Listing Assets of Community Value - What Land Assets are Affected?

AuthorWilliam Webster/Robert Weatherley
Pages343-348
Chapter 33


Listing Assets of Community Value – What Land Assets are Affected?

INTRODUCTION

33.1 A local authority1is required to maintain a list of land2in its area that is ‘land of community value’.3This list is known as its list of ACV.4Where land is included in the list, the entry is to be removed from the list at the end of 5 years.5

In relation to England, the Secretary of State, and in relation to Wales, the Welsh Ministers (referred to collectively as the ‘appropriate authority’)6may by order amend this period by substituting some other period.

33.2 A building or other land in a local authority’s area is ‘land of community value’ if in the opinion of the authority:

(a) an actual current use of the building or other land that is not an ancillary use7

furthers the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community; and
(b) it is realistic to think that there can continue to be non-ancillary use of the building or other land which will further (whether or not in the same way) the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community.8

33.3 The term ‘social interests’ includes each of the following:

1LA 2011, s 106: a local authority in relation to England means: (a) a district council; (b) a county council for an area in England for which there are no district councils; (c) a London borough council; (d) the Common Council of the City of London; or (e) the Council of the Isles of Scilly. A local authority in relation to Wales means: (a) a county council in Wales; or (b) a county borough council.

2LA 2011, s 108(1), ‘land’ for these purposes includes: (a) part of a building; (b) part of any other structure; and (c) mines or minerals, whether or not held with the surface.

3LA 2011, s 87(1).

4LA 2011, s 87(2).

5LA 2011, s 87(3).

6LA 2011, s 108(1).

7The scheme accordingly focuses on the primary use of the land rather than on its ancillary uses, which is an important concept in planning control which concentrates on primary use as opposed to incidental or ancillary uses, which may be of a quite different character to a single primary use for the site with no distinction being drawn for planning purposes. Landowners can be expected to argue that the claimed community use may be ancillary to the use of other land and therefore non-qualifying. It is then important to identify the extent of the relevant land asset and to be certain that it has its own main use for the purposes of the LA 2011.

8LA 2011, s 88(1).

344 Restrictions on the Use of Land

(a) cultural interests;
(b) recreational interests;
(c) sporting interests.9

33.4 However, land which may not currently be land of community value may still qualify for listing if, in the opinion of the local authority, there was a time in the recent past when it did qualify and it is realistic to think that there would be a time in the next 5 years when it could qualify for listing as land of community value.10The term ‘realistic’ in this context connotes a much lower test than the ordinary civil burden. It seems likely that the possibility of a revival in the future of qualifying community use will be ‘realistic’, provided it is not fanciful or unrealistic on the evidence as might arise, for instance, where it can be shown that there was a possibility that development was unlikely to occur within a commercially viable timescale, bringing with it the possibility that the owner might either sell the premises on the basis of its existing use or else be persuaded to agree to a resumption of relevant community use within the statutory period whilst he decides what to do with the land.11

9LA 2011, s 88(6).

10LA 2011, s 88(2). Specifically s 88(2) provides that land which may not currently be of community value may nonetheless still be deemed to be of community value ‘if in the opinion of the local authority – (a) there is a time in the recent past when an actual use of the building … furthered the social wellbeing or interests of the local community, and (b) it is realistic to think that there is a time in the next five years when there could be...

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