Listing community assets jeopardises rural philanthropy, says CLA

22 October 2013

The Association said although the Government had tried to minimise the impact of proposals for Assets of Community Value under the Localism Act 2011 for owners of privately owned land and buildings, regulations surrounding the Community Right to Bid would make the owner think twice about continuing to permit philanthropic community use.

CLA President Harry Cotterell said: "We have opposed the proposals relating to Assets of Community Value since the Localism Bill was first published because the Government did not consult on the merits of the proposal. CLA members and other landowners provide a multitude of privately owned assets for rural communities, very often at peppercorn or no rents, and until now without any interference. "I am pleased the Government took the time to listen to our concerns and the expert advice we provided on how private property rights would be affected but the proposals still jeopardise the philanthropy of rural landowners. Statutory legislation is being introduced to deliver what already happens in rural areas and has done for hundreds of years."

Mr Cotterell explained that private owners of a community asset object to listing because it means they lose the right to sell at a time or to a person of their choosing which may cause difficulties with business planning or if the need occurs to sell an asset quickly to raise funds.

He said: "We will be checking carefully to ensure the Government's regulations preserve the goodwill of landowners who provide privately owned assets to their communities."

Read the Government's Assets of Community Value  (England) Regulations 2012