Tribunal rejects challenge to bowls club ACV listing

Out-Law News | 30 Apr 2014 | 2:20 pm | 1 min. read

Rother District Council was entitled to include the site of a bowls club at Bexhill-on-Sea on its list of Assets of Community Value (ACV), a tribunal judge has ruled.

The Council listed the club as an ACV last year following a nomination by Cantaloupe Community Association. Landowner Gullivers Bowls Club appealed the listing, saying the Council had been wrong to list the whole site because more than a third of the site had no "current or recent use made of it".

Under the Localism Act 2011, land is of community value if the use of the land "furthers the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community".

The tribunal judge said, in a judgment seen by Out-Law.com, that the Council had been correct to take the nominated site as a whole and to conclude that, as a whole, its current use furthered the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community.

"It is a feature of some sports clubs to have, at any one time, some facilities that are redundant," the judge said.

The Localism Act states that land can be of community value if that land or buildings did in the past further the social wellbeing or interests of the community and that there is a realistic prospect in the next five years of it doing so again (whether or not in the same way)."

The tribunal rejected a claim that the bowls club had "no realistic prospect of continuing". The judge said that, although it was possible that "something could go drastically wrong with the buildings" which could not be repaired, "it would be wrong to rule out community spirit and philanthropy as resources which might then be drawn on".

The judge noted that, if the site should cease to be land of community value, the Council would have power to remove it from the list.