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Assets of Community Value – what do they mean for developers?

As part of the government’s Big Society, the Localism Act 2011 aims to devolve more powers to councils and neighbourhoods in order to give local communities greater control over local decisions.

As part of this Bill, on 21st September this year, the Assets of Community Value Regulations (England) came into force. The regulations allow community groups or individuals to nominate sites which they believe further social wellbeing or provide a valuable public service, such as community centres, libraries or pubs.

What will this actually mean to community residents, property owners and developers?

In short , it will mean that under the Assets of Community Value (ACV) scheme, local authorities are now required to maintain a list of ACV and should the owner of an asset wish to sell, a moratorium period is imposed during which the community has the chance to mount a bid to purchase the site. Effectively this means that we could see delays in the sale of ACV for up to six months.

There is no denying that the regulations and the possible implications and delays may only add to an already challenging environment for developers. Property contracts are likely to face reconsideration and listing decisions will no doubt be challenged. One thing is for certain, this is all set to be a significant area of legal challenge over the next few years.

Find out more about our Commercial Property department
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