The Local Government and Rating Act 1997 introduced a rate relief scheme for village shops and post offices within small settlements in rural areas. This was then extended to include public houses and petrol stations.
Rural settlements must be wholly or partially within an area designated by Government as rural and appear to the Council to have had a population of less than 3,000 as at the preceding 31st December. The Government has currently designated 65 of the 68 parishes within the Chichester District as rural for the purposes of the Act. The exceptions are: Chichester City, East Wittering and Midhurst. The Council has produced a Rural Settlement List, which is available for inspection.
Mandatory relief for village shops & post offices
To qualify for 50% Mandatory Relief a general store or post office must be the only such business within a designated settlement area and have a rateable value not exceeding £8,500 as at 1st April 2010.
To be eligible as a general store the business must consist wholly or mainly of the retail sale of both food for consumption (excluding confectionery) and general household goods.
Where there are two (or more) general stores or post offices within the same settlement neither can qualify for Mandatory relief.
Mandatory relief for public houses & petrol stations
To qualify for 50% Mandatory Rate Relief a public house or filling station must be the only such business within a designated settlement area and have a rateable value not exceeding £12,500 as at 1st April 2010.
Chichester District Council will consider properties, which qualify for Mandatory Relief for an additional 50% Discretionary Rate Relief.
To be considered eligible as a public house the premises must be on licence (within the meaning of the Licensing Act 1964, other than a Part 1 V licence within the meaning of the act).
To be considered eligible as a petrol station the premises must be where petrol or other automotive fuels are sold retail to the general public for fuelling motor vehicles intended or adapted for use on roads. Where there are two (or more) public houses or petrol filling stations within the same settlement neither can qualify for Mandatory relief under the scheme.
The Council will consider properties which qualify for Mandatory Relief for an additional 50% Discretionary Rate Relief under Section 47 of The Local Government Finance Act.
As from 1st April 2010 If the rateable value is greater than £8,500 (but less than £16,500) the Council will consider awarding up to 100% Discretionary Rate Relief to general stores and post offices who would otherwise qualify for Mandatory Rural Rate Relief.
Any award of discretionary relief will be subject to a two yearly review.