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News - 9 October 2014

Charities and businesses evicted under Government planning rules

A government plan which was intended to bring empty offices back into use has led to some existing business being served with eviction notices

According to a survey of planning officers carried out by the Local Government Association (LGA), Permitted development rights, introduced in May 2013 to allow vacant office buildings to be converted to residential use without planning permission, have resulted in existing commercial tenants being evicted

Tonmoy Kumar, Manager of the Accounts Department of ABDS comments:
“The permitted development rights were introduced as a temporary measure to bring vacant office buildings back into use, and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has proposed to make them permanent. However, the LGA has recommended that this should not happen.”

A number of authorities have lobbied for and received exemptions from the policy where the measures would have an adverse economic impact on their areas, however under Government proposals these exemptions would be removed.

Councils warned about the impact this could have when the temporary changes were brought in 18 months ago and urged Government not to override local decision-making.

Cllr Peter Box said, Chair of the LGA's Economy, Environment, Housing and Transport Board, said:
"What was meant to provide a new lease of life for empty offices has, in reality, seen organisations kicked out of their premises so landlords can cash in on the higher rents they can charge for flats and houses. High streets and communities have been changed with no consultation of those living and working in them.

The LGA's survey found:

  • Four in 10 respondents said the measures had reduced office space within the local area and only two in 10 thought it had brought vacant office premises back into use.
  • 43 per cent of respondents disagreed that the policy had brought vacant office space back into use
  • Over half of councils agreed the measures have resulted in housing which does not meet identified need.
  • 60 per cent of councils agreed the changes have reduced the provision of affordable housing.
  • 63 per cent agreed the measures have reduced the ability to shape their local area.
  • Of the respondents that did know, nearly half (46 per cent) said that 50-100 per cent of prior approvals involved part or fully occupied space.
  • 82 per cent of councils said the £80 fee meant that they are operating at a loss.


Property transactions, whether small or large, residential or commercial, can be fraught with complex VAT rules so as HMRC are focusing on the subject, why not take time to consider your own situation with letting income and contact ABDS to discuss how we can help in these matters.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

Brilliant with numbers   
Great with people  
Clear and precise with advice
Timely and cost effective 
In touch with issues that face our clients and
mindful of their long term strategic goals
 

Helping Your Business is Our Business

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