Section 47 Discretionary Business Rates Relief
Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: Yes
To inform members of the outcome following consultation of the Business Rates Relief guidance and mapping of eligible zoning with Dereham Town Council and Dereham Business Forum.
Recommend to Full Council that:
1. The revised Business Rates Relief eligibility guidance and precise boundaries of the zones be suitable for the scheme to commence from April 2016.
2. Delegated authority be granted to the S151 Officer, in consultation with the Executive Member for Finance, to award discretionary business rates relief in line with the policy guidance.
Reasons for the decision:
a clear corporate commitment to supporting our market towns to
thrive in order that they in turn provide the required support to
surrounding villages and hinterlands. We recognise that in the
current changing “shopping” environment in order to
succeed Breckland’s market towns need to be vibrant and busy
drawing people in to visit a multitude of different offerings,
making a shopping trip an interesting and enjoyable
experience. Out of town shopping and
internet have drawn many people away from town centres, thus
businesses find it extremely hard to make ends meet and fail; as a
result we are finding that shops remain empty for significant
periods. High rents, location of the
premises, competition, business rates, and poor footfall all add to
this scenario and unfortunately the upshot is the natural presence
of more charity shops opening taking advantage of low business
rates applicable to that sector as retail units become
We recognise that we must be able to respond flexibly to the needs of retail businesses within the five market towns, enabling each to support strong and sustainable local communities with growing business sectors. In order to achieve this and to bring new retail entrepreneurs to a level playing field with charity shops we look to introduce the discretionary business rates relief scheme.
Alternative options considered:
1. To approve the recommendations.
2. To not approve the recommendations and ask for a further review.
Report author: Julie Kennealy
Publication date: 10/02/2016
Date of decision: 09/02/2016
Decided at meeting: 09/02/2016 - Cabinet
Effective from: 18/02/2016