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Assets of Community Value

The scheme gives eligible community groups the right to identify land or property and ask the council to list it as being of value to the community.

What is an Asset of Community Value?

The Localism Act 2011 made provision for community groups to nominate local buildings or land as an Asset of Community Value (ACV). ). The Assets of Community Value Regulations 2012 provide clarification on procedures for nominating and registering ACV. A building or land in East Herts is of community value if the District Council considers that

  • an actual current use of the building or land (that is not an ancillary use) furthers the social well-being 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 land which will further the social well-being or social interests of the local community

Social interests include cultural interests, recreational interests and sporting interests. Social well-being relates to social interaction and engagement - a sense of involvement with other people and the local community. ACVs can include pubs, open spaces, theatres, civic halls and buildings, heritage sites, etc.

If the Council considers that the building or land should be registered as an ACV, it will remain on the Council's register of community assets for five years.

What is the Community Right to Bid?

If the owner of the land or building list as an ACV wishes to sell, they must contact the Council who will notify the community group which nominated the asset. The community group then has six weeks to register its interest as a potential bidder. If the community group wishes to buy, it is then allowed six months to prepare a proposal and raise funds to bid to buy it. During this time (called the moratorium period), the owner of the asset cannot agree a sale. However, the owner of the ACV is under no obligation to sell to a community group, and after the moratorium period the owner of the ACV can sell to whomever they choose. After a moratorium period has ended, another moratorium period cannot begin for a further 12 months.

What a nomination cant do?

Nominating an ACV does not mean that it will necessarily stay in community use. If a building or land becomes an ACV this means that a there is a mandated delay on the sale of the asset giving the community time to put together an alternative bid. The seller is under no obligation to accept that bid over what they arrange privately or on the open market, the community group is simply bidding like anyone else. 

Nominating an ACV offers no extra protection under law to ultimately prevent the asset ceasing to be of use to the community. As of April 2019, 4,025 ACV had been registered across the country. As of February 2015 (the latest figures available), only 11 had been bought by community groups.

We share these statistics to make it clear the limits of nomination. Preparing the necessary information for a nomination, undertaking a bid, and potentially responding to a landowner's appeal, is a significant bureaucratic burden which may be quite overwhelming, particularly for smaller community groups. We would advise that groups think carefully about what they want to achieve from nominating an ACV.

Appeals Process

There is no provision for a community nominator to appeal if the local authority rejects an application to list land or buildings as an asset, although the owner of an asset may appeal against its inclusion on the list.Regulation 11 of the 2012 regulations provides that the owner of a building may appeal against its listing as an ACV.

How can my community group nominate an asset?

Nominations can be made using the downloadable form on this webpage. Please send it to customer.services@eastherts.gov.uk .

Alternatively please post to:
Assets of Community Value

Communications, Strategy and Policy
East Herts Council
Wallfields
Pegs Lane
Herts
SG13 8EQ

What should a nomination include?

Community nominations should include:

  • Information about your community organisation and how its activities are connected with the local area
  • A description of the land or building nominated for listing
  • Information about the owner and/or occupiers of the land or building
  • Information about how the nominated asset furthers the social well-being/interests of the local community and plans for future activities

 

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