The 'Right to Bid' for buildings or land important to your community
The ‘Community Right to Bid’ was created by Government in 2012. It gives community groups protected time to try to buy important local land or buildings when they come up for sale.
If a community group can show that a building or piece of land is important to their communities and meets a few other tests, the Council must add it to a public list of 'Assets of Community Value'. Before buildings or land on the list can be sold, extra time must be given so community groups can offer to buy them.
What kind of land or building can be an Asset of Community Value?
Most land can be an Asset of Community Value if its main use is, or was recently, for the wellbeing or social good of the local community. The law (The Localism Act 2011) says these kinds of uses would include cultural, recreational and sporting activities. It must also be reasonable to think that the land could give similar use in the near future (5years)
Not all land can be listed. Homes, hotels, and land belonging to Church of England or some official organisations (like the railway or National Grid) are not included. Not all changes of owners are covered either; land passing between family members, related companies or for settling bankruptcy/debts is not included.
Normally, Assets of Community Value are things like village shops, village halls, pubs, parks & green spaces or sports buildings. These could be owned by the Council or by a private company or an individual.
How is land made an Asset of Community Value?
Asking for land to be added to the Asset of Community Value list is called making a nomination. Nominations must be made by community groups. Individuals cannot make a nomination on their own. A few kinds of group can nominate land - parish councils, charities, not-for-profit companies and informal community groups (of at least 21 local people).
The Nomination Form can be filled in online.
Once a nomination is made, the Council will first tell the people that own the land and anyone living there. Then we have 8 weeks to decide if the land meets the tests in the law.
If it does, the land will be added to the list of Assets of Community Value for five years.
If it doesn’t, it will be added to the list of unsuccessful nominations.
When the decision is made, we will tell the community group, the owner and anyone living on the land.
The nomination must include the following information:
- a description of the land or building being nominated, including its boundaries
- as much information that the community group holds about the names of current occupants of the land and the names and current or last-known addresses of all those holding a freehold or leasehold interest in the land
- the community group's reasons for thinking that the land or building is of community value and any evidence they have to show this.
- evidence that the community group meets the criteria for making a nomination (see 'who can submit nominations' above)
Assets of Community Value
- Assets that have been successfully listed
- Assets that were not successful in being listed
- Assets of community value that have now expired, or been removed
What happens if the owner disagrees with their land being on the list?
Owners can ask for the decision to be looked at again if they think that the decision was wrong or that the Council did not handle the nomination properly. Someone senior (who wasn’t involved the first time) will listen to the owner’s reasons and look at the decision again.
They might decide to keep the land on the list or they might decide that it should be removed. They have 8 weeks after the owner asks to make the new decision. They will give the owner all the reasons for the new decision in writing.
If the owner disagrees with the new decision, they can ask a court to look at it. This is called a 1st Tier Tribunal. The owner has 4 weeks from the review decision to ask the court.
When can the community bid?
Community groups can offer to buy a building or land at any time (that they can afford it!). However, if an owner wants to sell land that is on the list, they must give community groups time to make an offer.
First the owner must tell the Council if they are going to try to sell the land. There are then 6 weeks in which any local community group can decide if it will try to buy the land (bid). This time is called the ‘interim-moratorium’.
If no community group asks to bid, the owner can get on with selling their land. They have the rest of 18months to finish selling.
If a community group does ask to bid, there is a delay of the rest of 6months. This is called the ‘full-moratorium’. In this time, the owner only can sell to a community group. After this ends the owner has 12months to finish selling.
Does the owner have to sell to a community group?
No. The owner can sell to whoever they want and at whatever price they choose. The ‘Community Right to Bid’ just gives some extra time for community groups to raise money. This is so they have a fair chance alongside buyers already in the market.
Where can I find out more information?
The My Community Rights website has advice on all the Community Rights, information on funding and other help.
These are our guides for owners and community groups.
This the Law and Regulations for the ‘Community Right to Bid’
This is the Government’s guide for the Council. It answers many detailed questions about how the law works and the times when it doesn’t apply.
About Community Right to Challenge
The Community Right to Challenge aims to provide communities with an opportunity to help better shape local public services. Community members may have ideas on how to better manage these services, perhaps in terms of:
- ensuring services are cost-effective
- making services more responsive to local needs
- thinking up ways as to how services can offer additional social value
My Community offers advice on making your community a better place to live.
Expressions of Interest should be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org