Business rates remains a topic of immense concern .......
Business Rates Retail Relief
Business rates remains a topic of immense concern and discussions continue within the property sector and it is apparent, the retail sector is the most vociferous champion of the debilitating effect the current system has, especially on the traditional High Street.
To attempt some mitigation of this effect, the latest initiative from Central Government takes into account the discernable changes the retail sector continues to undergo and it specifically relates to the effect of internet shopping on the traditional High Street retail outlets. The Government suggest it has maintained its stance to support traditional town centres by providing specific support to retailers.
Looking back to December 2013, Central Government announced the relief of up to £1,000 to all occupied retail properties with a rateable value of £50,000 or less, in the years 2014/2015 and 2015/2016. It is a discretionary relief and is not relative to the actual rateable value of the premises nor is it subject to any tapering.
While specific mention is made of retail premises and the High Street, the application of this relief also relates to restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments and this description of retailing is also to encompass opticians, post offices, car/caravan showrooms, second-hand car lots, markets, petrol stations, garden centres, funeral directors, tool hire and car hire. Indeed any property which sells good, including food and drink and provides services to the public. It is not intended to apply to premises occupied by financial services, estate agents, Doctors surgeries and the like.
This is therefore quite a long list of potential claimants and it should be noted, to qualify for the relief the premises should be wholly or mainly being used as a shop, restaurant, café or drinking establishment etc. This is a test on use rather than occupation, thus properties which are occupied but not wholly or mainly use for the qualifying purpose will not qualify for the relief.
If you think you may qualify then apply now to the local authority in which the premises are located.
Fast-growing energy services company moves to larger premises .......
Hyperion House, Sweetbriar Industrial Estate, Norwich
Fast-expanding local company, EV Off-Shore is accommodating the next phase of its growth by moving to larger, prestige premises. The company which supplies small cameras that can remotely monitor underground oil wells, has moved from its original premises in Rose Lane in Norwich city centre to Hyperion House on Sweetbriar Industrial Estate. The company has leased the entire two-storey building which extends to 23,000 sq ft (2,136 sq metres) to accommodate all its functions under one roof.
Helionova, the previous occupiers of Hyperion House, have moved to premises on the Hellesdon Park Industrial Estate.
Hyperion House is an unusual industrial property, having both an eye-catching design and accommodation arranged on two floors with the upper level being accessed by a substantial goods lift.
"The letting of Hyperion House reflects not only the significant improvement in the industrial letting market during the second half of 2013, when we saw a number of vacant larger properties being occupied and the continuing strength of businesses involved in the energy sector in East Anglia, many of who are exporting their products and services throughout the world", commented James Allen of Roche Chartered Surveyors who handled the letting of the property.
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Roche Retail have secured a letting of 25/26 Friary Street, Guildford to Five Guys .....
Five Guys Land in Guildford
Roche Retail, acting on behalf of Legal & General, have secured a letting of 25/26 Friary Street, Guildford to Five Guys, that will be one of their first 5 outlets in the UK since opening their flagship in Covent Garden in 2013.
The unit comprises a ground floor restaurant of approximately 3,325 sq ft. Five Guys, founded in 1986, have over a thousand locations and compliment Friary Street's growing list of restaurateurs that include Jamie's Italian, Nandos, GBK, Yo! Sushi and Wagamama.
Roche Retail have advised Legal & General on their ownership in Friary Street, commencing with the total refurbishment of the street in 2005, that has led to it becoming one of the premier retail and restaurant destinations in Guildford.
Adrian Fennell of Roche Retail, commented that "Five Guys have chosen Friary Street in Guildford as one of their first five destinations for the UK as it represents an ideal opportunity for them to be in one of the south east's top shopping destinations and they add a fresh new international restaurant concept to the existing tenant line up".
Jackie Crisp has achieved the Advanced Professional Award in Expert Witness Evidence .....
Surveyors acting as Expert Witnesses
Jackie Crisp has achieved the Advanced Professional Award in Expert Witness Evidence, a Masters level qualification held by no more than 150 surveyors throughout the UK and which is now the only standard recognised by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, of which she is a Fellow.
Surveyors acting in a capacity as an Expert Witness can provide evidence in lease renewal, rent review, valuation, dilapidations or other disputes. Where the surveyor is acting in such capacity the RICS Practice Statement and Guidance Note, Surveyors Acting as Expert Witnesses, clearly states the duty of the surveyor is to the judicial body presiding; the court, arbitrator or tribunal and NOT to their client. This may come as a surprise to some clients, especially when the client realises the surveyor is required to include all facts which may or may not harm their client's case.
The surveyor is required to give truthful, impartial and independent opinions to enable the judicial body to make an informed decision.
At the inception of the instructions the surveyor must ask himself if he has the knowledge, experience, qualification and training relevant to the case in question. He must also ask himself if there are any conflicts of interest, actual or perceived, which may arise out of the instruction given. If there is any cause for concern on this matter the instruction must be declined.
These are important parameters which need to be adhered to rigidly because if they are not, the weight given to the surveyors evidence is lessened or compromised.
Greene King - one of the UKs leading pub and brewing companies has instructed Roche to act on their behalf .....
Roche appointed by Greene King for pub disposals
Greene King - one of the UKs leading pub and brewing companies has instructed Roche to act on their behalf in the disposal of some of their public houses in the East Anglia region. The first pub was The Beehive on Cannerby Lane in Norwich, which after only a short marketing period has now been sold to the East of England Co-op for conversion to a community food store. The latest instruction is to sell the freehold of The Little Rose public house in the popular village of Haslingfield, some 6 miles south-west of Cambridge.
Graham Jones of Roche commented that he is delighted to be able to cement Roche's relationship with Greene King, which is not only a leading regional business but also one of the most successful pub companies in the UK with a growing estate of circa 2,300 public houses. Inevitably there are some public houses within their estate which are no longer viable and by selling them not only can Greene King re-invest the money into their continued expansion but also the properties will provide opportunities to owner occupiers to acquire their own freehold premises or indeed to developers to regenerate the sites.
The appointment by Greene King marks Roche's growing presence in the regional leisure sector with other clients including Enterprise Inns, Punch Taverns, Admiral Taverns and a number of independent local and regional pub and restaurant businesses.
"The appetite for freehold commercial property continues to grow ........"
Freehold Pub Sales Continue in Norfolk
"The appetite for freehold commercial property continues to grow, no more so than for well-located and sensibly priced public houses", comments Graham Jones of Roche Chartered Surveyors that have just completed another successful period of pub disposals this year.
Roche have just concluded the sale of 4 public houses on behalf of long term client Enterprise Inns. These were The Fox & Hounds, The Street, Lyng which was acquired by a local investor to be re-opened as a pub, The Jolly Sailors, Pakefield Street, Lowestoft which is to be converted into a fish restaurant, The Rampant Horse, Lynn Road, Gayton which has been sold for residential development and The Falcon on Cromer Road, one of Norwich's principal arterial roads, which is likely to be converted to retail use.
The pubs offered different opportunities and ranged in size from 2,852 to 5,287 sq ft on plots from 0.41 acres to 0.77 acres.
All 4 pubs were subject to strong interest with 2 of them going to best bids and one to auction. Graham Jones adds: "each pub is unique and can require a slightly different marketing approach, tailored to the likely end-use and the market for the property in its particular location. The volume of freehold pubs coming to the market is beginning to slow and we are seeing very strong demand as potential purchasers realise that the available stock is drying up."
Roche have now acted for Enterprise Inns plc for 6 years and continue to be involved in the sale and letting of pub sites for a range of clients throughout the East Anglia region.
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