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Community rights and assets

To follow any changes to this service, visit the Council Service Updates page.

Details of assets of community value in North Lincolnshire and how communities can bid to own and/or run them. What to do if you own or lease a listed asset.

Community right to challenge

The community right to challenge helps communities to play a bigger part in shaping the running of local services.

A ‘relevant body’ such as a charitable organisation, voluntary or community body, or a town or parish council will be able to express an interest in providing a local authority service, subject to certain exceptions. Councils must respond to this challenge and consider the positive impact the proposal could have on the community.

If a challenge is rejected, the council must publish the reasons for this. When a challenge is accepted, the council must run a competitive procurement process.

The My Community Rights website contains information about Community Right to Bid and Right to Challenge, amongst other topics.

External funding may be available through the Social Investment Business Group.

Community right to bid

Communities have the opportunity to identify a building or land that is important to their social wellbeing and bid for it if it comes up for sale.

Across North Lincolnshire there are buildings and amenities that are important to the communities that use them. These could include:

  • a shop
  • a pub
  • a library

If the owner of a listed asset wants to sell it, they must tell the council. The community will then be given a period of time to prepare and make a bid for the asset.

You can request a free copy of either of the lists of Assets of Community Value by emailing propertyassetteam@northlincs.gov.uk.

Community asset transfer

Community asset transfer is about helping local people and community groups to influence the future of their area and their community. One way to achieve this is to transfer assets from North Lincolnshire Council to be managed by local community groups, social enterprises or voluntary groups.

We want to work with community groups and local people so that community asset transfer in North Lincolnshire is successful. The council has many assets. These include various buildings and individual plots of land. Some of these play a vital role in local life.

We want to see these assets managed in the best interests of the community. We are keen that assets are used to their fullest potential to support the development of strong communities across North Lincolnshire and to encourage volunteering. We therefore want to encourage communities to make use of these assets, where this can provide mutual benefit.

Assets of community value

 

An Asset of Community Value can comprise land or buildings.

There are certain exclusions:

  • a building wholly used as a residence, together with land ‘connected with’ that residence. This means adjoining land in the same ownership. Land is treated as adjoining if it is separated only by a road, railway, river or canal
  • a caravan site
  • operational land – This is generally land belonging to the former utilities and other statutory operators

Subject to that, the asset should be listed if in the opinion of the council:

  • an actual current use of the asset furthers the social well being or social interests (cultural, recreational and/or sporting) of the local community, and
  • it is realistic to think that there can continue to be use of the asset which will further the social well being or social interests of the local community, although not necessarily in the same way as before

Alternatively, an asset can qualify if it had such a use in the recent past, and it is realistic to think that there is a time in the next five years when it could do so again (whether or not in the same way as before).

‘Use’ means the main use of the land or building. For these purposes, an ancillary (or secondary) use does not count.

Examples of assets of community value could be pubs, shops, libraries and community facilities, although not every example of these facilities will qualify. A shop in Scunthorpe High Street would not be considered to further the community’s social well being or interests in the same way as a single shop in a small village.

If a building or other land that you own is added to the list of assets of community value, nothing will happen until you want to dispose of one of the following interests in it:

  • the freehold interest, with vacant possession
  • a leasehold interest with vacant possession, whether by grant or assignment of a lease, where the original term is or was at least 25 years.

In the above cases you must notify the council that you wish to dispose of the land. Please email or post to:

Under the Localism Act, the ‘owner’ means the freehold owner, unless there are one or more leasehold interests in the land whose original term was at least 25 years.

In that case the owner will be the person holding the leasehold estate; if more than one leasehold estate exists, it will be the one most distant from the freehold in terms of the number of intervening leaseholds.

Assets can be nominated for inclusion on the list by a voluntary or community body, namely one of the following:

Group A

  • a neighbourhood forum
  • a parish council
  • a charity
  • a community interest company

or one of the following which does not distribute any surplus it makes to its members:

Group B

  • an unincorporated body with at least 21 individual members registered to vote locally
  • a company limited by guarantee
  • in industrial and provident society

in addition, the body must have a local connection, which means that its activities are wholly or partly concerned with the administrative area of North Lincolnshire Council or a neighbouring local authority.

