Assets of community value

The community right to bid for assets of community value allows parish councils or community groups to ask the Council to list certain assets as being of value to the community.

If an asset is listed and then comes up for sale, communities that want it will have six months to put together a bid to buy it. The land owner cannot sell the land during this time and it will give communities an increased chance to attempt to save much loved shops, pubs or other local facilities. While the owner will become aware of a community bid they are not bound to sell to a community group and will still be free to sell the land as they see fit. Assets that meet the definition of community value can be nominated for listing regardless as to whether they are in the public or private sector.

A building or land in Darlington Borough Council’s area will be listed as an asset of community value if in the opinion of the Council:
(current use) the current primary use of the building/land furthers the social well-being or social interests of the local community AND it is realistic to think that there could continue to be primary use of the building/land which will further the social well-being or social interests of the local community (whether or not in the same way as it is currently used)

OR

(past use) the land/ building is not currently land of community value but in the recent past (five years) the primary use of building/land was to further the social well-being or social interests of the local community AND it is realistic to think that in the next five years there could be primary use of the building/land which will further the social well-being or social interests of the local community (whether or not in the same way as before)

In this context social interests include cultural, recreational and sporting interests.

In addition to meeting the above requirements (relating to current use or past use) the land must not be in a category of asset which is excluded. Schedule 1 of the Regulations set out the assets that are excluded. The main one is residential property (this includes land that is reasonable to consider as part of residence).

Once a nomination is accepted and the building or land is listed the owner cannot dispose of that building or land without:

  • letting Darlington Borough Council know that they intend to sell the asset or grant a lease of more than 25 years
  • waiting until the end of a six week ‘interim moratorium’ period if Darlington Borough Council does not receive a request from a community group to be treated as a potential bidder
  • waiting until the end of a six month ‘full moratorium’ period if Darlington Borough Council does receive a request from a community group to be treated as a potential bidder

The owner does not have to sell the asset to the community group.

There is also a ‘protected period’ (18 months from the time that the owner notified the local authority of their intention to dispose of the asset) – during this time there can be no further moratoriums.

The process

The regulations [external link] and explanatory note [external link] published by Government provide detailed information on:

  • the bodies that can make nominations
  • land that is exempt from being listed
  • the steps that Darlington Borough Council has to take when considering to list land as an asset of community value and upon listing that land
  • arrangements for owners to make appeals on decisions to list or award compensation on any losses incurred as a result of being listed (including internal reviews and external tribunals)
  • exemptions to the six month moratorium being applied when land is put up for sale or long term lease

When a completed nomination is received a decision will be made within eight weeks as to whether to list the asset. The asset will then be placed on a list of successful or unsuccessful nominations on Darlington Borough Council’s website.

A nomination form to list an asset as being of community value is available, which should be returned to patopolicyregen@darlington.gov.uk. Notes are also available, which should be read before completing the form. 

Supporting documents

Assets of community value: listed sites

RefName Address Type Date of nominationNominating organisationDate listedDate of intended disposal noticeDate of end of initial moratoriumDate of end of full moratoriumDate of end of protected period
01/13 Former Arts Centre Vane Terrace, Darlington, DL3 7AX Unused at time of nomination - was arts centre until late 2012 12/01/13 Darlington for Culture 20/03/13 09/07/13 20/08/13 Not required. No expressions of interest to bid received 09/01/15
02/13 Civic Theatre Parkgate, Darlington, DL1 1RR Civic theatre 12/01/13 Darlington for Culture 20/03/13        
03/13 Crown Street Library Crown Street, Darlington, DL1 1ND Library 12/01/13 Darlington for Culture 20/03/13        
04/13 Head of Steam museum Station Road, Darlington, DL3 6ST Railway museum, exhibition space, study centre, cafe and shop 12/01/13 Darlington for Culture 20/03/13        
05/13 The Bridge Yarm Road, Darlington, DL1 1ED Centre for visual arts 12/01/13 Darlington for Culture 20/03/13        
06/13 Cockerton Library The Green, Cockerton, Darlington, DL3 9AA Library 12/01/13 Darlington for Culture 20/03/13        
07/13 Club house and car park, former Blackwell Grange golf club Briar Close, Darlington, DL3 8QU Former club house and car park to golf club 23/09/13 Unincorporated body 23/10/13 11/05/15 23/06/15  11/11/15  
01/14 Old goods shed and yard Station Road, Darlington Former railway goods shed and yard 20/02/14 Darlington Railway Preservation Trust 14/04/14        

01/16 Sadberge Village Hall Darlington Road, Sadberge DL2 1SB Village Hall 14/12/15 Sadberge Parish Council 24/2/16        
02/16 The Tuns, Sadberge Sadberge DL2 1 RU Public House 22/12/15 Sadberge Parish Council 24/2/16        
03/16 The Buck Inn, Sadberge Middleton Road, Sadberge DL2 1RR Public House 22/12/15 Sadberge Parish Council 14/03/16        
04/16 The Kings Arms Hotel, Great Stainton The Green, Great Stainton, Stockton on Tees, Co Durham TS21 1NA Public House 14/01/16 CAMRA (Darlington Branch) 16/03/16        

List of unsuccessful community nominations:

Asset detailsAppraisalDecision
Asset refAsset nameAddressDate of assessmentExpiry of listingReason why unsuccessful
01/15 Land known as Maidendale Farm  Maidendale Farm, Yarm Road, Darlington 20 April 2015 20 April 2020
  1. The predominant authorised use of the Land is for commercial agriculture rather than community use. The Land is not considered to further the social wellbeing or interests of the local community.
  2. The Land is earmarked for employment use and it is not realistic to think that community use will be permitted and sustained there in the foreseeable future.
  3. The land is considered to be exempt from being listed.