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Frequently Asked Questions
- Are Asset Transfer Requests specifically for council buildings?
- Does every Council have the same system to show their assets?
- Is an Asset Transfer Request form identical in every area and is there a mandatory way to process a request?
- A six month deadline starts from the date the Asset Transfer Request has been validated. What help is available to community organisations before the validation?
- Are assets Argyll and Bute Council lease from someone else subject to Asset Transfer Requests?
- Does an Asset Transfer Request mean transferring ownership only?
- Can a council tell Community Transfer Bodies (CTB) the amount of an asset?
- If an amount for an asset is offered and this is turned down, can the Community Transfer Body (CTB) submit a new offer?
- Who can the Community Transfer Body (CTB) appeal to if the Asset Transfer Request is refused?
- Should grant funding be accessed prior to the request being validated and the six month process commencing?
- No, Asset Transfer Requests should be made to the "relevant authority" which owns the asset. Relevant authorities are listed in schedule 3 to the Act. Additionally, there is a list of these published with the guidance at: www.gov.scot/Topics/People/engage/AssetTransfer/Contacts). Privately owned land and assets are subject to Part 4 community rights to buy land (www.gov.scot/Topics/farmingrural/Rural/rural-land/right-to-buy/Community)
- No, while each council has a requirement to publish a public register, how they do this is up to the individual council.
- The Scottish Government have designed a model request form that has be used by many Councils to base their forms on, adding specific requests for information which enables them to make a determination. There is no requirement to use any pre-defined form. A request can be made in any written format as long as the correct information is presented. The request forms have been designed to make sure all the required information is captured allowing an informed decision to be made.
- Many councils have a pre-application stage. Argyll and Bute Council have an online expression of interest form (EOI) on which you can submit outline proposals. While you are not obliged to use the EOI form, it does make it easier for the Social Enterprise Team (SET) team to look at your proposal and provide advice and assistance. SET will contact you to follow up an EOI and help you identify what you need to complete a full request. There are also agencies and organisations who can offer independent support
- Yes. Subject to the terms of the lease. Leased land falls under the legislation.
- No an Asset Transfer Request can be by Community Transfer Bodies (CTB) for one of three options under the legislation.
- For ownership – CTB required to specify the price that it would be prepared to pay for the transfer of ownership of the land or asset.
- For lease - CTB required to specify the amount of rent that prepared to pay, the duration of the lease required, along with any terms and conditions it considers should be included the lease.
- For other rights - CTB required to specify the nature and extent of the rights that are being sought.
- The council requires to understand the market value of an Asset. If an asset is being requested at less than market value the council requires to justify and obtain agreement for the discounted value in relation to the community benefit the asset will provide if transferred. Details of a District Valuer’s (DV) report is restricted to those who commission it, therefore it cannot be shared publicly. However, it is possible for a CTB and the council instruct a valuation which could be shared between both parties. The CTB would need to be aware that there are costs associated with this.
- If an asset is on the market the CTB could make an offer to buy it. The council may offer to agree a lease or other arrangements without going through the asset transfer process. Additionally, Bids can be submitted in the normal way for any property which is advertised for sale or lease. However, please be aware that these will not have the protection of the asset transfer legislation, including the right to a review or appeal, unless you make a formal asset transfer request. Asset transfers do not just apply to buildings that are not being used, assets that are under-utilised or could benefit from a different way of running them are also eligible.
- The CTB can apply to the council for an internal review. This must be made in writing to the council within 20 working days of the date of the decision notice. The application requires a statement setting out reasons for requiring a review. An acknowledgement within 10 working days and notice of the review will be sent to anyone who made representations on the original request. They will have 10 days to respond. Once all initial evidence and representations have been obtained, the Council must determine whether they have sufficient information to make a determination, or whether a further procedure is required to do so.
- In carrying out a review, the Argyll and Bute Council will consider the request in the same way as the original process, taking into account the same factors and benefits of the request and alternative proposals. They will then issue a new decision notice within 6 months of the date the application for review was made.
- An Appeal can be made to Scottish Minsiters following a review by the council. Details of how you go about such an action are given along with the decision notice.
- Yes drafting and engaging with funders should be part of a request for an asset. It may be appropriate to submit a first stage application before any agreement for a transfer. Being aware of how a proposal will be funded will greatly support your request.
There are more FAQ's on the Scottish Government website FAQ Community Empowerment Bill