In the case of a body in Group B, any surplus must be wholly or partly applied for the benefit of the same area.

A nomination has to include certain information. To ensure that you comply with the requirements, please use our Assets of Community Value Nomination Form [DOC, 92Kb].

Completed forms should be returned to:

  • propertyassetteam@northlincs.gov.uk
  • by post to the Group Manager – Asset and Estate Management, Operations, Church Square House, 30-40 High Street, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, DN15 6NL

The council has to decide whether or not to list the asset, within eight weeks following the nomination. A council officer will check the technical issues such as eligibility of the organisation making the nomination, completeness of the information supplied, and the fact that the asset is not in an excluded category.

The judgement as to whether the asset is of community value will then be made by the Head of Asset and Estate Management in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Asset Management, Leisure and Corporate Services.

The council must take all practicable steps to notify the following that it is considering listing the land:

  • all owners, lessees and lawful occupants
  • the parish council if there is one

The council will consider any representations that are made in writing from these consultees within three weeks of notifying of that the asset is being considered for listing.

The same people will be notified if the application is successful, and the listing will be registered as a local land charge and at the Land Registry.

The organisation which originally nominated the asset will be notified of the outcome, together with reasons if the application is unsuccessful.

They will also be notified if the asset is subsequently removed from the list following a review of the decision.

There is no right of review for a community interest group against a decision not to include an asset on the list.

Note that a ‘community interest group’ is defined as a narrower range of bodies than those who can nominate an asset for inclusion on the list:

Group A

  • a parish council
  • a charity
  • a community interest company

or one of the following which does not distribute any surplus it makes to its members:

Group B

  • a company limited by guarantee
  • an industrial and provident society

In addition, the body must have a local connection, which means that its activities are wholly or partly concerned with the administrative area of North Lincolnshire Council or a neighbouring local authority.

In the case of a body in Group B, any surplus must be wholly or partly applied for the benefit of the same area.

The council must make a decision within eight weeks of the receiving the nomination from a qualifying organisation. You have a formal right to ask the council to review the listing, if your asset is added to the list. In addition, the council will write to you shortly after we receive the nomination.

You can make any representations you wish, in writing, within three weeks. We will consider these when we make our decision. This will not prejudice your right to ask for a listing review.

There are two situations in which an owner can ask for a review of the council’s decision:

  • a ‘listing review’, that is a review of the decision to include an asset on the list
  • a ‘compensation review’, that is a review of a decision not to pay compensation, or the amount of compensation.

In either case there is a time limit of eight weeks following the date the Council gave written notice of its decision. The council has discretion to allow a longer period.

Reviews have to be carried out by a senior officer who did not take any part in the original decision, and this will be the Assistant Director, Planning and Regeneration.

A request for a review should be sent:

  • propertyassetteam@northlincs.gov.uk
  • by post to the Group Manager – Asset and Estate Management, Operations, Church Square House, 30-40 High Street, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire ,DN15 6NL

If the owner has appointed any legal or other representative to act on his or her behalf in connection with the review, the council should be informed of this, whereupon the council will correspond with the representative and is not obliged to supply copies of documents to the owner.

The council will supply details of the procedure for conducting the review, which must be completed within eight weeks following receipt of the request, unless the owner agrees to a longer period.

An oral hearing will be held if the owner or the council requires one, otherwise the review will be conducted in writing. In either case, both the owner and his or her representative may make representations to the reviewer.

The owner will be notified of the decision on review, together with reasons.

There is a further right of review in either case to a First-tier Tribunal, which must be applied for within eight weeks.

An owner may be entitled to claim compensation for loss or expense incurred as a result of the listing.

A claim must be made in writing to the council by the end of thirteen weeks after the loss or expense was incurred, or finished being incurred.

The owner should state the amount of compensation sought, and include supporting evidence.

Claims should be sent:

  • propertyassetteam@northlincs.gov.uk
  • by post to the Group Manager – Asset and Estate Management, Operations, Church Square House, 30-40 High Street, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire ,DN15 6NL.

The council will consider the claim and give written reasons for its decision.

More information about the community right to bid, assets of community value and help available to groups who wish to nominate or bid for a building or other land is available on the My Community Rights website.