Whitchurch has led the way locally in making use of new national legislation that provides improved chances of saving community facilities.
Under a section of the new Localism Act, two sites in Whitchurch have become the first in the Basingstoke and Deane area to be classified as Assets of Community Value.
This very important legislation sets in place a community’s legal ‘Right to Bid’ should an owner wish to sell-off a community asset, such as a public house or a recreational facility.
Two successful nominations have been accepted – Daniel Park (the land owned by B&DBC) and the Gill Nethercott Centre (building, grounds, adjacent public car park and access road from Winchester Street).
They have been added to the Register of Community Assets and entries made at Land Registry.
These ‘Assets’ were nominated by Whitchurch residents following a local ‘consultation’ process.
(click pictures to enlarge)
Some important background information:
COMMUNITY RIGHT TO BID – ASSETS OF COMMUNITY VALUE
The Community Right to Bid (Assets of Community Value in legislation) is one of a raft of new initiatives introduced in the Localism Act 2011.
Over the last 10 years, communities have been losing amenities and buildings which they value such as the local pub, a library, or a parish hall. The Community Right to Bid allows communities and parish councils to nominate buildings or land for listing by the local authority as an Asset of Community Value.
If and when a listed asset comes up for sale a moratorium on the sale (of up to six months) may be invoked providing local community groups with a better chance to organise funding, develop a business plan and to make a bid to buy the asset on the open market.
What is an asset of community value?
Land or buildings which are used by the community, or have been in the recent past, and could continue in such a use are likely to be classed as ‘Assets of Community Value’. These properties could include:
• community halls
• sports facilities
• town halls
• parks & village greens
The Community Right to Bid can only come into effect if a registered asset is to be sold.
The fact that a property is proposed or nominated for registration cannot prevent a sale, but it does prevent sales going ahead without an opportunity for the local community to be involved.
For more information please look at the following website: mycommunityrights.org.uk/