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New Localism Act to help save Bradford community facilities
New powers giving people the chance to bid for buildings and land to keep them in community use are to be discussed by Bradford Council next week.
Under the Localism Act, the Community Right to Bid is expected to be introduced this autumn.
The Council would be required to maintain a register of assets of community value which have been nominated by residents. Land or buildings included on the list can be in public or private ownership.
In a report to the Council’s regeneration and economy overview committee, strategic director for regeneration and culture Barra Mac Ruairi states: “Owners of listed land and property are unable to dispose of their property without first notifying the Council. This triggers a six-week moratorium on disposal during which local community groups and parish councils are able to express an interest in bidding for the property. If no expressions of interest are received the owner is free to dispose of the property at the end of the six-week period.
“If an expression of interest is received, the initial six week moratorium extends to six months to allow community groups and parish councils to prepare to bid for the property or to negotiate with the property owner. At the end of the six-month period the property is removed from the list and the owner is able to sell the property to who ever he wants and by whatever means he wishes.”
The new system could be used to nominate and then bid for public open spaces, shops, pubs, former schools and swimming pools.
It does not, however, give community groups or parish councils a right of first refusal when listed land and buildings come up for sale or the right to purchase it at a reduced price.
It is also expected that the rules will exclude certain buildings or land, such as those used for residential purposes, gardens and the “operational land and property of statutory undertakers” such as council offices.
Items on the list will be removed after five years or when sold.
A report on the proposed procedures that will need to be adopted to deal with the requirements of the Community Right to Bid will go before the Council’s decision-making executive in October.
The impact of the Localism Act will be discussed by the regeneration and economy overview committee on Thursday at 5.30pm at City Hall.