Assets of Community Value


Must the nominating group have an intention to buy the pub if it goes on sale?
No, not at all – the nomination and right to bid processes are quite separate. It would be entirely inappropriate, therefore, for a Council to demand a “business plan” or suchlike from anyone nominating a pub.
If the owner decides to sell the pub, can only the nominating group express an interest in buying it?
No, any community group which meets the definition in the Regulations can tell the Council that it wants to be treated as a potential bidder.
Can CAMRA Branches nominate pubs as ACVs?
Yes. A recent legal ruling confirmed that CAMRA Branches are eligible to nominate as a “community interest group with a local connection”. As such, a CAMRA Branch does not need to provide 21 signatories with its nomination but it should indicate how many Branch members live in the Council area in question.
Is the fact that there are other pubs nearby a valid reason not to accept an ACV nomination?
No. The Regulations make it clear that applications relate solely to the property being nominated. If the pub in itself meets the registration criteria (i.e. it does or could further the social well-being or interests of the local community) then it should be registered. Whether other pubs nearby also meet the criteria is irrelevant. If there are few or no other pubs in the area, that should strengthen the case for registration
Can a currently closed pub be nominated?
In most circumstances, yes. The legislation extends to properties which have “furthered the social well-being or interests of the local community in the recent past and which it is realistic to consider will do so again during the next five years.” Although “recent past” isn’t defined, the rule of thumb seems to be up to five years.
If the owner says they have no intention of ever reopening the pub, does that invalidate an ACV nomination?
No. The test for Councils is whether it’s “realistic to think that within the next five years there could be non-ancillary use of the building that would further the social well-being or interests of the local community.” The key word here is “could”. Several cases have arisen where owners have said a pub will never be reopened or sold but they have back-tracked – for instance, if they’ve been refused planning permission for change of use. The owner’s declared intentions should count for nothing.
Can the owner demand that the ACV be restricted to the pub building itself?
No. Several judgements have held that car parks and gardens, for instance, are integral parts of the pub business and are therefore covered by the Regulations. As one Judge said “it is simply not possible rationally to contend that the community’s relevant use is confined merely to those areas where the sale of alcohol may take place.”
If the Council turns down our nomination, can we appeal?
No. Sadly there is no current right of appeal for applicants. CAMRA is lobbying government to change the Regulations to remedy this unfair state of affairs. However, there is nothing to stop you submitting a further nomination. If you know the reasons why the Council turned down the original then you can address these fully second time round.
Can the owner appeal against a Council's decision to register and, if yes, does the applicant have a say?
Yes, the owner can ask the Council to review their decision. The review must be carried out by an officer not involved in the original decision. The Council is under no obligation to consult or involve the applicants in this process, though many choose to do so. If the owner isn’t satisfied with the review outcome they have a further right of appeal to a First Tier Tribunal, where a Judge will make the final decision. Please note that only the owner (see question 12) can ask for a review.
If the pub is sold as a pub i.e. as a going concern, do the moratorium and community right to bid still apply?
No they don’t. In most cases this shouldn’t be a problem as the sale is genuine. There have however been instances of owners selling pubs to developers as “going concerns” only for the developer to close the pub shortly afterwards. This is another loophole which CAMRA is trying to get closed.
Who is the “owner” for purposes of the ACV procedure?
This is defined in Section 107 of the Localism Act 2011. In summary it’s either the freeholder or, if the asset is leased, the leaseholder with the lease most distant from the freehold which, when granted, had at least 25 years to run.
When there's a nomination, who must the Council inform?
They must tell the owner (see above) plus anyone else with a legal estate i.e. the freeholder if there’s a long lease and any leaseholder if there’s a lease of less than 25 years plus any “lawful occupant” e.g. a licensee. If there’s a Parish Council, they must also be told.
What information about ACVs must a Council publish?
They must publish and maintain a list of assets registered as ACVs plus a list of assets nominated unsuccessfully by community nomination (though they can remove information from the second list when “appropriate”, whatever that means). Both lists must be available for free inspection and a free copy must be provided to anyone who asks for it. In reality, most Councils will publish the lists on their websites. The unsuccessful nominations list must include the reasons for not registering. There is no requirement to publish information about nominations or their subsequent progress through the system though it’s been recognised as good practice to do so.
Will nominating the pub upset the licensee?
Hopefully not. CAMRA is working with licensees to build positive support for ACV listing, which licensees should regard as a badge of honour – and a clear marker that local people care about their pub. Our recent survey found that 84% of licensees felt that ACV listing benefited their pub and 86% said that customers value the pub’s ACV status. On the positives of ACV status, the main one for licensees (83%) is “people in the community are more likely to feel loyal to my pub and use it more regularly.”

CAMRA has also created a licensee support pack which includes a window sticker for them to display in celebration of their ACV status. For more information visit

A small number of licensees will, for whatever reason, object to being nominated but, at the end of the day, they are only custodians of a community asset and the long-term interests of the pub itself must come first.