Business Rates in Real Estate
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Sadiq Khan has published the final version of his affordable housing and viability supplementary planning guidance (SPG). This was consulted on earlier in the year. The final document has remained very similar to the draft but with a number of subtle differences. It sets out the Mayor’s approach to strategic applications that are referred to him, noting that Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) are encouraged to follow the same approach for all schemes providing 10 or more homes.
In his Budget the Chancellor announced pilot schemes to allow the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Cheshire East and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to retain 100% of Growth in Business Rates income.
The Government announced that they will publish the preliminary findings of their review of Business Rates Administration and a discussion document on Rates avoidance this month, and a review of the future structure of business rates to report by the 2016 Budget. This review has been long promised and at last we have a firm timetable although the Government has already said that this will be fiscally neutral.
In the Budget the Chancellor said very little about business rates: he announced a small extension of business rates relief for enterprise zones and mentioned the £1000 rebate for small retail properties that he announced in December.
Recently the Government launched their review of the Business Rates System, the British Retail Consortium were quick off the mark to put forward four options for reform, the first three of these seem to address particular business interests rather than taking a wider view of the entire system.