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Legal Updates

New Boost for Community Ownership - New Powers for Local Communities to Buy and Sell Property

09 March 2011 #Real Estate

On 8 February the Government issued a press release announcing that local communities will have the ability to rent, sell or share community owned property purchased with monies received from Central Government, such as council buildings, shops and business parks.

The Government is abolishing claw back rights which prevented community and voluntary groups from changing the use of community land or buildings that were funded by historic government grants.  The restrictions meant that original grant funding was clawed back if the property was sold or its original purpose changed - even if the original government scheme had long since expired.

In addition to the announcement of the abolition of claw back, the Government launched a consultation on 4 February in respect of the implementation of the Localism Bill 2010/2011.  The Bill proposed that communities have the right to buy local property with community value.  The Government proposes that:

  • Local authorities will keep the register of land with community value.  This includes both public and private non-residential land.  Anyone with a local connection can nominate property for listing;
  • Local authorities will decide what constitutes a property of community value;
  • If the owner of a listed property wants to sell or grant a lease exceeding 25 years it must notify the local authority;
  • The local authority must inform local community groups of the proposed sale/lease so they can raise funds to finance the purchase/lease of the property.

At a time when local community and voluntary groups are under severe strain it is hoped that these measures will provide such groups with more freedom to use their properties to adapt to and meet the changing needs of its neighbourhood.

Clarkslegal, specialist Real Estate lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Real Estate matter please contact Clarkslegal's real estate team by email at by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

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Simon Ralphs

Simon Ralphs

T: 020 7539 8049
M: 0779 900 7323


Real Estate team
+44 (0)118 958 5321