Roche awarded the prestigious Estates Gazette "Most Active Agent Award for East Anglia" in the Retail category ...
Roche Win Top Regional Agent Award
Roche have been awarded the prestigious Estates Gazette "Most Active Agent Award for East Anglia" in the Retail category. This marks the seventh year running Adrian Fennell, Head of Roche Retail, said that he was delighted that Roche has yet again won this prestigious award representing the whole of East Anglia and it reflects the hard work the retail department have put into getting deals across the line in a very exacting marketplace"
These awards are given annually by the Estates Gazette to recognise the top commercial surveyors across the country, and are widely regarded as being a reliable reflection of activity during the past year. The award underpins yet another extremely successful year for Roche.
Roche has arranged letting of a significant industrial building at Burton Road Business Park, NR6 6AX ......
Refurbished Norwich Industrial building let to Major Engineering Company
Commercial property consultants and agents, Roche Chartered Surveyors has arranged the letting of a significant industrial building at Burton Road Business Park, NR6 6AX, on the north side of Norwich. The property known as Norwich Coachworks and previously occupied by Harford Engineering has been virtually re-built by Harber Properties Limited over the last year. It provides 16,760 sq ft (1,557 sq m) of refurbished space which has been let to Eriks Industrial Services Ltd, the national engineering services company which will be creating an enlarged regional hub for its business throughout East Anglia.
The refurbishment of this building forms part of a programme of reinvestment on the Burton Road site, with lettings of other buildings also imminent. These works follow Harford's relocation from the site.
Unit 2 at Burton Road has been taken back to its steel frame before being virtually re-built and therefore provides effectively a new building in an established industrial area which, like all locations on the north side of Norwich, will benefit significantly from improved accessibility when the Northern Distributor Road opens in the next 12 months. Harber Properties have shown great confidence in the Norwich industrial market, which is very strong at present and this has been rewarded in securing an international company of the calibre of Eriks. There is an acute shortage of buildings of this size and we are aware of several established companies with current requirements," commented James Allen of Roche Chartered Surveyors who acted for Harber Properties in the transaction.
Roche complete a Building Survey of The Playhouse Theatre and Bar, Norwich ............
The Playhouse Theatre, 42-58 St Georges St, Norwich NR3 1AB
Roche Chartered Surveyors have completed a Building Survey of The Playhouse Theatre and Bar on behalf of The Playhouse Trust.
The property encompasses a range of buildings including an historic Georgian maltings which was converted in 1995 to form a 300 seat riverside theatre, offices, and a modern bar with a large external seating area. The property totals around 1,270 sqm (13,700sqft) and includes a number of different ages, construction types and uses.
The building survey provided the client with detailed advice on the current condition and projected maintenance requirements of the property over the coming years. This involved inspecting and reporting on all aspects of the property including the historic building fabric and modern extensions and alterations. Roche engaged specialist engineers to advise on the mechanical and electrical installation and oversaw the project to provide the client with clear concise information regarding the repair and maintenance requirements and associated costs.
The aim of the survey was to allow the Trust to gain a comprehensive picture of the current condition of the property and allow the client to forecast their future maintenance costs. Roche's Chartered Building Surveyor responsible for the project, David Hall MRICS, commented "It is essential for any organisation that owns or is responsible for property to properly budget for its upkeep and repair. Timely repair of buildings provides substantial savings in the long run by preventing unnecessary damage"
Hints and tips in the run-up to the revaluation ......
A quick history lesson! Since 1990, Business Rates Revaluations have taken place at regular intervals, which, up until the most recent revaluation, were carried out every 5 years. The current revaluation date is set for the 1 April 2017, but keeping to sensible tradition, there has always been a preceding valuation date, usually 2 years before, called the Antecedent Valuation Date (AVD). Therefore, the prima facie evidence for the 2017 rating list will be market rents set as at 1 April 2015, nearly a year ago. The valuation is tempered by any relevant circumstances at the actual valuation date itself of 1.4.17, such as the physical layout and use, etc.
So in advance of this revaluation, the first consequence of it is, that ratepayers are likely to see an increase in requests for information from the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) in the "forms of return". These forms have to be completed by law and ask questions which are relevant such as the rent payable, the date the rent was set, and why it was set, detailed lease information etc. It is worth reiterating these forms must be completed by either the ratepayer or their agent.
The second consequence for ratepayers is that forecasting your actual rates payable beyond the revaluation date of 1 April 2017 is going to be very difficult. This is for the following main reasons:
- Business Rates Payable normally increase annually in line with the RPI index.
However, with a revaluation, the rateable value is likely to change and the new level of Uniform Business Rate (UBR) is to be set. The UBR is the multiplier to be applied to the rateable value.
- Transitional adjustments, which are the phasing in of new rateable values, may or may not be put in place.
