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Community Right to Bid

Community Right to Bid

Communities now have the opportunity to identify a building or land that is important to their social well being, and bid for it if it comes up for sale.

Across North Lincolnshire there are buildings and amenities that are important to the communities that use them. These could include, for example:

  • a shop
  • a pub
  • a library

If the owner of a listed asset wants to sell it, they must tell the council. The community will then be given a period of time to prepare and make a bid for the asset.

You can request a free copy of either of the lists of Assets of Community Value by contacting us.

These lists are also available to view at:

Hewson House
Station Road
Brigg
North Lincolnshire
DN20 8XY 

Community Right to bid - list of Assets of Community Value

Community Right to bid - list of unsuccessful nominations

Owning a listed asset

If a building or other land that you own is added to the list of assets of community value, nothing will happen until you want to dispose of one of the following interests in it:

  • the freehold interest, with vacant possession;
  • a leasehold interest with vacant possession, whether by grant or assignment of a lease, where the original term is or was at least 25 years.

In the above cases you must notify the Council that you wish to dispose of the land:

chris.fairbrother@northlincs.gov.uk

Estates Services Manager Places Directorate, Hewson House, Station Road, Brigg, North Lincolnshire, DN20 8XY

An Asset of Community Value can comprise land or buildings.

There are certain exclusions:

  • a building wholly used as a residence, together with land 'connected with' that residence. This means adjoining land in the same ownership. Land is treated as adjoining if it is separated only by a road, railway, river or canal
  • a caravan site
  • operational land - This is generally land belonging to the former utilities and other statutory operators

Subject to that, the asset should be listed if in the opinion of the council:

  • an actual current use of the asset furthers the social well being or social interests (cultural, recreational and/or sporting) of the local community, and
  • it is realistic to think that there can continue to be use of the asset which will further the social well being or social interests of the local community, although not necessarily in the same way as before

Alternatively, an asset can qualify if it had such a use in the recent past, and it is realistic to think that there is a time in the next five years when it could do so again (whether or not in the same way as before).

'Use' means the main use of the land or building. For these purposes, an ancillary (or secondary) use does not count.

Examples of assets of community value could be pubs, shops, libraries and community facilities, although not every example of these facilities will qualify. A shop in Scunthorpe High Street would not be considered to further the community's social well being or interests in the same way as a single shop in a small village.

Assets can be nominated for inclusion on the list by a voluntary or community body, namely one of the following:

Group A

  • a neighbourhood forum
  • a parish council
  • a charity
  • a community interest company

or one of the following which does not distribute any surplus it makes to its members:

Group B

  • an unincorporated body with at least 21 individual members registered to vote locally
  • a company limited by guarantee
  • in industrial and provident society

in addition, the body must have a local connection, which means that its activities are wholly or partly concerned with the administrative area of North Lincolnshire Council or a neighbouring local authority.

In the case of a body in Group B, any surplus must be wholly or partly applied for the benefit of the same area.

How to nominate an asset

A nomination has to include certain information. To ensure that you comply with the requirements, please use our Assets of Community Value Nomination Form [DOC, 92Kb].

Completed forms should be returned to:

  • by post to the Estates Services Manager Places Directorate, Hewson House, Station Road, Brigg, North Lincolnshire, DN20 8XY

The council has to decide whether or not to list the asset, within eight weeks following the nomination. A council officer will check the technical issues such as eligibility of the organisation making the nomination, completeness of the information supplied, and the fact that the asset is not in an excluded category.

The judgement as to whether the asset is of community value will then be made by the Head of Asset and Estate Management in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Asset Management, Leisure and Corporate Services.

The council must take all practicable steps to notify the following that it is considering listing the land:

  • all owners, lessees and lawful occupants

  • the parish council if there is one

The council will consider any representations that are made in writing from these consultees within three weeks of notifying of that the asset is being considered for listing.

The same people will be notified if the application is successful, and the listing will be registered as a local land charge and at the Land Registry.

The organisation which originally nominated the asset will be notified of the outcome, together with reasons if the application is unsuccessful.

They will also be notified if the asset is subsequently removed from the list following a review of the decision.

There is no right of review for a community interest group against a decision not to include an asset on the list.

Following the listing of a building or other land, nothing will happen until an owner wants to dispose of one of the following interests in it:

  • the freehold interest, with vacant possession
  • a leasehold interest with vacant possession, whether by grant or assignment of a lease, where the original term is or was at least 25 years.

In the above cases the council must be notified in writing that the owner wishes to dispose of the land.

The council will then notify the group that originally nominated the asset for inclusion on the list, as well as publicising within its area the fact that it has received notice of the intended disposal of a listed asset. This triggers the various moratorium periods.

There are certain exceptions, for example:

  • a gift of the asset
  • transmission of the asset under the terms of a will or intestacy; or to raise money to satisfy other entitlement under the will or intestacy, or to pay the deceased person's debts, taxes, or costs of administering the estate
  • transfer between family members, defined for these purposes as spouses or civil partners, or persons descended from the same grandparents (including relationships by marriage);
  • a disposal with other land;
  • a person joining or leaving a partnership;
  • under the terms of a trust

There are various other exceptions in Schedule 3 to the Assets of Community Value (England) Regulations 2012. The owner is explicitly allowed to dispose of the land to a community interest group.

