Government proposals on rating of empty premises “do not go far enough”, says CLA.

06 June 2013

The CLA today submitted a response to the Government's empty property rates consultation, describing the proposals as "not going far enough".

The Association said the proposals to exempt newly-built commercial property completed between 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2016 from empty property rates for the first 18 months still fail to benefit the rural economy.

CLA President Harry Cotterell said: "The consultation is a welcome step in the right direction, but it doesn't go anything like far enough.

"These proposals offer no hope to farmers and rural businesses who were urged to diversify in recent years and, having done so, they are left unable to find tenants and face hefty business rates.

"If the Government wishes to encourage economic growth, it cannot continue to increase taxes on entrepreneurship and diversification."

The Association said it has always opposed any increases in the rating of empty properties which have appalling ramifications for the rural economy

Mr Cotterell said: "If increases are to occur, we need a much longer exemption period than the Government proposes to stimulate speculative development.

"If we are to see any real difference, we need at least five years of relief on empty premises."

To view the consultation click here