Paul White, of Oldfield Smith and Co.

Uckfield surveyors secure major reduction in business rates for client

Uckfield chartered surveyors, Oldfield Smith and Co, have secured a major reduction in business rates for one of their clients.

The rateable value, for premises occupied by Challenge Packaging at Golden Cross, has been reduced by nearly £50,000 from £367,500 to £319,000.

Director Bernard Smith said this was one of the largest rating assessments in the area and the saving to Challenge Packaging would run into six figures before the rating assessment is due to be reviewed again as part of the national rating review which is expected in four year’s time.

“Naturally they are very pleased with the result, as indeed are we,” said Mr Smith.


A Google Earth view of Challenge Packaging premises at Golden Cross.

He congratulated his colleague, Paul White, who handled the matter saying: “Paul has been with the practice for just over a year and this is a testament to his skill and experience. It also highlights the breadth of work we carry out. We are much more than the familiar ‘to let/for sale’ boards.”

Back in August 2014 Oldfield Smith helped landlords of the former Trading 4U building on the Bellbrook Estate in Uckfield – now occupied by Howdens Joinery and J&S Accessories – to reduce the rateable value of that building by over £50,000 from £179,000 a year to £128,000. See: Uckfield landlord wins battle over business rates.

In 2016 Oldfield Smith secured a 15% allowance on rates for businesses in Uckfield and Hailsham High Streets during roadworks in both towns.

They have had other successes more recently too.

Last year the rateable values for offices in River Way, occupied by Horlock Holdcroft and Automatic Enrolment Solutions, were reduced below £12,000 meaning that both occupiers qualified for small business relief and do not have to pay any rates. A similar result was achieved for Uckfield Framing Company at Bellbrook Industrial Estate.

In February this year, Oldfield Smith obtained a reduction in the rateable value of the Baltica shop in Lewis from £31,500 to £18,250.

Mr Smith said the whole system of contesting rateable values had recently changed. It was now much more complex, involving several distinct steps known as ‘Check’, ‘Challenge’ and ‘Appeal’ which had to be followed sequentially and it was really important that ratepayers had competent, professional advice to assist them in this process.

He said an initial consultation with Oldfield Smith, who are regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, was free of charge. If instructed to contest a rateable value, fees would apply for the submission of a ‘Check’ and, if necessary, a ‘Challenge.’ If it was then deemed necessary to take the case on to an ‘Appeal’ a fee would be agreed in advance for that.

Mr Smith said: “We have a pricing structure that makes it viable for people to address their concerns about their rating assessments. We would encourage any business that is concerned about their liability for business rates to get in touch with us so that we can ensure they are paying the right amount.”

• Contact details for Oldfield Smith and Co can be found 24/7 in our Uckfield Directory. Look for the name or search in categories for Chartered Surveyors, Commercial Estate Agents or Commercial Property Management.

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