Name: Community right to bid - frequently asked questions
Description: Community right to bid - frequently asked questions for Dartford Borough Council

Community right to bid - frequently asked questions

The following information does not constitute legal advice and is provided for general information purposes only. Users should seek appropriate independent legal advice before taking or refraining from taking any action based on the contents or otherwise. Please note that legal advice is not provided by Dartford Borough Council.

1. What is the legal basis for the Community Right to Bid?

Chapter 3 of the Localism Act 2011 and Assets of Community Value (England) Regulations 2012 provide the legislative arrangements.

2. What does the Community Right to Bid aim to achieve?

Enables suitably constituted community interest groups (see section 5 below), to nominate local land and/or buildings to be included in Dartford Borough Council's list of assets of community value and provides a moratorium period for community interest groups with a legal identity, to submit their intention to bid for the asset, in the event that the asset comes up for sale.

3. Does the Community Right to Bid give community interest groups a right to buy assets within their community?

No - the legislation only stalls the selling process to provide suitably constituted community interest groups (see section 5 below), a period of time to prepare a proposal and raise the funds required to place a bid for the purchase of the asset. The sale takes place under normal market conditions and the owner is under no obligation to sell to any community interest group.

4. Where can I obtain advice and assistance about getting an asset listed or making a bid to purchase an asset that is listed?

Dartford Borough Council does not provide advice on the Assets of Community Value and Community Right to Bid process. Independent legal advice should be taken when considering this process.

Advice and assistance is available from Locality

Other sources of information and support are available from My-Community

5. Who is eligible to nominate an asset for inclusion in the list of assets of community value?

Nominations may be submitted by the following:

  • Town and Parish Councils
  • Unincorporated bodies with at least 21 individual members and which do not distribute any surplus it makes to its members
  • Charities
  • Company limited by guarantee which does not distribute any surplus it makes to its members
  • Industrial and provident society which does not distribute any surplus made to its members
  • Community Interest Companies (see Companies (Audit, Investigations and Community Enterprise) Act 2004)
  • A body designated as a 'neighbourhood forum' under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012

Regulation 12 of the 2012 Regulations provides a full definition of 'community interest group' for the purpose of the Community Right to Bid legislation.

With the exception of Town and Parish Councils, community interest groups will need to demonstrate a local connection as follows:

  • The group's activities must be wholly or partly concerned with the Borough of Dartford or a neighbouring local authority area which shares a boundary;
  • Any surplus made by the group, is wholly or partly applied for the benefit of the Borough of Dartford or a neighbouring local authority area which shares a boundary;
  • Unincorporated bodies must have at least 21 local members included on Dartford Borough Council's register of electors.

6. What types of assets are eligible for listing?

Land and buildings (including part of a building, part of any other structure and mines and minerals, whether or not held with the surface), either in public or private ownership which can demonstrate 'community value'.

7. How is 'community value' defined?

Defined as:

  • The principle use of the asset currently, or in the recent past, which furthers the social wellbeing or cultural, recreational or sporting interests of the local community; and
  • This use will continue to further the social wellbeing or interests of the local community.

Where the asset does not currently demonstrate `community value', it may still be nominated where it is possible to demonstrate that the asset's main use did further the social wellbeing or cultural, recreational or sporting interests of the local community in the five year period preceding the date of nomination and where it is realistic to think that it will do so again in the next five years. The actual community use in the 'recent past' does not have to be shown to be for a substantial part of that 'recent past', although trivial or a temporary use will be disregarded.

8. What kinds of assets could be considered as having 'community value'?

The following examples provide an indication of the types of assets which may be defined as having 'community value':

  • Education, health and wellbeing or community safety - nurseries and schools, children's centres, health centres, surgeries and hospitals, day care centres, residential care homes
  • Sport, recreation and culture - parks and open green spaces, sports and leisure centres, libraries, theatres, museums or heritage sites, cinemas, swimming pools/lidos
  • Community services - community centres, youth centres, public toilets
  • Local democracy - town, civic and guild halls
  • Any economic use which also provides an important local social benefit which would no longer be easily available if that service should cease - village shops, pubs, markets

9. What types of assets would not normally be considered as having 'community value'?

There are certain assets that cannot be nominated; for example, a residence together with land connected with that residence (although the 2012 Regulations set out certain exceptions for shops and pubs), land in respect of which a site licence is required under Part 1 of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960, land used by public utilities defined as 'operational land' in section 263 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and buildings used as administrative offices and land or property where community use is not the main function.

