Community asset transfer


Buying or leasing a community asset

Not-for-profit community organisations, including charities or town and parish councils, can apply to lease or buy property and use it to help the community. This is called a community asset transfer.

Properties can include:

  • parks
  • open spaces
  • play areas
  • community halls
  • museums
  • heritage buildings
  • monuments
  • allotments

If it's a site we already use or something we've bought for investment, you may not be able to apply for it (e.g. our halls and offices, shops, industrial units). If we no longer need them, they go through a sales process and you can apply at this stage.


As we hold the property in trust, we can't offer detailed advice as we need to stay impartial. The following organisations may be able to offer information or support:


Your organisation will need to pay for your professional fees including your surveyors and lawyers. The property will be valued and sold to you at market value (although this would be reduced as the land would be restricted to community use).

We will pay our own professional fees.

The valuation report will not be shared, each party should obtain their own valuation of the asset and pay their own costs.

Property uses

The property and land is subject to planning and listed building controls. You will need to make sure you consider this and check the 'Use Class' and any listed building status.

We will impose a restriction that the property is for community use, but we can consider other uses if it supports the community.

Business plans

You will be asked to submit a full application including a business plan. The longer the term of the lease, or if it is a freehold transfer, the more information you'll need to provide. We will advise you.

Typically there are a variety of points to include in your business plan.

Aims and objectives of the organisation

A statement of the aims and objectives of the organisation and how the benefits to furthering these objectives that a Community Asset Transfer would provide.

Social impact benefits

Description of who the organisation serves, including the number of individuals/groups benefiting from the service, the degree of support and any information on number of people that use the service. Demonstrate how the organisation improves the quality of life of people living in North Northamptonshire.

Economic impact benefits

Include the management structure, number of employees, details of any expansion and jobs created as a result of the asset transfer. Give details of your volunteering policy and numbers of volunteers working for the organisation.

Governance arrangements

Confirm the legal entity that would be the transferee, provide a current written governing document (such as Memorandum and Articles of Association). Provide a governance policy and include your safeguarding policy and process.

Health and safety and equality and diversity policies

You should include your equality and diversity policy, as well as your health and safety policy.

Property and land information

Provide details of current ownership or leasehold interests, information on management arrangements and experience of property responsibilities. This should include the type and headline terms of the transfer requested, and why.

Insurance policy

Insurance policy for public liability and employer liability. We require £5 million in public liability insurance.

Financial accounts

A viable financial model showing the investment available to the organisation, evidence of the ability to attract funding, three years financial accounts and recent bank statement.


How you will reach out to new customers and how will the asset support this policy.


How will the transfer contribute to a productive partnership between the council and the organisation.

Environmental impacts

Proposals for energy efficiency, recycling of waste and natural benefits such as increased biodiversity or carbon reduction.

Other information

Other property and land held by the Council is held for various reasons, such as:

  • operational sites (e.g. refuse sites, offices, civic halls, care homes and schools)
  • regeneration (e.g. development sites)
  • investment purposes (e.g. shops, industrial units, and business units).

These are under regular review by the Council, and should one become surplus and no longer required then they will follow a disposal process.

Until these have determined as surplus, they are unlikely to be available for community transfer.

As with all property purchases or lettings there will be a cost to the organisation for professional fees (surveyors, lawyers etc) which your organisation will have to bear as these services will be procured by you to give you advice. The Council will pay their own professional fees. 

The transfer will be subject to a valuation and the organisation are expected to pay the market value for the property.

However, the market value will be in part determined by the use, and the Council would restrict the use to community use, and this will have a negative effect on the value.

It is a complicated situation regulated by statute and each case will be determined independently but using regulated policy and processes, we would confirm this with you from the outset.

Legal requirements are that all transfers must be at best value, with limited exceptions.

Any application to consider the transfer of a community asset at less than best consideration may be considered if the request is supported by evidence that the applicant will provide social, economic, or environmental value and if the Council has financial authority to accept a less than best transfer.

The applicant aims for the site must be in line with the Councils Corporate Plan and Service plans.

The Principal Community Property Officer can offer further information, please email [email protected].

All community asset transfers to qualifying organisations including Town and Parish Councils will have restrictions on the main use, because the use must be a community use to qualify for a community asset transfer.

However, ancillary uses that support the main use, such as a fete on a village green will be permitted subject to planning permissions.

More information would be contained in the transfer.


The first stage is to submit an expression of interest. Our team will then provide some basic guidance for your application.

Then you will need to submit a full application with a business plan.

Last updated 21 May 2024