Search

Hopes that new laws can help preserve community assets in Wells

11:00 14 February 2013

Wells Tennis Courts. One of the town

Wells Tennis Courts. One of the town's assets likely to be featured on a list being drawn up by Wells Town Council.

Archant © 2008

Councillors in Wells are looking to use new laws to preserve some of the town’s most valued community assets.

Beach Road playing field, Wells Library, The Maltings and Sackhouse, Wells Scout Hut, Tug Boat Yard, the doctor’s surgery and the town’s car parks and tennis courts are all likely to feature on a list being drawn up by Wells Town Council.

This list is to be sent to North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) within the next two to three weeks.

The town council wants the items on it to be placed on a so-called Assets of Community Value Register.

If accepted this will mean that Wells Town Council will be informed if any of these assets are put up for sale.

The town council would be given a chance to express an interest in buying that asset and a period of six months to raise the money needed to bid for it.

Wells Town Council clerk Greg Hewitt said: “These new laws have been brought in as part of the government agenda to give more power to local communities.

“The idea is to help communities across the UK to save things like village halls, local pubs and shops.

“There are several assets in Wells that are important to the local community and we are putting a list together now.”

The laws come under the Localism Act 2011 and came into effect on September 21 last year.

They require local councils to maintain a list of community assets.

Nominations for community assets can be made by town and parish councils or by groups with a connection to a local community.

Individuals cannot make nominations.

Assets can include items that are privately owned as well as things owned by trusts, groups and county and district councils.

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

There is no compulsion on the owner to sell.

The scheme would not give first refusal to the town council. The council is not given a right to buy the asset, only to bid for it.

This will mean any future bids the town council may make may be unsuccessful.

Certain types of land, most notably residential property, are exempt from being placed on the register.

Owners of property placed on the register may appeal against its listing and can claim compensation if they can demonstrate its value has been reduced.

An NNDC spokesman said he believes Wells Town Council’s list may be the first list of Assets of Community Value that it receives.

Mr Hewitt said: “To buy anything the town council would have to pay market value and the new law doesn’t give us first refusal or special discounts.

“But we are living in times were local authorities are looking to save money and one way of doing this is selling off their assets.

“The new law gives little communities like ours opportunities to safeguard these things that would be missed if they were sold off for something that would no longer serve as a benefit to the local community.”

0 comments

Other news

Police Officers. Picture: Ian Burt

A man has been charged with a string of indecent exposure incidents across mid Norfolk

The new look EACH van

Eye-catching van power has been enlisted to help boost an appeal to build a £10m hospice in Norfolk.

Fakenham firefighters, who are setting off on a 400-mile charity challenge.

Firefighters from Fakenham are setting off on a 400-mile charity challenge to mark the first anniversary of the biggest blaze the town has ever seen.

Yesterday, 12:08

It happened on Wednesday, March 18, when two men turned up at an address on College Drive and completed roof repair work that wasn’t required at the property of a vulnerable resident.

Most Read

Fakenham firefighters, who are setting off on a 400-mile charity challenge.

Firefighters from Fakenham are setting off on a 400-mile charity challenge to mark the first anniversary of the biggest blaze the town has ever seen.

Read more
Eastern Daily Press
Police Officers. Picture: Ian Burt

A man has been charged with a string of indecent exposure incidents across mid Norfolk

Read more
Friday, May 16, 2014
Jack Richards.

He was one of Norfolk’s best-known businessmen – and now, following the death of Jack Richards, talks will be held to discuss how his home town of Fakenham can honour his memory.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:08

It happened on Wednesday, March 18, when two men turned up at an address on College Drive and completed roof repair work that wasn’t required at the property of a vulnerable resident.

Read more
Fakenham
Mon, 12:08
Crowds lined the streets for the parade through the town centre, which was part of last year's Fakenham Fair. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Growers are being invited to join this year’s Fakenham Fair carnival event.

Read more
Fakenham

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 4°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Fakenham and Wells Times e-edition today E-edition