In carrying out an options appraisal, it should be borne in mind that an asset transfer request must be agreed to unless there are reasonable grounds for refusal - so retention of the property may not be an option, unless perhaps as landlord.
Previously an options appraisal for the future use of the asset was a useful tool, covering both retention of the property by the relevant authority and disposal to the community organisation at less than best consideration, in order to identify the current and likely on-going costs and benefits associated with each option. For example, if the property was retained, it would involve the costs of maintenance, security and/or demolition as well as the potential lost opportunity enabling new or maintaining existing services in the community. With regard to asset transfer, costs to the local authority might include the potential loss of capital receipt or of market rent (where this is realistic).
- Economic development
- Public health
- Social wellbeing
- Environmental wellbeing
- Reducing inequalities of outcome from socio-economic disadvantage
- Any other benefits that might arise through the alternative use of the asset.
- The contribution it will make to the local authority’s corporate objectives / strategies and the purposes set out in the ‘Disposal of Land by Local Authorities (Scotland) Regulations 2010’ (ie economic development or regeneration, health, social or environmental well-being) and the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015.
- Direct savings to the local authority arising from the transfer (as above)
- Further benefits to the local authority and its community partners, for example enhanced or complementary service delivery
- Contribution to community empowerment and increasing the capacity of local community groups.
In most cases, placing a monetary value on the above benefits (other than point 2) is unlikely to be cost effective. See the ‘Evaluating benefits’ section.