Empty sites being wasted

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UNOCCUPIED industrial and commercial premises across Calderdale could provide millions of pounds towards services.

Nearly 1,000 buildings are vacant and if some were occupied business rates would be charged for them.

The second largest site on the list at Gooder Lane, Brighouse, would have a rateable value of £198,000.

Pubs, offices and factory units are included which accounts for more than 10 per cent of all industrial buildings across the area.

Calderdale Council’s head of regeneration David Moore was not alarmed at the figures and insisted work was continuing to find uses for empty buildings.

“The number of business properties currently unoccupied is not particularly unusual,” he said.

“There is a steady turnover of unoccupied business premises in Calderdale and the council works with estate agencies and property companies to try to match up businesses to suitable properties.”

Valuation officers set a RV value for a property which is is not the amount paid but represents the rental value and that is multiplied by a factor, known as the multiplier of Uniform Business Rate, set by the Government used to calculate a rates bill.

Small businesses pay slightly less than larger companies and can qualify for a series of rate relief schemes.

For 2010/2011 there is a standard multiplier of 0.414p and a small business multiplier of 0.407p. Premises with a rateable value of £10,000, which did not qualify for small business rate relief, would pay £4,140. The money is collected by local authorities and given to the Government for distribution.

Do you think enough is being done to fill empty sites? Write to the Echo or email stephen.firth@brighouseecho.