The 2012 Regulations must be referred to for the full list of exemptions and related definitions.

10. How do I go about nominating an asset for inclusion in the Council's list of assets of community value?

Nominations must be in writing using the Nomination Form PDF, 513.42 KB.

11. What information will I need to provide to support my nomination?

Nominations will need to include

  • A description of the nominated asset, including its proposed boundaries clearly edged in red;
  • A statement of all information which the nominator has with regard to the names of current occupiers and the names and current, or last known addresses of all those holding a freehold or leasehold estate in the land;
  • Reasons for believing that the Council should conclude that the land is of community value; and
  • Evidence that the nominator is eligible to make a nomination (see section 5 above).

12. What types of documents should support the nomination?

Generally, the more evidence you can send us to support the information in the nomination, the quicker we will be able to reach a decision on whether the asset is eligible for inclusion in the Council's list of assets of community value. As a minimum, the following should be provided:

(a)  Evidence to support that the nominator is eligible to make a nomination will include:

  • Memorandum of Association;
  • Articles of Association;
  • Companies House return;
  • Trust Deed;
  • Constitution/Terms of Reference;
  • Standing Orders;
  • Interest Statement for Community Interest Company.

(b)  Information about the asset being nominated – for example through one or more of the following:

  • Where the land is registered, the Land Registry Title and Title Plan (no less than one month old)  with boundaries clearly marked on the Title Plan;
  • A written description with ordinance survey location, with an explanation where the boundaries lie, the approximate size and location of any building/s on the land and details of any roads bordering the site;
  • A drawing or sketch map with boundaries clearly marked in red – websites which might help you navigate to individual properties on a map include: google-maps

The nomination process will be delayed if the Council decides that the nomination is not compliant (see section 11 above) or insufficient information has been provided in support of the nomination. In these circumstances, the nominator will be given one further and final opportunity to make the nomination compliant, including providing additional information where applicable, within a period of 3 months. Failure to make the nomination compliant, including providing sufficient information in support of the nomination, will result in the nomination being treated as unsuccessful and added to the list of unsuccessful nominations held by the Council.

The Council does not prohibit re-nomination or limit the number of times an asset can be re-nominated following an initial unsuccessful nomination.

13. Where should the nomination be sent?

Nominations should be sent to:

Community Right to Bid,
Policy and Corporate Support,
Dartford Borough Council,
Civic Centre,
Home Gardens,
Dartford,
Kent DA1 1DR

Online: Contact the Community Right to Bid Team

14. How will the nomination be processed?

We will usually acknowledge receipt of the nomination within ten working days. Nominations will then be considered in line with the requirements set out in the 2012 Regulations, including taking all practical steps to notify the following that the asset is being considered for listing:

  • The holder of the freehold estate and/or the holder of any leasehold estate and/or occupier;
  • The relevant Town or Parish Council;
  • The relevant ward Councillor(s) for the area;
  • Statutory undertakers (such as utility companies)

We will decide within eight weeks of receiving the nomination, whether the asset should be included in the list and will notify the following of our decision (supported by reasons):

  • The holder of the freehold estate and/or the holder of any leasehold estate and/or occupier;
  • The nominator;
  • The relevant Town or Parish Council;
  • The relevant ward Councillor(s) for the area

Where we are unable to notify the holder of the freehold and/or leasehold estate and/or occupier, we will attempt to bring the notice to their attention - for example by publishing details on the Council's website or displaying a site notice.

The nominator's contact details as provided on the nomination form will be used for future correspondence, including, in the event that the asset is listed, notice that the owner has advised the Council of an intention to dispose of the asset. It is therefore essential that the nominator ensures that any changes in contact details during the period of the listing, are notified to the Council.

15. How can I find out which assets have been nominated for inclusion in the Council's list of assets of Community value?

We publish on the Council's website the list of assets of community value and a list of assets nominated by unsuccessful community interest groups.

