Part 5 of the Community Empowerment Act introduces a right for community bodies to make requests to all local authorities, Scottish Ministers and a wide-ranging list of public bodies, for any land or buildings they feel they could make better use of. They can request ownership, lease or other rights, as they wish. The Act requires those public authorities to transparently assess requests against a specified list of criteria, and to agree the request unless there are reasonable grounds for refusal.
The Act sets out the key rights and duties and provides a framework for the asset transfer process. Regulations and Orders have now been laid before the Scottish Parliament setting out more detailed arrangements for implementing the scheme.
Subject to the agreement of the Parliament, the asset transfer legislation will come into force on 23 January 2017.
This statutory guidance sets out the requirements of the Act for relevant authorities in processing and making decisions on asset transfer requests, and arrangements for review or appeal if necessary.