Comment by Observer
Trading 4U was for a long time a popular large store at the top end of the Bellbrook Business Park, Uckfield.
Its location, not many steps from the bus station, meant it wasn’t unreasonable to fit in a trip there when shopping in the High Street.
Sadly it closed and has stood empty for many months.
It doesn’t take a trained accountant to see what a burden business rates were on this extensive property.
Oldfield Smith & Co appealed, on behalf of clients, against the rateable value for the property and won a substantial reduction.
The rateable value is down from £179,000 to £128,000. That’s not how much the business pays in rates. The amount paid is worked out by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the business rates “multiplier” – the pence in the pound
Oldfield Smith estimates the saving on the former Trading 4U premises will amount to £25,000 a year.
And, hey presto, now there is a “preferred bidder” for the premises so it may not be too long before they are once again occupied.
Empty shops, factories and offices are a terrible waste of resources. They blight the look of our town and drag down the economy.
For Uckfield to thrive, both business rates and commercial property rents must be realistic.
Property owners can be flexible over rents but getting the rateable value adjusted is such a rigmarole. The UckfieldNews.com story this week (here) described it as a costly and time-consuming process. It’s time such appeals were made simpler and less costly.