The Community Empowerment Act lays out timescales for each part of the process. The main stages of the process have the following timescales:
- 6 months for relevant authority to assess and issue a decision notice from the date of a Validation Notice (an extension is possible through negotiation).
- 20 days for community transfer bodies to lodge a request for a review or appeal if they do not agree any part of the decision notice.
- At least 6 months for the community group to submit an offer, following issue of an acceptable Decision Notice (an extension is possible through negotiation).
- Conclusion of contract - normally within 6 months of the date of the community offer.
When referring to the guidance notes and the detail of the Act, communities and relevant authorities should pay close attention to the time limits and the requirements for requesting extensions and reviews or appeals.