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Published 22 January 2014
Are you acquiring a site which includes any of the following: a pub, a cinema, court buildings, a scout hut, meeting halls, football stadia and other sports grounds and leisure facilities? If so, it could already have been nominated as an Asset of Community Value. This list is not exhaustive and local authorities have a wide discretion to consider nominations. To date over 500 properties have been listed as being of community value.
Developers should be aware that an increasing number of local community groups are using powers under the Localism Act 2011 to nominate properties as Assets of Community Value in order to hamper and delay development proposals. It only takes an unincorporated group of 21 people to nominate a property for listing.
The consequences for a developer of a listing as an Asset of Community Value are potentially serious. The listing may be used as a material consideration when determining a planning application, and in some cases disposals after listing can be declared void, where strict notice procedures and a possible six week or six month moratorium period have not been complied with.
If you are negotiating contracts which involve properties either already listed, or which are capable of being listed, you need to take advice on contract structure and in some circumstances should include provisions in your contract to control a landowner's request for review of the decision to list, and to direct potential compensation to you. Completion dates may also need extension provisions to allow for the relevant moratorium period to have expired.
Andrew Morgan, Christopher Stanwell
Christopher Stanwell, Andrew Morgan