Assets of community value (community right to bid)

Overview

The Community Right to Bid is a provision in the Localism Act 2011. It gives community groups a right to identify buildings or land that they consider to have value to the local community and gives them a fair chance to bid for these assets when they come up for sale.

The London Borough of Bexley maintains a List of Assets of Community Value (PDF, 36KB), and if an asset is included on this list, the owner of the asset may not be able to sell it until giving the community a period of time in which they can prepare a bid to purchase the asset.

Nominate an asset

If you represent a community or voluntary body, you may be eligible to nominate an asset to be included on the List of Assets of Community Value (PDF, 36KB).

Only the following types of 'voluntary and community bodies', with a local connection, are eligible to nominate properties to be included on the List:

  • Unincorporated groups with a membership of at least 21 local people who appear on the electoral roll within the local authority, or a neighbouring local authority
  • Neighbourhood forums (there can only be one neighbourhood forum for an area)
  • Community interest groups with a local connection and one or more of the following structures:
    • a charity
    • a community interest company
    • a company limited by guarantee which does not distribute any surplus it makes to its members
    • an industrial and provident society which does not distribute any surplus it makes to its members

A local connection means that the body's activities are wholly or partly concerned with the local authority's area or with a neighbouring authority's area and that any surplus it makes is wholly or partly applied for the benefit of the local authority's area or a neighbouring authority's area.

If your organisation meets this definition, and you would like to nominate a property, please make sure that you have read and understood the FAQ for community groups (PDF, 215KB). You may then fill out the Community Right to Bid nomination asset form.

List of assets of community value

The List of Assets of Community Value (PDF, 36KB) will be updated as we receive and evaluate new nomination forms and as owners of listed assets announce their intention to sell their asset (which triggers the interim moratorium period).

If you would like to receive an automatic email notification whenever an interim moratorium period is triggered for an asset, please sign up to Community Right to Bid email alerts.

All of the assets on the List have been added to the list because they meet the definition of 'asset of community value'. This definition is found in the Localism Act (PDF, 4MB), and states that a building or other land has community value, if, in the opinion of the local authority:

Either:

  • an actual current use of the building or other land that is not an ancillary use furthers the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community, and
  • it is realistic to think that there can continue to be 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

Or:

  • there is a time in the recent past when an actual use of the building or other land that was not an ancillary use furthered the social wellbeing or interests of the local community, and
  • it is realistic to think that there is a time in the next five years when there could be non-ancillary use of the building or other land that would further (whether or not in the same way as before) the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community

Assets will be removed from this list once five years have passed since the date they were added. In some cases assets may be removed earlier than five years, for example:

  • if an internal review or independent appeal judges that the asset has been wrongly listed
  • if it becomes no longer of community value
  • if a relevant disposal has taken place
 

List of unsuccessful nominations

When organisations nominate assets to be included on the List of Assets of Community Value, if their nomination does not meet the required criteria, the asset is added to the List of unsuccessful nominations (PDF, 33KB).

Request to be treated as a bidder

When the owner of an asset on the List of Assets of Community Value (PDF, 36KB) notifies the Council that they intend to dispose of their asset, the Council must share this information with the community.

One way this is done is by updating the List of assets of community value.

Then, unless the type of disposal is exempt from the provisions of the scheme, a six-week window of opportunity is triggered (called a "moratorium period"), in which the owner cannot dispose of the asset.

During these six weeks, eligible community interest groups may signal to the Council their interest in being treated as a potential bidder for the asset. If they do, a longer moratorium period will be triggered in which the owner cannot dispose of the asset. During this time (six months from the date the owner announced their intention to sell), community groups can prepare their bid for the asset.

Only some community interest groups are able to request to be treated as a "potential bidder". These groups must have a local connection and must have one of the following structures:

  • a charity
  • a community interest company
  • a company limited by guarantee which does not distribute any surplus it makes to its members
  • an industrial and provident society which does not distribute any surplus it makes to its members

A local connection means that the body's activities are wholly or partly concerned with the local authority's area or with a neighbouring authority's area and that any surplus it makes is wholly or partly applied for the benefit of the local authority's area or a neighbouring authority's area.

If your organisation meets the above definition of "community interest group", and you are interested in bidding for an asset that an owner intends to sell, then you must inform the Council before the six weeks interim moratorium period ends (for all moratorium end dates, please see the updated List of assets of community value)Please be aware that the Council will verify your group's eligibility to be treated as a potential bidder.

To request to be treated as a potential bidder, please submit the Community Right to Bid Potential Bidder form (PDF, 111KB).