The final major consequence, is that rate payers are highly likely to see a fall in rateable values, because of the fall in rental values in many sectors and parts of the country, especially in East Anglia, due to the economic recession, since the 2010 list was established using 2008 rents. Unfortunately, rates payable cannot be expected to fall in exactly the same way as the rateable values as the Government has a duty to maintain revenue and therefore the UBR is likely to offset substantive overall falls. This situation is highly likely to be exacerbated by the use of transitional reliefs. The exception to this scenario is in London where increased rateable values and increased UBR multiplier could result in a major effect on rates payable for those businesses located in the capital.
How can this affect the actual market rents payable now and in the future? For example retail rental values in Southwold have increased fourfold and in Great Yarmouth they have halved during the life of the current list. Over the life of the next list, which is likely to be for a period of 5 years, the amount of money available to tenants to pay for outgoings will remain fairly constant so monies available for rent will decrease in Southwold and increase in Great Yarmouth, thus this may have a direct effect on rental values and this should be factored into investment decisions going forward.
Publication dates of the new rateable values is likely to be September 2016 and from the start of this year, the VOA will need to value some 1.8 million non-domestic properties having a total value in the local rating lists of more than £57 billion.
One thing is hopefully certain, the principals of an appeal against any rating assessment will remain and relate to changes or inaccuracies in actual use, size, unique physical factors affecting premises and mode of occupation.
April 1st 2015 is not just April Fool's Day ..... it is also the actual valuation date for the 2017 Business Rating ...
Business Rates Update
April 1st 2015 is not just April Fool's Day ..... it is also the actual valuation date for the 2017 Business Rating Revaluation. Although the new rating list will not come into force until 1st April 2017, the revised values will be based on what will then be historic values as of this April. This ensures all properties share a common valuation date.
The basis for the revaluation will be market rental information pertinent to April 2015. It is acknowledged not all property will have a new rent established on that day as:
The premises may be occupied by the owner, rather than rented, or
There may be vacant accommodation, or
The passing rent may have been established at either an earlier or later date by way of a new letting, rent review or lease renewal.
However, in the majority of cases where premises have a contemporary rent, the rental evidence can be distilled into a rate per square metre, taking into account any relevant issues including the surrounding built environment, the physical characteristics of the premises, the lease terms agreed and any other pertinent factors.
The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) will consider all the evidence that it has collated to create a tone of values specific to an area that relate to premises of the same use, with the tone being adjusted to apply to each property, to reflect its unique characteristics.
Property occupiers may be asked to provide information on their property by the VOA, and should do so as it is a statutory obligation!
So, what this means is, any occupier who agrees a rent review or lease renewal or who acquires a new lease on premises in line with market conditions on or around 1st April this year, may have a good indication of the new rateable value which will apply in 2017. There is therefore extra incentive to make sure the rent is agreed at an appropriate level - to do otherwise might be doubly foolish
Jackie Crisp, FRICS, Partner, Roche Chartered Surveyors
Norwich will no longer be the largest city that is not connected to the motorway network via a dual carriageway ......
A11 dualling - the impact on commercial property
The long-suffering business community and residents of East Anglia that use the A11 as a means of connecting with the wider world, can finally look forward to the imminent opening of the last dual carriageway section of this vital trunk road.
Norwich will no longer be the largest city that is not connected to the motorway network via a dual carriageway. Journey times for people and goods will be reduced whilst predictability of arrival and delivery times will be dramatically improved. But what impact will this have on commercial property in East Anglia?
A sudden improvement in accessibility can change distribution patterns. The overall improvement in the accessibility of Norwich will undoubtedly enhance the City's appeal as a business location. However for distribution, it will now be easier for companies to cover the whole of East Anglia from, say, Thetford or Bury St Edmunds which are geographically more central. My firm is already advising logistics clients that are reviewing their operations in this way. Therefore, a boost for warehousing in the centre of the region.
Manufacturers will find it easier to get goods to and from East Anglia. This should reduce costs, improve service and therefore competitiveness. Logically, I expect to see improved demand for industrial units in Norfolk and Suffolk along the A11.
For retailers, critical considerations are catchment areas and drive-times. Therefore the big regional centres of Cambridge and Norwich will be further boosted by being more accessible from the centre of the region, possibly to the disadvantage of smaller towns between the main cities. Better communications within the region might also make East Anglia more attractive to big retailers such as IKEA and Decathlon as more households fall within an acceptable drive-time.
As far as offices are concerned, Norwich will be significantly enhanced, enabling it to challenge Cambridge with more credibility. With prime office rents exceeding £30 per square foot, arguably Cambridge has become over-heated. Norwich is roughly half this level and therefore well placed to take up the pressure. Norwich Research Park's competitive prospects are similarly enhanced.
It will take time for the consequences of this significant improvement in our road infrastructure to work through the economy and into the commercial property market. The overall impact will undoubtedly be positive but as improved accessibility opens up new markets, there will be greater challenges for businesses in some locations although I expect the over-riding impact to be extremely positive.
by James Allen, Senior Partner, Roche Chartered Surveyors, Norwich