Do you own land of community value?

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26 January 2011

As well as wide ranging proposals for reform of the planning system, the recently published Localism Bill is of interest for introducing the concept of "assets of community value".   The Bill contains provisions which when implemented will confer a right of pre-emption for neighbourhood groups over certain properties such as pubs, shops, libraries or leisure centres.

These may be nominated by parish councils (community councils in Wales) or others as being of community value. If they meet the relevant criteria they will be listed by the local authority as such, although there is provision for objections and appeal and there may be compensation payable.  The effect of a listing will be that the landowner may not agree to sell the property with vacant possession or grant, assign or surrender a lease for a term of over 25 years without notifying the local authority. There will then be a moritorium during which the proposal to dispose of the property will be advertised in the community and community groups may bid for it. Full details of the scheme will not become known until the Bill becomes law and regulations are made governing how it will work in practice.

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