Mandatory Rate Relief for Properties in Rural Settlements

Under Section 43 of the LGFA 1988, amended by Schedule 1 of the Local Government and Rating Act 1997, the Non Domestic Rating (Public Houses and Petrol Filling Stations) (England) Order 2001 and the Rating (Former Agricultural Premises and Rural Shops) Act 2001; where a non domestic property is within a settlement identified within the Council's rural settlement list, that organisation is entitled to 100% mandatory relief.

However, in order to qualify for such a relief, the following criteria must be met:

1. The property is the only Post Office, General Store, Public House or Petrol Filling Station, situated within a rural settlement; or

2. The property is a food shop (there is no requirement for them to be the only such business within a settlement)

3. The population of the rural settlement is below 3,000 as at 31st December before the beginning of the chargeable financial year in question; and

4. The rateable value of the premises at 1 April is within the thresholds set by the Department for Communities and Local Government and which apply for the year to which the application relates. The values in force currently, as confirmed in the Non Domestic Rating (Rural Settlements)(England)(Amendment) Order 2004, came into force from 1 April 2010 and are as follows:

General Store £8,500

Food Shop £8,500

Post Office £8,500

Public House £12,500

Petrol Filling Station £12,500

Where the rateable value exceeds those listed above, no further consideration will be given to mandatory relief. However, the Council may consider discretionary rate relief. All applications for discretionary rate relief MUST be received by 30 April for the financial year of application i.e. by the 30.04.18 for a 2017/18 application.

The Icon for pdf settlements in Mendip list [194.14KB] shows the areas in Mendip that have been designated as a rural settlement and so rural rate relief may apply . If there is any doubt as to whether an organisation is the sole business of its nature within a qualifying settlement, the Council's Inspection Officer will visit the area.

In order to fall within one of the categories listed, the following must also be demonstrated;

Post Office: the property is used wholly or mainly for the purposes of a Post Office within the meaning of the Post Office Act 1953 or any subsequent amendment

General Store: the property us used wholly or mainly for the sale of both food for human consumption (excluding confectionary) and general household goods

Food Store: the property is used wholly or mainly for the sale by retail of food for human consumption (excluding confectionary) unless the premises are used in the supply of food in the course of catering (this, therefore, excludes businesses such as restaurants, cafes and take-aways)

Public House: the property is used in whole or in part as a public house within the meaning of the Licensing Act

Petrol Filling Station: a petrol filling station where petrol is sold to the general public