A copy of the lists are also available for inspection at the Civic Centre, Home Gardens, Dartford, Kent DA1 1DR or by contacting:

Community Right to Bid,
Policy and Corporate Support Team,
Dartford Borough Council,
Civic Centre,
Home Gardens,
Dartford,
Kent DA1 1DR

Tel: 01322 343470  Online: Contact the Community Right to Bid Team

16. How long will the asset remain on the Council's list?

Listed assets will be removed from the list of assets of community value no later than 5 years from the date of entry on the list, or as soon as practicable:

(a) after a relevant disposal (other than an exempt disposal);
(b) when an internal review against a listing has been successful;
(c) where an appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber) against the listing has been successful;
(d) when the Council forms the opinion that the land or building is no longer of community value.

Local land charges and restriction against land title

The 2012 Regulations protect land that is listed as an Asset of Community Value and prevents it from being disposed of in breach of section 95 of the Localism Act 2011. This is done by:

  • registering the Asset of Community Value as a local land charge;
  • entry of a restriction on the land register.

The restriction must be on Form QQ, which states: ‘Form QQ (Land included in a list of assets of community value maintained under section 87(1) of the Localism Act 2011) – No transfer or lease is to be registered without a certificate signed by a conveyancer that the transfer or lease did not contravene section 95(1) of the Localism Act 2011’.

The application to the Land Registry must be made by the Council as soon as practicable following the listing of the land as an Asset of Community Value, unless there is an existing restriction in Form QQ.

As a local land charge, the listing is binding on successive owners of the land, whether or not they know of the listing (or whether the listing is actually registered in the local land charges register). Anyone carrying out an investigation of title of the land (for example on a prospective purchase, grant of lease or mortgage), will become aware of the listing, when they carry out a local land charges search.

Where the Council has caused a restriction in Form QQ to be entered in respect of registered land and that land is subsequently removed from the list of assets of community value, the Council must apply as soon as practicable to the Land Registrar to cancel the restriction.

17. What happens if the owner wishes to object to their asset being listed?

The owner of an asset included in the Council's list of assets of community value may ask us to review our decision. This request must be made in writing, within eight weeks of the date of the decision (supported by reasons) to include the asset in the Council's list, or longer, where we have agreed to this in writing.

The request to review the decision should be sent to:

Community Right to Bid Listing Decision Review,
Policy and Corporate Support,
Dartford Borough Council,
Civic Centre,
Home Gardens,
Dartford,
Kent DA1 1DR

Online: Contact the Community Right to Bid Team

18. How will a request by an owner to review a listing be dealt with?

We will usually acknowledge receipt of the request within ten working days and advise of the procedure to be followed in connection with the review. The review will be undertaken by a senior officer independent of the original decision making process.

The owner may request an oral hearing and may appoint a representative to act on his/her behalf in connection with the review. Where no request for an oral hearing is made by the owner, we will decide whether or not an oral hearing would be beneficial to the review process. The owner, or their representative, may make written and oral representations to the reviewer.

We will complete the review process within eight weeks of receipt of the written request for the review, or a longer period where this has been agreed with the owner.

The owner will bear his/her own costs of the review.

If, as a result of the review, the Council decides that the asset should not have been included in the list of assets of community value, this will be communicated in writing to:

  • The nominator;
  • The holder of the freehold estate and/or the holder of any leasehold estate and/or occupier;
  • The relevant Town or Parish Council;
  • The ward Councillor(s) for the area;
  • Statutory undertakers (such as utility companies).

The letter will include reasons for the decision. The asset will be removed from the list of assets of community value. Where the Council has caused a restriction in Form QQ to be entered in respect of registered land and that land is subsequently removed from the list of assets of community value, the Council must apply as soon as practicable to the Land Register to cancel the registration.

19. What happens if the owner of the asset is dissatisfied with the outcome of this review?

Where  the owner is dissatisfied with the outcome of an internal review, they have the right to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber) against the Council's decision. A new owner who has bought the land following a request for a listing review, may appeal against the review decision. Appeals should be sent to:

Tribunal Clerk,
Community Right to Bid Appeals,
HM Courts and Tribunals,
First-tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber),
PO Box 9300,
Leicester, LE1 8DJ

20. Can the community interest group/nominator nominating an asset, appeal against the Council's decision not to include the asset on the Council's list of assets of community value?

