The Local Government Finance Act 2008 includes exemptions for certain properties from the need to pay Business Rates. If your business property falls into one of the categories shown below you may not need to pay any business rates on the property.
The Valuation Office (which is part of HM Revenues and Customs) is responsible for determining whether the legislation is applicable to a particular piece of land or property.
The Council’s responsibility is to monitor changes which might cause loss of exemption status and to charge business rates where this occurs.
Please email or write to us in regards to the exempt property, including full details of the exempt property.
South Northamptonshire Council
1) Agricultural Land
This is defined as
(a) Land used as arable, meadow or pasture ground only;
(b) Land used for plantation or a wood or for the growth of saleable wood;
(c) Land exceeding 0.10 hectares and used for the purpose of poultry farming;
(d) Anything that consists of a market garden, nursery ground, orchard or allotment;
(e) Land occupied and used solely in connection with the use of an agricultural building.
The following are not considered to be agricultural land;
(a) Land occupied together with a house;
(b) Gardens (other than market gardens);
(c) Pleasure grounds;
(d) Land used wholly or exclusively for the purpose of sport and recreation;
(e) Land used as a race-course.
2) Agricultural Buildings
A building is an agricultural building, if it is not a dwelling, and
(a) it is occupied together with agricultural land and is used solely in connection with the agricultural operations on the land, or
(b) it is or forms part of a market garden and is used solely for agricultural operations at the market garden.
To qualify for the above exemption, the building must be occupied by the occupiers of the land or by individuals appointed to manage the land providing each occupies some of the land and there are not more than 25 of them in total.
3) Fish Farms
A Fish Farm is defined as “the breeding, rearing and cultivation of fish, and shellfish for the purpose of them to other waters or to produce food for human consumption”. Any land or building (other than a dwelling) used solely for, or in connection with fish farming will be exempt.
4) Places of Religious Worship
A property is exempt if it consists of a place of religious worship which belongs to the Church of England
any other recognised religion and the premises are used and available for public religious worship.
A Church Hall or similar building is also exempt if used in connection with a place of Religious Worship providing it is occupied and connected with a place of Religious Worship and is used for carrying out administrative or other activities relating to the conduct of religious worship.
5) Sewers and Properties of Drainage Authorities
The definition of a sewer is contained in Section 343 of the Public Health Act 1936 and includes “all sewers and drains together with any accessory fundamental to the working of the sewer such as manholes, ventilating shafts and pumping station”. However, sewage works and disposal works used in the treatment and disposal of sewage are not exempt.
Any land which is occupied by a drainage company and forms part of a river or watercourse maintained by the authority, and, any structure or appliance used for controlling the flow of water in or out of the watercourse is exempt.
6) Parks and Recreation Grounds
A park is defined as land which is provided by or is under the management of a relevant authority (i.e. a
county council, district council, borough council, parish council or common council), and is available for free unrestricted use by members of the public. This includes recreational grounds, public walks, open spaces and playing fields. Any temporary closure at night is to be ignored for exemption purposes.
7) Property Used by the Disabled
Properties are exempt if they are used “wholly” for:
(a) the provision of facilities for training or keeping suitably occupied persons who are disabled or who are suffering from illness;
(b) the provision of welfare services for disabled persons;
(c) the provision of facilities under Section 15 of the Disabled Persons Employment Act 1944 to enable registered handicapped persons obtain employment;
(d) the provision of workshop or other facilities which relates to the provision of sheltered employment for registered handicapped persons.
A person is defined as “DISABLED” if they are blind, deaf, dumb, suffers from a mental disorder of any description, or is substantially or permanently handicapped by illness, injury, congenial deformity or any other disability prescribed for the purpose of Section 29 of the National Assistance Act 1948.
8) Swinging Moorings
Certain types of moorings which are used or intended for use by boats or ships and are equipped only with a buoy attached to an anchor, weight or other device are exempt if:
- they rest on or in the bed of the sea or any river or water in use: and,
- are designed to be raised from time to time.