)
Once the property is registered, the owner of that property must notify us of his / her intention to sell that property. This will be publicised on our website and all interested parties will be notified in writing.
Any community group wishing to make a bid must write to us within 6 weeks of receiving our written notification, confirming its "expression of interest (EOI)" to purchase the property. An "expression of interest" form together with guidance notes can be downloaded bottom of this page. Once completed the form should be returned via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively by post at the address below.
The group will then have a period of 6 months within which to place its bid. If there is more than one community group interested in purchasing we would encourage those groups to work together. The 6 months runs from the date the owner notifies us of their intention to sell the property.
At any point before the end of the 6 months period you may enter into negotiations with the owner of the property provided the owner is willing to do this. You must, however, keep us informed of developments.
At the end of the 6 months period, provided you have successfully put a bid together, the owner has the option to sell to the community group or to sell it freely on the open market.