If the nomination is unsuccessful, we will notify the nominator and provide an explanation as to why it was unsuccessful. In such circumstances, the asset will be added to the list of assets nominated by unsuccessful community interest groups. A nominator has no right to request a review or appeal from a refusal to list. This means that if a nominator wishes to challenge such a decision, the only option is to pursue judicial review proceedings.

21. What effect does the listing have?

Where an asset is included in the Council's list of assets of community value, the owner is required to notify the Council in writing of their intention to dispose of the asset.

The 2012 Regulations detail circumstances where a disposal is exempt – for example where the disposal is as a result of a court order, a separation agreement made between spouses or civil partners, upon inheritance and as a result of insolvency proceedings. The 2012 Regulations should be consulted for the full list of exemptions and detailed definitions.

This notification will trigger a moratorium period (a period of delay) during which the asset owner may not dispose of the asset (other than where the disposal is exempt under the 2012 Regulations). This interim moratorium is for a period of six weeks from the date we receive written notification of the owner's intention to dispose of the asset.

During this six week period, suitably constituted community interest groups that can demonstrate a local connection (see section 5 above), may submit an intention to bid. Where this is received, the full six month moratorium period (starting from the date on which we receive written notification of the owner's intention to dispose of the asset) is triggered, during which no disposal may take place except to a qualifying community interest group by negotiation (see section 26 below).

This six month period is intended to enable the community interest group to prepare a bid (to the owner) to purchase the asset. Any subsequent sale takes place under normal market conditions. There is no obligation for the community interest group to make a bid and the group has no rights of purchase over other potential buyers. The owner is under no obligation to sell the asset to the community interest group or any other person. If the owner decides to sell to the community interest group, they may do so within the six month moratorium period.

If after the six month moratorium period, the community interest group has not successfully bought the asset, a further 12 month protection period is triggered (the total eighteen month period commencing on the day upon we receive written notification of the owner's intention to dispose of the asset). During this protection period, the asset may be sold by the owner on the open market, without the risk of any further moratorium period being triggered.

If an asset in the Council's list of assets of community value is unregistered but is subsequently registered at the Land Registry (because of a disposal, mortgage or voluntary registration), the owner or new owner, must notify the Council within 4 weeks of the registration and complete the Land Registry's Form QQ to enter a restriction on their land register.

22. What does the owner need to do if they wish to dispose of an asset included in the Council's list of assets of community value?

The Localism Act 2011 and the Assets of Community Value (England) Regulations 2012 exempt certain types of disposal (see section 21 above). Where an owner wishes to dispose of an asset which is included in the Council's list of assets of community value and it is not an exempt disposal, they must notify us in writing of their intention to do so.

Assets of Community Value: Selling an Asset Flowchart PDF, 114.48 KB

The notification should be sent to:

Community Right to Bid,
Policy and Corporate Support,
Dartford Borough Council,
Civic Centre,
Home Gardens,
Dartford,
Kent DA1 1DR

Online: Contact the Community Right to Bid Team

23. What happens once an owner has notified an intention to dispose of an asset included in the Council's list of community assets?

We will acknowledge receipt of the notification within ten working days, confirming when the interim 6 week and full moratorium periods and the protected period takes effect and when these will end.

The list of assets of community value will be updated to show that we have received notice of an intention to dispose of the asset, together with the date of that notification and the resulting interim and full moratorium periods and the protected period.

We will notify the nominator in writing that we have received notice of an intention to dispose of the asset and will publish details on the Council's website and in the area where the asset is situated.

24. What does the community interest group need to do if it wishes to make a bid to purchase the asset?

An intention to bid may only be submitted by a suitably constituted 'community interest group' (see section 5 above) which can demonstrate a local connection. Unincorporated organisations and neighbourhood forums cannot bid for an asset, as they unable to legally own property.

The intention to bid should be submitted in writing using the Intention to Bid Form PDF, 474.15 KB together with evidence to support that the bid is being made by a suitably constituted 'community interest group'.

