“We’re worried that one day our village pub will be sold off for development and we will no longer have a village pub. Is there anything we can do?” asked my mate Jim.
Well if you haven’t got a rich celebrity living locally who wants to buy it and save it you could apply to have the pub registered as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) under the Localism Act 2011.
What’s an ACV?
Property that the local authority considers to have community value either:
- because the primary current use of the land furthers the social well being or social interests of the local community and there is a realistic prospect of the land continuing to be used in a way that will further the social well being or social interests of the community; OR
- the land has previously been used for the purposes of social well being or interests of the local community in the “recent past” and there is a realistic prospect that it will be used for the same purpose again in the next 5 years.
What kinds of properties might be ACVs?
Common examples are village halls, building or land of historical value, sports ground, local park, car park, playing fields, theatres, cinemas, swimming pools, community centres, village shops and hospitals and of course pubs. The list is not exhaustive as skate parks and art galleries have also been listed!
How can we do it?
Make a community nomination for the property to be included in the local authority’s ACV list. The local authority will then decide whether to put it on the ACV list.
Who can make a community nomination?
A parish council or community council or a person on behalf of a voluntary or community body with a local connection with the land in the local authority’s area.
What happens once the land is registered as an ACV?
It will remain on the list for 5 years and there will be restrictions when there is to be a relevant disposal of that property. After 5 years a group can make a nomination again.
The owner must notify the local authority that they want to dispose of the property. The local authority has to inform the nominator and publicise the proposed disposal to the community. In the 6 week period from the date on which the local authority receives notification of the proposed disposal the owner can only dispose of the ACV to a community interest group and the group may notify the local authority in writing that it wants to be treated as a potential bidder. If no request is made by the group within that 6 week period the owner is free to dispose of the land to whoever it wants to at the end of that period.
But if the community interest group gives notice to be treated as a bidder a 6 month moratorium arises.
There is no obligation on you and no right by the group to make an offer or to buy the property; and no obligation on the owner to dispose to you. The owner can reject the bid and proceed with another buyer at the end of the 6 months at whatever price it wishes.
Any further bites of the cherry?
I’m afraid not for 18 months. If you do not buy within the 6 month period the owner is free to sell within the period of 18 months from the date on which the local authority received notification of the proposed sale. The property remains as an ACV after the 18 month protected period has ended so you might have another bite of the cherry if the owner looks to dispose later after the 18 months has passed.
See if that lovely Deadpool guy wants to buy it?