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over-regulation concerns over new community rights

25 September 2012

On 21 September the ‘Community Right to Bid’ on assets of community value came into force.

Community interest groups such as parish councils and local voluntary bodies will be able to nominate land for inclusion in a list of ‘assets of community value’. If the Local Authority accepts this nomination, the landowner will have to notify the Local Authority before selling the land. Community interest groups will then have 6 weeks to register their wish to be treated as a bidder, and 6 months to prepare their bid.

There is clearly a benefit in creating opportunity for communities to save prized institutions, particularly as it can take time to gather momentum. However there is a danger that over-regulation may drive away investors, and the new rules impose a double burden on Local Authorities who are also landowners. It remains to be seen whether this legislation can satisfy the need to protect community interests without overly hindering Local Authorities, which would ultimately be in no-one’s interests.

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