By law, certain community and voluntary organisations have the right to nominate local land or buildings to be included in a list of 'assets of community value'.
Assets of community value
Community value means:
- the main use of the asset – currently or in the past – furthers the social wellbeing or cultural, recreational or sporting interests of the local community
- this use will continue to further the social wellbeing or interests of the local community, or will do so again in the next 5 years
Examples could include town shops, pubs, community centres and playing fields.
Buildings used as administrative offices, and land or property where community use isn't the main function, would not be included.
When the owner wants to sell an asset
If the owner of a listed asset wants to sell it they must let us know first. An initial period of 6 weeks is then allowed for local community groups to register an interest in making a bid to buy it. If an interest is registered by an eligible voluntary or community body, the asset cannot be sold for 6 months. This gives time for a proposal to be developed and capital to raised for a bid when the asset comes onto the open market at the end of that period.
Eligible voluntary or community bodies include:
- unincorporated bodies with at least 21 local individual members who appear on the electoral roll for Thurrock or a neighbouring local authority, and which does not distribute any surplus they make to their members
- companies limited by guarantee that do not distribute any surplus they make to their members
- industrial and provident societies that do not distribute any surplus they make to their members
- community interest companies
- neighbourhood forums, as designated under the Town and Country Planning Act
The listing of assets is only to allow time for groups to prepare a bid alongside other potential buyers if the asset comes up for sale within 5 years of listing.
Any sale, after the 6-month period, takes place under normal market conditions. The owner is under no obligation to sell to a community group. Community groups that have registered an interest are under no obligation to bid or purchase.
Community asset transfer
Where we own assets of community value in Thurrock, we may be able to transfer their ownership or management to a local voluntary, community or faith sector organisation. For more information, go to community asset transfer.