Community acquisition of property
Community Asset Transfer and Community Right to Bid are different ways for communities to acquire property assets which are of value to the community. Community Asset Transfer and Community Right to Bid share similar objectives, but the main differences are:
- Community Asset Transfer relates to publicly owned assets, while the Community Right to Bid applies to some public and some privately owned assets.
- Community Asset Transfer is the transfer of management or ownership at less than market value. Community Right to Bid gives a window of opportunity for a community group to compete to buy an asset on the open market.
- Community Asset Transfer is a process entered into voluntarily by public bodies. The Community Right to Bid is a pre-emptive legal right held by communities.
The Community Asset Transfer (CAT) process involves transferring the ownership of land or buildings, either by leasehold or freehold, from KCC to a community organisation at less than market value.
The CAT process has a variety of benefits and enables local authorities to support the development of a strong and vibrant community through improvements to an organisation’s sustainability.
The Localism Act 2011 has introduced a Community Right to Bid process for property assets seen to have community value. The Community Right to Bid aims to ensure that buildings and amenities can be kept in public use and remain part of community life.
Under this legislation, voluntary and community organisations and parish councils can nominate an eligible property asset to be included in a ‘list of assets of community value’. The local authority will then be required to hold a list of any assets which they agree have significant community value.
If the owner of a property on this list decides to sell it, a ‘moratorium period’ will be triggered, during which the asset cannot be sold. This period allows community groups time to develop a proposal and raise the required funds to bid for the property when it is offered for sale at the end of the period.
Local community groups, voluntary bodies, parish and town councils are able to identify land and buildings that provide an important service in their locality. These community organisations can request that these assets are considered for inclusion on the register of assets of community value, which are managed by the appropriate district and borough councils.
If these assets are owned by Kent County Council, each district or borough council will notify KCC if the nomination is approved and the asset is included on the register.
Examples of eligible assets include local shops, pubs, community centres, libraries, playgrounds, swimming pools, and markets.
To view each district or borough council register, please visit their websites below: