Asset screening

Once you have identified your preferred building by doing your site appraisal process, you will want to think further about whether this is indeed the right asset.

The type, size and condition of the asset will determine the scale and complexity of transforming it into the vision you have developed for it. 

Here is a table of the "project make or break questions". Completing these at this initial stage will serve to identify how much research needs to be done. Use the traffic light system to reflect where you are in terms of scoping the asset: red - no progress, amber - moderate progress, green - well advanced.





Have you identified suitable land/building?

If so, on what terms – costs, conditions (for example, whether a lease or freehold on land or buildings is proposed, or whether there are limitations like restrictive covenants on their use and development)?

Has a legal search been done?

Is there a written confirmation from the owner?



Can the asset be developed to meet project objectives from a technical point of view?

For example, is it possible to fit what is wanted on the site/building, will it meet planning standards and policy and therefore get planning permission?

Has an architect looked at it? Has a surveyor looked at site/building conditions?



Is there sufficient demand for what is proposed to make the project viable? Have you identified a need?

For example, is there a demand for workspace, shops or housing at the right price to enable the project to cover costs?

Have property agents been asked about the market and prices locally?



Are permissions necessary and are they likely to be given (planning permission or listed building consent for example)?

Have discussions been held with local planners or have local planning policy documents been examined?



Is there sufficient support?

What consultation has taken place about the project? Are there funders that can be approached?



Is there an organisation or individual people who can make it happen?

Who is going to lead? When does an organisation need to be set up? How much time and resources do they have to pursue the project?






Is there likely to be financial support available to implement the project?

Is it available on the right terms and conditions?



Does the organisation (if applicable) promoting the project have the legal powers to do what is proposed and is it prepared to champion the project through the process?

Have the governing documents of the organisation been checked?



Is there enough time to plan and implement the project?

For example, is it possible to plan and fundraise for the project before it is proposed to be demolished or sold, or falls down? Have the key external dates for the future of the building or land been identified? How firm/flexible are they?



Are there any other barriers?

How can they be overcome?

Is there a way around or a way to address the barriers that have been identified?



Structural Survey

It is important that the structural integrity of any building is known before progressing with asset transfer. It may well be that relevant authorities are able to provide details of any recent surveys completed or known issues with a building such as structural issues, asbsestos etc. 

As a first point, community transfer body should request any information held by the relevant authority. Thereafter, it is the responsibility of the community transfer body to instruct surveyors to conduct a structural survey and valuation of the property. The relevant authority may agree to share the cost associated with obtaining this new information.