The intention to bid should be sent to:

Community Right to Bid,
Policy and Corporate Support,
Dartford Borough Council,
Civic Centre,
Home Gardens,
Dartford,
Kent DA1 1DR

Online: Contact the Community Right to Bid Team

We must receive the intention to bid within six weeks of the owner's notice to dispose of the asset (normally ending at midnight on the last working day of that period). Nominators are advised to obtain proof of delivery either through using appropriate recorded receipt postage or by obtaining a receipt for hand delivered post.

We will pass the intention to bid to the owner of the land, or inform them of the details, within 10 working days of receiving the intention to bid. This will then trigger the full six month moratorium period during which the asset cannot be sold by the owner.

25. Can the owner market the asset during the moratorium period?

Yes - there is nothing to prevent the owner actively marketing the asset during the moratorium period - the restriction refers only to exchange of contracts on the sale of the asset.

26. If the owner of the asset is happy to sell to a community interest group, can they go ahead with the sale without waiting for the moratorium period to end?

Yes - where the owner and a community interest group are able to agree terms within the six month moratorium period, they may proceed with the sale without waiting for the moratorium period to end.

27. What recourse does the owner have if they feel that they have suffered costs or expense as a result of their asset being included in the Council's list of assets of community value?

The owner [or former owner] of an asset included in the Council's list of assets of community value is entitled to make a claim for compensation to Dartford Borough Council in respect of incurred loss or expense in relation to the asset which would be likely not to have been incurred, if the land had not been listed. The 2012 Regulations should be consulted for details of bodies which are not entitled to compensation.

Claims should be made in writing within thirteen weeks of the loss or expense being incurred. Claims must state the amount of compensation being claimed for each part of the claim and be accompanied by supporting evidence.

Claims should be sent to:

Community Right to Bid Compensation Claim,
Policy and Corporate Support,
Dartford Borough Council,
Civic Centre,
Home Gardens,
Dartford,
Kent DA1 1DR

Online: Contact the Community Right to Bid Team

We will complete the compensation claim process within eight weeks of receipt of the claim and supporting evidence, or a longer period, where this has been agreed with the owner. Claims which are not supported by evidence, will be rejected.

28. What happens if the owner is not satisfied with the way a compensation claim has been treated by the Council?

The owner may ask for an internal review of the Council's decision. This must be made in writing within eight weeks of the date of the decision.

The request should be clearly marked Community Right to Bid Compensation Decision Review and sent to:

Policy and Corporate Support,
Dartford Borough Council,
Civic Centre,
Home Gardens,
Dartford,
Kent DA1 1DR

Online: Contact the Community Right to Bid Team

We will acknowledge receipt of the request and advise of the procedure to be followed in connection with the review. The review will be undertaken by an officer independent of the original decision making process. The owner may request a hearing and may appoint a representative to act on his/her behalf in connection with the review. Where no request for a hearing is made by the owner, we will decide whether or not a hearing would be beneficial to the review process. The owner, or their representative, may make written and oral representations at the hearing.

The owner will bear his/her own costs of the review.

We will complete the review process within eight weeks of receipt of the written request for the review, or a longer period, where this has been agreed with the owner.

We will notify the owner in writing of the outcome of the review, supported by reasons.

29. What happens if the owner is not satisfied with the outcome of the Council's compensation review?

Where the owner remains dissatisfied with the outcome of the review, they may appeal to the general regulatory chamber of the First-tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber) against the Council's decision on the compensation review.  Appeals should be sent to:

Tribunal Clerk,
Community Right to Bid Appeals,
HM Courts and Tribunals,
First-tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber),
PO Box 9300,
Leicester LE1 8DJ

Data Protection

The Council collects personal information for the purpose of administering the Assets of Community Value service. The lawful bases for processing personal information are:

  • legal obligation(s) under the Land Registration Rules 2003
  • legal obligation(s) under the Localism Act 2011
  • legal obligation(s) under the Assets of Community Value (England) Regulations 2012
  • necessary for the performance of a task in the public interest or in the event of official authority vested in the Council under the above legislation.

See the Corporate Privacy Notice and Assets of Community Value Privacy Notice.

Last Updated: 02nd March 2020