Business rates update 2017

Business rates update 2017


The BHA have engaged with various agencies involved in the assessment of hydropower for business rates on the 2017 Rating Lists to tty and get a better deal for members. These discussions are ongoing.

The original BHA document on the 2010 Rating List induding the presentation by Mark Cropper of Blergreen can be viewed here.

The latest updates on the 2017 Rating List will be sent to members and can be found on the BHA website. With the assistance of Guy Richardson from Colliers International, specialists in the valuation of renewable schemes for business rates, BHA can now update members on the rating systems in the UK and Ireland.

  • 2017 Revaluation:

The Department for Communities and Local Government [DCLG] and Welsh Assembly Government [WAG] announced that the revaluations in England and Wales will come into effect on 1 April 2017. Details of the draft rating list figures can be found here.


  • 2017 Transitional Relief Scheme – England:

Where there are significant changes to the rateable value as a result of the revaluation, DCLG have announced that transitional relief will cap the increases and decreases in liability in England over the life of the 2017 Rating List. An estimate of business rates liability for 2017/18 can be accessed on the Valuation Office Agency website.

  • 2017/18 Multiplier:

DCLG have announced that the small business multiplier, where the Rateable Value is less than £51,000 will be 46.6p and the standard multiplier will be 47.9p.

  • Small Business Rate Relief [SBRR]:

The SBRR scheme currently provides relief to most businesses with an RV below £12,000. This has been extended for 2017 and will provide relief for most business premises with rateable values below £15,000.


  • 2017 Transitional Relief Scheme – Wales:

Following the 2017 non-domestic rates revaluation by the Valuation Office Agency, transitional relief will be implemented to support ratepayers whose eligibility for Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) will be affected as a result of the revaluation.

The transitional relief scheme will be introduced to assist ratepayers in receipt of SBRR on 31 March 2017, experienang a reduction in the percentage of SBRR they are entitled to on 1 April 2017, due to increases in their rateable value following the revaluation.

SBRR will be applied prior to transitional relief. The transitional relief will work by phasing in any resultant increases in liability over a 3 year period (25% of increased liability in year 1, 50% in year 2 and 75% in year 3.

Eligible ratepayers are those:

  • moving from foil SBRR to partial SBRR •moving from foil SBRR to no SBRR
  • moving from partial SBRR to no SBRR
  • staying within partial SBRR but seeing an increase in rateable value
  • 2017/18 Multiplier:

WAG have not announced the multiplier for 2017/18. The VOA have been using 49.9p in their liability estimates and we would expect the final figure to be around this level. The same multiplier would apply for small and large businesses

  • Small Business Rate Relief [SBRR]:

The SBRR scheme is currently £12,000. Any decision on SBRR for 2017 will come out with the outcome of the consultation.


On the 21st February, the Scottish Government announced a 12.5% limit on business rates increases for all hydro schemes up to 1MW for a period of 12 months until March 31 2018.

The BHA continues to lobby for this limit to include schemes up to 5MW

  • 2017 Revaluation:

The Scottish Executive [SE] announced that the revaluation in Scotland will come into effect on 1 April 2017. Details of the draft Valuation Roll figures can be found here.

  • 2017 Transitional Relief Scheme – Scotland:

The SE are not proposing a transitional relief scheme for the revaluation. Therefore, the full new rate liability will apply from 1 April 2017.

  • 2017/18 Multiplier:

SE have announced the multipliers for 2017/18. The Small Business Multiplier will be 46.6p and the Standard Multiplier will be 49.2p.

  • Small Business Bonus Scheme [SBBS]:

Hydro operators can get rates relief through the Small Business Bonus Scheme (SBBS) if the combined rateable value of all their business premises in Scotland is £35,000 or less.

Northern Ireland:

  • 2015 Revaluation:

The Revaluation in Northern Ireland came into effect on 1 April 2015. The Valuation List can be found here. The Department for Finance & Personnel [DFP] are considering the timing of the next Revaluation.

  • 2017/18 Multiplier:

A decision on the multipliers for 2017/18 has been delayed by the Northern Ireland Assembly election which is due to be held on 2 March 2017. This may delay the issuing of rate demands by councils.

  • Small Business Rate Relief and Transitional Relief:

The DFP introduced an enhanced Small Business Rate Relief scheme and a Transition Scheme to remove the effects of the Review of Public Administration on 1 April 2015.


  • Revaluation:

The Valuation Office in Ireland is undertaking a revaluation of non-domestic property, for Commercial Rates purposes, within each local authority area. Revaluations in Dublin City Council, Waterford County Council, Waterford City Council and Dungarvan Town Council areas have now been completed. The new valuations for Limerick City and County Council came into effect in January 2015.

Appeal Decisions:

  • Upper Tribunal decision: North Wales Hydro Electric Scheme:

In August 2012 the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) determined an appeal against the rateable value on Dolgarrog, a 32MW hydropower scheme in North Wales, from 1 April 2005. The decision reduced the previous Valuation Tribunal decision by 29%, the VOA has reduced the assessments of many renewable schemes to reflect the decision.

Perth & Kinross Valuation Appeal Committee: Perthshire Hydro Schemes:

In 2013 the Perth & Kinross Valuation Appeal Committee considered the assessment of a number of hydro schemes in Perthshire. The decision has been appealed to the Lands Tribunal Scotland. No decision on timing of the LT appeal is available.

Valuation Tribunal Hearing: Armistead Wind Farm:

Colliers International are running a test case on the 2010 Rating List for the impact of renewable growth on the value of ROCs in the VOA’s valuation. This is set for hearing in May 2017. A favourable decision could reduce the assessment of other renewable schemes including hydro. If you would like to talk to Guy about the opportunities that could exist for your schemes in light of this case, please call him on 0121 265 7541 or email

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