Communities will now have the power to save their local pub as new planning laws came into force last week, known as the Community Right to Bid, writes Gurjit Degun. Communities minister Don Foster legally authorised the new powers for communities to help prevent the rapid sell off of treasured community assets and buildings so they can be protected. The Community Right to Bid, created in the historic Localism Act, allows locals to “stop-the clock” on the sale of what they regard as “valuable local assets” such as community pubs. The new right gives voluntary and community organisations and parish councils the opportunity to nominate an asset to be included on a list of ‘assets of community value’. This will hold the sale of the property for six months, giving residents the time to prepare a bid and get a business plan together. Previously the community had no opportunity or time to gather resources to bid to buy or take them over. Foster said: “For too long communities have been shut out, forced to watch from the sidelines as treasured local assets, vital in peoples daily lives, have been shut-down and sold on. We are determined to put an end to that and put people back at the centre of the future of their communities. “The Community Right to bid lets communities decide what’s important to them and ‘stop the clock’ on sales so they have them the time to get together a bid, put together a plan and ensure that prized local assets can live on, this time run by the local community for the local community.”