What is it?

The Community Right to Bid gives voluntary and community organisations the opportunity to nominate assets such as buildings or land to be included on a list of ‘assets of community value’. This list is managed by the council under the Localism Act 2011.

If the owner of a listed asset wants to sell the asset and an expression of interest is made by an elegible community interest group within a six week period then a six month moratorium period will be triggered during which time the asset cannot be sold.

The six month moratorium gives community groups some time to develop a proposal and raise the required capital to bid for the asset.

What is an asset of community value?

The regulations state that, with the exception of residential properties, any building or land may be listed if. 

  • the use of the land or building currently, or in the recent past, contributes to the social well-being or cultural, recreational or sporting interests of the local community
  • this use (as described above) of the building will continue to further the social well-being or interests of the local community
  • the use of the building or land must not be deemed ‘ancillary’, i.e. of secondary purpose. This means that the use of the land or building to further social well-being or interests of the community must be its principle use

Who can nominate an asset?

An asset must be nominated by an eligible local group who can demonstrate that its activities are wholly or partly concerned with the Bolton Council area where the asset sits or with a neighbouring authority (i.e. an authority which shares a boundary with Bolton Council in which the asset is located). Local authorities cannot list buildings or land on their own initiative.

Eligible groups

It is important that your community group is eligible to nominate, you can only do this if you answer yes to the two questions below:

  • Do you have a local connection to the property you are wishing to nominate? and;
  • Are you an unincorporated community group with at least 21 members who are registered to vote in the Bolton area, a parish council, charity, industrial and provident society, local neighbourhood forum, company limited by guarantee that is non-profit distributing; or community interest groups?

How to make a nomination

Download and complete the word Community Right to Bid Nomination Form (155kb). 

Completed Nomination Forms should be returned in electronic format to legal.services@bolton.gov.uk.

Nominated assets may be owned by anybody, including for example Bolton Council and the Crown.

How we will process your nomination

On receipt of a completed nomination form the council will:

  • consider and check the eligibility of the nomination; and
  • take practicable steps to inform relevant parties that an asset has been nominated.  

Within 8 weeks of receiving the nomination the council will make a decision as to whether the asset qualifies as an asset of community value or whether it falls into one of the ‘Excluded Categories’.

If the council determines that the nominated building or land does have community value it will be added to the council’s List of Assets of Community Value (76kb).  Assets will remain on the list for five years and a land charge will be registered against the asset. If the land is registered, the council will also apply for a restriction on the Land Register.

The nominee will be advised in writing that the asset has been listed together with the date when it will be removed (i.e. five years from the date of listing). The council will also notify all relevant parties (including any parish council in which the land lies or partly lies). When the five years have expired the asset will be removed from the list.  A new nomination will then be required.

The list of successful nominations is available under the downloads tab.

Unsuccessful nominations

The council will notify the nominee should the nomination be ineligible and provide an explanation as to why it was unsuccessful.  The asset will be added to the council’s List of Land Nominated by Unsuccessful Community Nominations.

Nominees are not allowed to appeal the decision made by the council in respect of the land or property.  However a complaint can be made to the council if you feel that the correct procedure has not been followed.

The list of unsuccessful nominations is available under the downloads tab

What if the owner objects?

If the owner of the asset objects to their building or land being placed on the List of Assets of Community Value, they will have a right to an internal review by the council of the decision to list. Detailed guidance will be issued to the land owner at time of listing. The council will conduct its review within 8 weeks.   If the owner remains in disagreement with the listing after the initial review they have a right of appeal to an independent tribunal.

Making a bid

Once an asset has been listed on the council’s List of Assets of Community Value nothing further will happen unless the owner decides to dispose of it, either through a freehold sale, or the grant or assignment of a qualifying lease (i.e. originally granted for at least twenty-five years).

The owner of the asset must advise the council when they intend to sell it – the council will then update the List of Assets of Community Value to reflect this as well as informing the nominator in writing.

Unless an exemption applies, the asset owner will only be able to dispose of it after a specified time period has expired:

  • A 6 week interim period will apply in all cases from the date that the owner notifies the council that he/she wishes to sell the asset.  This period will allow eligible community interest groups to make a written request to the council to be treated as a potential bidder (It is important to note that not all the groups mentioned in the ‘Who may nominate an asset’ section above are eligible to place a bid). If none do so, the asset owner is free to sell at the end of the 6 weeks.
  • Once a community interest group makes a written request to the council during the interim moratorium period to be treated as a potential bidder, the owner may not dispose of their asset during the full 6 month moratorium except as permitted (Refer to the List of Exemptions).  The Council will notify the owner in writing that a request has been received and publicise this in the local area.
  • After the moratorium period – either the 6 weeks if there has been no community interest in the asset, or the full 6 months – the owner is free to sell to whomever they choose and at whatever price, and no further moratorium will apply for the remainder of a protected period lasting 18 months (running from the start date of when the owner notified the council of their wish to sell).
  • Asset owners are requested to inform the council if they have become the new owner of listed land or buildings (together with their name and address details).

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