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Assets of Community Value explained

In November 2023 one of the local action groups we work with, the Friends of Windsor Drive Community Open Space in Houghton Regis, achieved Asset of Community Value status for the space.

The Friends also won the Bedfordshire Choice Award in this year’s CPRE Bedfordshire Living Countryside Awards, picking up over a third of the votes! At the time our judges praised the way the group has led positive change, turning the space into a real community asset with an inclusive ethos.


What is an Asset of Community Value?

A building or other land is an Asset of Community Value if it being used to further the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community, or has done in the recent past, and could do so in the future. The Localism Act says that ‘social interests’ include cultural, recreational and sporting interests. Village shops, pubs, community centres, libraries and green spaces are all examples of assets that could be designated in this way.


What does the status mean?

Community Right to Bid provisions came into force in 2012. The provisions give local community groups such as parish councils, charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises a right to nominate a building or other land for listing by Local Authorities as an asset of community value.

When a listed asset is to be sold, incorporated local community groups will have a chance to make a bid and buy it on the open market.

The right to bid only applies when an asset’s owner decides to dispose of it.

The Community Right to Bid does not give the right of first refusal to community organisations to buy an asset that they successfully nominate for inclusion on the local authority’s list. What it does do is give them time to put together the funding necessary to bid to buy the asset on the open market. If an owner wants to sell a property or land that is on the list, they must tell the local authority. If the nominating body is keen to develop a bid, they can then call for the local authority to trigger a moratorium period of six months, during which time the owner cannot sell the asset.

The Friends of Windsor Drive organised a protest walk in March 2023.

What’s the big advantage?

Assets of Community Value and the Community Right to Bid offer greater opportunities for communities to keep valued land or buildings in public use and ensure they remain a social hub for the community.


How long does a listing last for?

After five years the Local Authority must remove the asset from the list. The nominator can then reapply and if successful the asset will be listed for another five years.

Exploring the open space at Windsor Drive.

How do I nominate an Asset of Community Value?

You can find out more about the process in each of Bedfordshire’s Local Authorities by following the links below.

Bedford Borough Council

Central Bedfordshire Council

Luton Borough Council 


More information

The Open Spaces Society’s website has a useful information page.

The House of Commons Library has a downloadable briefing paper.


Volunteers show the judges the varied habitats of Windsor Drive Community Open Space.