The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015, associated regulations and guidance notes are the processes that all relevant authorities should follow with regard to Asset Transfer. Many relevant authorities have developed their own internal processes for receiving and assessing Asset Transfer Requests under the legislation. These are usually published on the website of the authority alongside the required electronic availability of asset registers.
Community organisations should ensure that they read, and understand, the detail of the Act and the Scottish Government’s guidance notes (see link below) to be clear about the rights they have in regard to asset transfer. They should also read the relevant authority’s policy and follow their requests for information in certain formats if they feel it fits with the requirements of the act appropriately. However, it is advisable to enter discussions with the owning authority at an early stage to gather appropriate information about the asset of interest.
Communities should be aware that they are able to submit an Asset Transfer Request for any asset owned by a public body whether it is deemed available for disposal or not. Relevant authorities must assess every eligible request and agree to the request unless there are suitable grounds for refusal.
Provided an eligible community transfer body follows the requirements as set out in the Act, it is not a requirement that they enter a request under the conditions of any authority’s policy but if they do not refer to their asset transfer policy, it may be more difficult for a request to be assessed and a positive outcome reached.