By Andrew Beck

The Court of Appeal has considered the Assets of Community Value (ACV) regime for the first time. Andrew Beck reviews Banner Homes v St Albans City and District Council (1) and Verulam Residents’ Association (2) and offers some practical advice for developers.

The ACV regime

The Localism Act 2011 (the Act) and the Assets of Community Value (England) Regulations 2012 (the Regulations) allow local communities to bid for land and facilities in their area, with the aim being to protect assets deemed to be of local value and importance. The regime can be summarised as follows:

  • A local community group can nominate an asset.
  • Provided the nominated asset satisfies the ACV definition, it should be included on the list of ACVs maintained by the local authority. It is open for the landowner to request a review of the listing at this stage, provided it acts within the statutory time-frame.
  • The threshold for listing is relatively low. The local authority is simply required to have a realistic belief that (1) the building or land’s main use furthers the local community’s social interests or wellbeing; and (2) it is realistic to think this use will continue. The decision is therefore rather subjective.