Assets of Community Value

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5. How does the moratorium work?

The three periods

When land or a building are included in the Council's list of assets of community value, and the Council receives notice from the owner of an intended disposal, the following periods begin to run:-

  • In the first instance, there is an "interim moratorium period" of six weeks, during which a defined "community interest group" can submit a written request to be treated as a potential bidder for the land, which the Council must pass on to the owner.
  • The "full moratorium period" of six months is triggered if such a request is received. It is intended to give the group time to assemble a bid and, if successful, complete the purchase.
  • During the "protected period" of eighteen months (from the same original date), the owner is free to sell the asset without further delay, if no community interest group has submitted a request and/or pursued it through to completion of a purchase within the relevant moratorium periods.

What is a community interest group?

Note that a "community interest group" is defined as a narrower range of bodies than those who can nominate an asset for inclusion on the list:-

Group A

  • a parish council;
  • a charity;
  • a community interest company;

or one of the following which does not distribute any surplus it makes to its members:-

Group B

  • a company limited by guarantee;
  • an industrial and provident society.

In addition, the body must have a local connection, which means that its activities are wholly or partly concerned with the administrative area of Exeter City Council or a neighbouring local authority. In the case of a body in Group B, any surplus must be wholly or partly applied for the benefit of the same area.