Definitions

What follows are the terms which either have a specific meaning in the context of asset development and transfer or are important terms for asset development but which may not be in general use.

 

Affordable Housing – this is low cost and subsidised housing available to people who cannot afford to buy or rent a home on the open market. It includes intermediate housing which provides homes above social rent levels but below open market levels.

Assets – assets can include cash, land or buildings, investments, machinery or specialist knowledge or copyrights – such as music or computer software. In relation to asset development it refers to an interest in land, buildings (freehold, leasehold).

Asset development – refers to the planning and implementation of projects which provide assets for the benefit of community based organisations.

Asset Transfer - refers to the policies and associated procedures that public authorities such as local councils may use to transfer the ownership of an asset to a community based organisation.

Biomass – one type of fuel produced from renewable resources - plant biomass, vegetable oils, and treated municipal and industrial wastes.

Business Model - this refers to the way that an organisation generates income or value from its activities e.g. the organisation earns from selling goods, delivering contracts, selling subscriptions, selling/running franchises, charging fees etc.

Business Plan - A business plan sets out some business objectives, the evidence and reasons why they are believed to be attainable, and the plan for reaching them. It also contains information about the organisation or people involved in trying to reach those objectives.

Community – used here to include communities of place (a neighbourhood, estate or town) or interest (people with common characteristics - age, gender, etc or an issue on which they feel strongly) or common needs (people who need housing, employment, or public services). Most projects must define the community who they wish to benefit from asset development and how they will benefit as an important part of the development of their project.

Community based organisations – this refers to any organisation which is not for personal profit and seeks to involve defined communities in its policy making, management and activities.

Community Capacity building - defined as “Activities, resources and support that strengthen the skills, abilities and confidence of people and community groups to take effective action and leading roles in the development of their communities”

Community Land Trust – This is a non-profit, community-based organisation run by volunteers that develops housing or other assets at permanently affordable levels for long-term community benefit. It does this by separating the value of the building from the land that it stands on and, in the case of shared-equity homes, fixing the resale percentage, thereby enabling occupiers to pay for the use of buildings and services at prices they can afford.

Development Trust – Development trusts are part of the community and social enterprise movement. This means they are community based organisations engaging in trading, growing enterprises and providing services and working alongside the local voluntary sector, public authorities and private sector.
They aim to achieve their goals by making profits through trading and securing building and managing assets for their communities such as buildings, land and equipment.

Feasible – this refers to whether a project can be developed to meet the objectives of the project given its context and the resources available.

Freehold - This is “absolute” ownership, which gives a right to use the property as the owner sees fit (subject to planning consent, and the restrictions and other matters registered on the building with the Land Registry, for example any right of way or outstanding mortgage).

Geothermal/Ground Source Heat - Ground Source (or geothermal) pumps take heat from the ground and use it to heat water. This can then be used to provide a heating system.

Governance – This refers to who makes decisions in an organisation (partly defined by the way an organisation is set up legally and what it has been set up to achieve) and how they make them (who is included in decision making and who gets to know about what decisions have been made).

Leasehold – a legal interest in property which is a contract granting use or occupation of property during a specified period in exchange for a specified rent.

Less than best consideration – this refers to the guidance given to local government regarding disposal of land where they are making a disposal for a consideration (something that is of value) that is less than can be obtained in the market.

Licence – a legal agreement to occupy a property. This is a short term agreement often between 6 months and 2 years. A licence is most often used with a building occupier who does not have exclusive access to the space, for example where a couple of desks are let out in an office, or in managed workspace where tenants can be moved about if necessary. The terms of this type of agreement are generally “easy in easy out? requiring relatively short notice to terminate by either landlord or occupier (often a month). A licence does not, if properly worded, provide a legal interest in land or a building or security of tenure beyond the agreed terms stated in the licence.

Micro hydro – these are small installations that generate electricity via a turbine that uses the force of flowing or falling water.

Peppercorn this is a legal term which is a metaphor for a very small payment or a nominal sum such as one pound.

Photovoltaic panels make electricity that is stored in batteries, used or sent to the general grid.

Practitioners - People who carry out activities that are necessary to implement an asset development or transfer project, particularly those from community based organisations or their supporters.

Solar Water Heating - Solar collection panels take energy from the sun and direct it to a form of energy storage called thermal mass (most commonly water tanks).
Stakeholders – Stakeholders are people or groups who are directly or indirectly affected by a project, as well as those who may have interests in a project and/or the ability to influence its outcome, either positively or negatively.

Sustainable – This term has become closely associated with the protection of the environment and the resources of the planet. In asset development and transfer, it is used to refer to whether an asset can be maintained and operated into the foreseeable future. It is linked to, but different to, viability which refers specifically to the financial requirements a project may have to sustain it over a specified period.

Sustainable Urban Drainage System – SUDS are designed to control run off of water on a site, improve its quality and improve the environment of the site and its surroundings by use of features such as permeable pavements, swales and basins, green roofs, ponds and wetlands.

Transfer of Ownership – refers to a stake in the asset (freehold or leasehold) to be passed to a community based organisation, sometimes in exchange for funds, a peppercorn, an agreement to use the asset for specific purposes or a combination of these.

Viable - This refers to the ability of an asset to cover all its costs with income over a specified period. This is usually 3 -5 years although larger projects may need longer to pay back loans that they may have needed to enable their development.

Whole Life Costing - The total cost of owning an asset over its entire life. Whole life cost includes costs such as the costs of operation and repairs and renewals over a long time period. It can also include financing costs, depreciation, and disposal costs. Whole-life cost can also take certain costs that are usually overlooked into account, such as environmental impact and social costs.