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Assets of Community Value

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Assets of Community Value, or ACVs, are not a new concept. They were introduced by the Localism Act 2011, but we are seeing increasing use of them, particularly to protect changes of use of public houses which can be an emotive issue for local communities.

Nominating an Asset of Community Value

Buildings and spaces of value to a community can be nominated by local interest groups to be listed as ACVs with the Local Authority. Eligible groups include a parish council, local interest group or a group of not less than 21 individuals with connection to the local area. Once listed, properties remain on the Authority’s list for up to five years.

Effect of Listing

During the listing period, if the owner of a listed asset decides to sell then they must inform the Local Authority of that intention. The community then benefits from a six month moratorium period in which to raise funds and bid for the property. It should be stressed however that the owner is not compelled to accept any such bid, and it does not have to sell their property at a discount price.

Planning Implications

An ACV listing does not place any restriction on what an owner can do with their property, other than during the sale process noted above. However, the listing may affect planning decisions, it is open to the Local Planning Authority to decide that a listing is a material consideration or not.

From 2015 to 2017 special protection was afforded to public houses registered as ACVs, but a subsequent change to the General Permitted Development Order means that all pubs, no matter what their ACV status or otherwise, are protected from a change of use or demolition without a grant of full planning permission.

This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.
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