There has not been a specific assessment of the impact of empty property rates on the conversion of empty agricultural properties into business use. However, an impact assessment detailing the impact of the empty property reforms was published by Communities and Local Government in May 2007 accompanying the introduction of the Rating (Empty Properties) Bill and a further assessment was laid before this House on 26 February accompanying the Non-Domestic Rating (Unoccupied Property) (England) Regulations 2008—Number: 386.
(2) with reference to the answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles) of 29 October 2008, Official Report, columns 1142-3W, on empty property, if she will place in the Library a copy of each of the responses to the requests for information made in June and September.
Business rates are not payable on domestic dwellings, unless they are occupied for both domestic and non-domestic purposes and have been assessed by the Valuation Office Agency for both council tax and business rates purposes.
Clause 11 of the Business Rate Supplements Bill, published in December 2008, provides that the decision to levy a BRS on empty non-domestic properties will be left to the discretion of the levying authority.