This article is one in a series looking at the impact of public rights on land intended for development. In this article, we will look at the impact of land or buildings being listed as Assets of Community Value.
If you intend to develop or sell your land for development then a listing of the land (or a building on it) as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) could cause significant delay and cost or prevent the development from taking place all together. Most types of building or land can be the subject of a nomination as an ACV and could include village shops, pub, community centres, libraries, allotments and land (in respect of which see further below). Premises that are primarily residential and places of worship cannot be nominated.
Under the Localism Act 2011 (“the LA”), communities (through the relevant parish council, community interest groups or companies, non-profit companies, charities which have a local connection to the relevant asset) are given a right to bid for and buy local land that is considered to have community value.
Land can be listed as an ACV if in the opinion of the local authority:
When an owner of land listed as an ACV wishes to dispose of the land, the community is given the opportunity to raise funds and make a bid for the land. Whilst the owner is not obliged to accept an offer made by a community group, the LA imposes a six month moratorium, during which the owner of an ACV can only accept bids from community groups.
Pursuant to the case of Oliver’s Battery Ltd v Winchester City Council and Another (CR/2019/0001) it was decided that bare land could be listed as an ACV. The following findings were made:
If your land is listed as an ACV you are not prevented from selling the land but you must comply with the moratorium provision of the LA, otherwise any disposal will be ineffective. The moratorium provisions provide as follows:
If your land is listed as an ACV, take specialist legal advice as to the implications so that you follow the correct procedure for sale complying with the moratorium requirements. As stated in our other articles in the series, prevention is, of course, better than cure and, as a result, actively managing and, as appropriate, farming your land will help to safeguard your position as much as possible. See our article at Preparing your land for sale or development Part 3: On the ground considerations which considers possible safeguarding measures.
Further and more detailed information about other elements of strategic land can be found here.
This article is for general information only and does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. If you have any questions relating to your particular circumstances, you should seek independent legal advice.