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Rural Rate Relief

Rate Relief is available to the only Public House, Post Office, Food Shop or Petrol Filling Station within a rural settlement area

A rural settlement is a defined area with a population of less than three thousand. You can check whether your property is in a rural settlement area by viewing the list of pdf icon Rural Settlement Areas [7kb].

Torridge District Council is required to produce a map of its rural settlements. The map is available for inspection at our office:

Bridge Buildings, Bridge Street, Bideford EX39 2HT

This office is open from 9.00am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.

Mandatory Rate Relief (under section 43 of the LGFA 1988)

To qualify for 50 per cent (100 per cent from 1 April 2017) Mandatory Rate Relief, a business property must:

  • Be within the boundaries of a qualifying settlement
  • Have a rateable value of not more than £8,500
  • Be used in whole or part as a general store or a post office, or both, and
  • Be either the only general store or the only post office in the settlement

In addition, the Non-Domestic Rating (Public Houses and Petrol Filling Stations) (England) Order 2001 extends the mandatory rate relief to public houses and petrol filling stations with a rateable value of not more than £12,500.

There can be one of each type of property within each rural settlement area, provided that they all meet the criteria.

Discretionary Rate Relief (under Section 47 of the LGFA 1988)

Authorities may grant up to 100 per cent of the remaining balance, to any general store, post office, food shop, public house or petrol filling station which qualifies for mandatory relief.  Torridge Council uses a point scoring system to assess entitlement to discretionary rate relief.

A general store is defined as carrying out trade or business, wholly or mainly consisting of the retail sale of both food for human consumption and general household goods. Food does not include confectionary or animal food.

A food shop is defined as carrying out trade or business, wholly or mainly consisting of the retail sale of food for human consumption.  The supply of food in the course of catering is excluded, for example, the supply of food for consumption on the premises, or the supply of hot food for consumption off the premises.  Food does not include confectionary or animal food

The authority may also grant up to 100 per cent discretionary rate relief to any business provided that:

  • It is within the boundaries of a qualifying settlement
  • It has a rateable value of not more than £16,500
  • It is used for purposes which are of benefit to the local community, and
  • It is reasonable for the authority to make such a decision having regard to the interests of its Council Tax and Non-Domestic ratepayers

For more information contact the business rates team.