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Allotments De-listed as an Asset of Community Value to make way for Development

Written by Myerson on . Posted in Commercial Property

A tribunal held in the case of New Barrow v Ribble Valley Borough Council that the land listed as an asset of community value (ACV) and used as allotments should be delisted to allow the land to be used as part of a development for new houses.

Land can be registered as an ACV if its use is for the wellbeing or social interest of the local community, and there is a realistic prospect of this use continuing. Planning permission was given to New Barrow for the development of 504 new homes in 2014. The council listed the allotments as an ACV in 2016 after the allotment holders had received termination notices.

The tribunal considered that it was correct that the allotments could be listed as an ACV at the time the Council did so, even though planning permission had already been granted for the development. There was no question that the use at the time met the requirements for an ACV and the notices for termination themselves did not mean that the continuation of the use of the land was unrealistic. However, on 1 February 2017 New Barrow entered into a licence with the builders, Redrow Homes, to occupy the land for 5 years. The tribunal considered that as of the date of the licence, the situation had materially changed, so there was no realistic prospect of the ACV use continuing.

The tribunal noted that statutory provisions meant land listed as an ACV had to be removed from the list after 5 years. It was therefore difficult to see how the land could be classed as an ACV where the use will cease for a period of 5 years, even if it would be likely that it would resume after the 5 years.

The tribunal therefore held that the land should be delisted as an ACV and the site could be used to facilitate works on the development land. This case clarifies that land can be delisted if the circumstances change and that ACVs will not always stand in the way of developments.

At Myerson we have a team of dedicated commercial property solicitors who are able to provide expert advice to those looking to acquire or dispose of land for development. To speak to someone in our team please call 0161 941 4000 or email us at lawyers@myerson.co.uk.

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