The length of community asset transfers could be doubled from 30 to 60 years as part of a review by Wokingham Borough Council.
The council’s decision-making executive will decide whether or not to adopt the new lease term period when it meets on Thursday, 30 June.
A community asset transfer is a process that allows community groups, along with town and parish councils, to take over publicly owned land or buildings for improvement and to encourage their continued use.
A model for these transfers was originally agreed by the council’s executive in 2016. However, the borough council has listened to feedback from town and parish councils, which have said longer lease periods would provide comfort and security to justify and enable investment.
Cllr Clive Jones, the new leader of the council, said: “Although the current model for community asset transfers has had success, what we are hearing from town and parish councils is the term of 30 years is insufficient to justify investment, which means fewer of these agreements are being entered into than might be the case.
“By doubling the lease period to 60 years, we could encourage more investment into local assets and amenities for the benefit of our residents.”
A report to the council’s executive recommends the lease period is increased. If the executive agrees, town and parish councils would be notified of the decision and invited to submit proposals for possible community asset transfers.
Current examples of community asset transfers in Wokingham Borough are:
- East Park Farm Pavilion and Park, Charvil
- Bummoor Allotments, Finchampstead
- Church Hill open space, Hurst
- Martineau Lane Park and Play Area, Hurst
- Tape Lane Allotments, Hurst
Local authorities are being encouraged by central government to reduce the number of assets under their control. As well as attracting funding opportunities, this approach can help to utilise community infrastructure levies and section 106 agreements.
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