The three periods

When land or a building are included in the council's list of assets of community value, and the council receives notice from the owner of an intended disposal, the following periods begin to run:

  • In the first instance, there is an interim moratorium period of six weeks, during which a defined 'community interest group' can submit a written request to be treated as a potential bidder for the land, which the council must pass on to the owner
  • The full moratorium period of six months is triggered if such a request is received. It is intended to give the group time to assemble a bid and, if successful, complete the purchase
  • During the protected period of eighteen months (from the same original date), the owner is free to sell the asset without further delay, if no community interest group has submitted a request and/or pursued it through to completion of a purchase within the relevant moratorium periods.

Note that a 'community interest group' is defined as a narrower range of bodies than those who can nominate an asset for inclusion on the list:

Group A

  • a parish council
  • a charity
  • a community interest company

or one of the following which does not distribute any surplus it makes to its members:

Group B

  • a company limited by guarantee
  • an industrial and provident society

In addition, the body must have a local connection, which means that its activities are wholly or partly concerned with the administrative area of North Lincolnshire Council or a neighbouring local authority.

In the case of a body in Group B, any surplus must be wholly or partly applied for the benefit of the same area.

Who is an owner?

Under the Localism Act, the 'owner' means the freehold owner, unless there are one or more leasehold interests in the land whose original term was at least 25 years.

In that case the owner will be the person holding the leasehold estate; if more than one leasehold estate exists, it will be the one most distant from the freehold in terms of the number of intervening leaseholds.

The council must make a decision within eight weeks of the receiving the nomination from a qualifying organisation. You have a formal right to ask the council to review the listing, if your asset is added to the list. In addition, the council will write to you shortly after we receive the nomination.

You can make any representations you wish, in writing, within three weeks. We will consider these when we make our decision. This will not prejudice your right to ask for a listing review.

Owning a listed asset

If a building or other land that you own is added to the list of assets of community value, nothing will happen until you want to dispose of one of the following interests in it:

  • the freehold interest, with vacant possession;

  • a leasehold interest with vacant possession, whether by grant or assignment of a lease, where the original term is or was at least 25 years.

In the above cases you must notify the Council that you wish to dispose of the land:-

The council will then notify the group which originally nominated it for inclusion on the list, as well as publicising within its area the fact that it has received notice of the intended disposal of a listed asset. This triggers the various moratorium periods.

There are certain exceptions, for example:

  • a gift of the asset
  • transmission of the asset under the terms of a will or intestacy; or to raise money to satisfy other entitlement under the will or intestacy, or to pay the deceased person's debts, taxes, or costs of administering the estate
  • transfer between family members, defined for these purposes as spouses or civil partners, or persons descended from the same grandparents (including relationships by marriage)
  • a disposal with other land
  • a person joining or leaving a partnership
  • under the terms of a trust

There are various other exceptions in Schedule 3 to the Assets of Community Value (England) Regulations 2012. You are explicitly allowed to dispose of the land to a community interest group.

There are two situations in which an owner can ask for a review of the council's decision:

  • a 'listing review', that is a review of the decision to include an asset on the list
  • a 'compensation review', that is a review of a decision not to pay compensation, or the amount of compensation.

In either case there is a time limit of eight weeks following the date the Council gave written notice of its decision. The council has discretion to allow a longer period.

Reviews have to be carried out by a senior officer who did not take any part in the original decision, and this will be the Assistant Director, Planning and Regeneration.

A request for a review should be sent:

If the owner has appointed any legal or other representative to act on his or her behalf in connection with the review, the council should be informed of this, whereupon the council will correspond with the representative and is not obliged to supply copies of documents to the owner.

The council will supply details of the procedure for conducting the review, which must be completed within eight weeks following receipt of the request, unless the owner agrees to a longer period.

An oral hearing will be held if the owner or the council requires one, otherwise the review will be conducted in writing. In either case, both the owner and his or her representative may make representations to the reviewer.

The owner will be notified of the decision on review, together with reasons.

There is a further right of review in either case to a First-tier Tribunal, which must be applied for within eight weeks.

Compensation

An owner may be entitled to claim compensation for loss or expense incurred as a result of the listing.

A claim must be made in writing to the council by the end of thirteen weeks after the loss or expense was incurred, or finished being incurred.

The owner should state the amount of compensation sought, and include supporting evidence.

Claims should be sent:

The council will consider the claim and give written reasons for its decision.

More information about the community right to bid, assets of community value and help available to groups who wish to nominate or bid for a building or other land is available on the My Community Rights website.

Contact details

chris.fairbrother@northlincs.gov.uk

01724 297477

Estates Services Manager
Places Directorate
Hewson House
Station Road
Brigg
DN20 8XY

Opening hours

 Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm

Communities now have the opportunity to identify a building or land that is important to their social well being, and bid for it if it comes up for sale.
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