Property Agency

The Government has launched a 6-week consultation period to establish whether its proposals for the granting of empty rates relief on new build commercial property projects are worthwhile. So what’s the point of all this? Well to stimulate the development of commercial property where development has all but stagnated, OK partly due to the economic cycle, but perhaps due to the ridiculous burden of full rates on empty buildings?

Will short term empty rates relief stimulate development?

If they really want to get the development cycle going again, particularly with regard to development of new industrial units and warehouse buildings then why don’t they take a bold step and scrap empty rates it all together? They need money and rates are easy (relatively) to collect. Ok so why not, at the very least, extend this relief period on new build projects to say 5 years? At least that would give developers a good chance, encourage development, employ thousands in the construction sector and get things moving.

If you do not know what the current proposals are:

  • New commercial buildings completed between 01 October 2013 and 30 September 2016 will be eligible for 18 months empty rates relief
  • The proposals do NOT apply to existing buildings
  • EU limits the “aid” to 200,000 euros over 3 years so this kills off larger projects !

Best to keep badgering your local MP perhaps?