Why are we still waiting, Mr Osborne? – December 2012

One of the surprise announcements in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement was a proposal to create a “long-grace” period for the payment of empty property rates for new build commercial properties.
This really is great news for the commercial property industry and for the building trade too. The legislation which came into effect a few years ago effectively stymied any prospective building of commercial property, with a knock-on effect on the building industry too.
The new measures say that all property completed between 1st October next year and the end of September 2016 will be exempt from empty property rates for 18 months. Our industry has been lobbying hard for a change in the law and we are glad to see that the Government is as keen to get Britain building again as we are.
Our only disappointment is that we have to wait for around nine months for it to happen. And we will all be asking why the delay?
It could well have a negative short term effect, in that developers may look to complete properties after that deadline, which would cause the market to stall somewhat over the spring and summer next year.
We believe that the Chancellor also missed an opportunity in not granting concessions to those who are refurbishing existing properties to a higher standard.
In the local area there continues to be heavy demand for good quality office accommodation on flexible terms, and there are many larger retailers very keen to find the right kind of spacious retail accommodation.
It’s good news on the whole, but – in the words of the song – “why are we waiting?”

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Vanessa Penn

About Vanessa Penn

Vanessa Penn was formerly Director of Commercial Agency for Countrywide Commercial, Bradford & Bingley and Douglas Duff part of Erinaceous Plc. Vanessa now runs her own agency Penn Commercial located in Ipswich, Suffolk www.penncommercial.co.uk. Penn Commercial boasts a number of local, regional and national clients and has formed an excellent and loyal client base.
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