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Non-domestic Rates: Empty Property

Volume 491: debated on Thursday 23 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the cost in empty property business rates for the vacant properties recorded on the e-PIMS database as owned by HM Court Service was in each of the last five years. (262342)

The estimated cost for empty property business rates for vacant properties recorded on the e-PIMS database owned by HM Courts Service (HMCS) in each of the last five years was:

Financial year

Empty rates charge (£)

2004-051

23,860

2005-06

55,420

2006-07

55,030

2007-08

278,150

1 Information for Crown and County Court.

Following the formation of HMCS on 1 April 2005, responsibility for rates payments for magistrates courts transferred from individual magistrates courts committees to HMCS. The charges recorded for the financial year 2005-06 therefore comprises vacant magistrates court properties, as well as vacant Crown and County court properties, awaiting either sale or sub-letting.

The significant increase in costs from 2007-08 is predominantly due to the vacation of the former Bristol magistrates court building, following the completion of a new PFI magistrates court in Bristol. This one property incurs empty rates charges of c. £233,000 per annum. The vacant property is currently being marketed for sale.