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

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 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?

The Policy and Corporate Support Team coordinate the Council's Community Right to Bid nominations process and can be contacted at:

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

Tel: 01322 343418  Online: Contact the Community Right to Bid Team

Independent support is available from Locality, a national network of over 700 community-led organisations appointed by the Government to provide advice and help relating to the community rights agenda – see www.locality.org.uk

Other sources of information and support are available from http://communityrights.communities.gov.uk/ and http://mycommunityrights.org.uk/community-right-to-bid/further-support/

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 it makes 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 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 the Dartford Borough Council's register of electors.
6. What types of asset 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 past two years prior to the date of nomination and where it is realistic to think that it will do so again in the next five years.

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 Regulations set out certain exceptions for shops and pubs), land in respect of which a site license 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 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. An application form is available by contacting:

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

Tel: 01322 343418  Online: Contact the Community Right to Bid Team

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: http://maps.google.co.uk/
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 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 and in a local newspaper.

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.

Information provided in the nomination form will be processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 for the purposes of administering the Community Right to Bid procedure. The information will be stored securely by Dartford Borough Council and will be destroyed after 6 years. Name and contact details provided will be shared with the owner/occupier/holder of the freehold and/or leasehold estate of the asset in the event that the nominator subsequently submits an intention to bid. The information provided will be subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000, but personal information (names and contact details) will not be released in responses to Freedom of Information requests.

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;

A list of assets nominated by unsuccessful community interest groups.

A copy of the list is 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?

Assets of community value will be listed for a period of five years (from the date of entry) and be notified to the Land Registry as a registered restriction in the land register for the land and as a local land charge.

17. What happens if the owner isn't happy that their asset has been listed?

The owner of an asset included in the Council's list of community assets, 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

8. 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.

We will notify the owner in writing of the outcome of the review supported by reasons and where the review concludes that a change to the listing is required, we will also notify:

  • 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).

Where the review concludes that a change to the listing is required, we will adjust the Council's list of assets of community value and advise the Land Registry accordingly.

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

Where an owner remains dissatisfied with the outcome of the review, they may appeal to the general regulatory chamber of the First Tier Tribunal against our decision on the listing 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

20. Can the community interest group 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. There is no appeal or review process for unsuccessful nominations.

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 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 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 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 which 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 received 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.

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 xxx 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 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 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 al hearing and may appoint a representative to act on his/her behalf in connection with the review. Where no request for al 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 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

Last Updated: 06th September 2018 Print Link

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