Land and buildings that further community interests

The Localism Act gives community groups a right to bid on land or buildings included in an 'assets of community value' list before the landowner can sell it in the open market. Under the Act, voluntary and community organisations can nominate land or buildings (an asset) to be included on the list.

Examples of voluntary and community organisations that can make nominations include:

  • residents' associations
  • sport or other leisure clubs
  • charities.

This list is managed by the Royal Borough. Assets of community value can include private as well as publicly owned assets. 

View assets of community value directory

You can view listed assets as well as rejected nominations and assets serving notice for disposal. 

What counts as an asset of community value?

A building or piece of land is deemed to have community value if the use of the land or building:

  • currently furthers the social well-being or cultural, recreational or sporting interests (known collectively as 'social interest') of the local community, and
  • the use which furthers the social well-being or social interest of the community is not considered 'ancillary' (not the main purpose of the building or land), and
  • it is realistic to think that this, or any other use, which will further the social well-being or interest of the community will continue.

A building or piece of land can also be deemed to have community value if all of the following apply:

  • its use has furthered the social well-being or social interest of the community in the recent past
  • it's realistic to consider that this use, or another, will resume over the next five years.

Nominate an asset to the list

Only voluntary and community organisations can make nominations, not individuals. The nominating body must have a local connection and the asset must be in Royal Greenwich.

The nomination has to be made for land or buildings in the local area of the body making the nomination.

More details on eligible nominating bodies are explained in the online nomination form.

Nominate an asset of community value

Once your nomination has been received the Royal Borough will check that it is valid and assess the nomination. The Royal Borough will then contact you with the decision on whether to include the asset on the lists of assets of community value. If the nomination is successful, the asset will be placed on the list for five years.

We have an eight-week period to decide on nominations from the time they are received. If more than one organisation nominates the same asset, we'll notify the nominating organisations accordingly.

Review of decision

If we formally decide to include an asset on the list, the landowner can request that we review this decision within eight weeks of being notified. There is also a process for an appeal to an independent body.

Sale of an asset that has been nominated to the list 

A landowner wishing to sell an asset that is on the list of assets of community value must tell the Royal Borough. This will trigger the following actions:

  1. The Royal Borough of Greenwich will publicise locally that there is a proposed disposal of an asset.
  2. The Royal Borough of Greenwich will inform the group or groups who have nominated the site of the proposed disposal.
  3. If a voluntary or community group wants to buy the asset, it has six weeks to respond. If a group does want to put a bid together to buy the site they will be given six months to do so, during which time the property cannot be sold.
  4. After the six-month period, the landowner can sell the property to anyone, or decide not to proceed with the sale.

Note that being listed as an asset of community value:

  • does not oblige the landowner to sell the asset to a community group
  • does oblige the landowner to give community organisations an opportunity to prepare a bid to buy the asset.

Change of use and planning applications

The owner of any drinking establishment which is either nominated or included within the list of Assets of Community Value will be required by the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) Order 2015 to obtain planning permission to change its use or demolish the building, from the point of nomination.

This will remain the case until the drinking establishment is placed on the list of unsuccessful nominations, or if it is successfully nominated as an Asset of Community Value, for five years from the point of listing.

Enquiries and further information

If you have any queries about this process please contact the Community Assets team.

The Localism Act and the Assets of Community Value Regulations govern the law on assets of community value.