Business Rates Savings of 15% – £170,000

The Client
Independent Vetcare Evidencia Ltd - The Chocolate Quarter Rateable value £450,000 
The client has over 1,100 veterinary practices throughout the UK with their head office based in the old Cadburys chocolate factory near Bristol. The old buildings were refurbished into what is now The Chocolate Quarter which includes retirement apartments, amenities and offices.
The Instruction
As their business rates advisors we needed to review their head office assessments with a view to finding savings. The system is the same whether it is a large or small assessment… We look at the physical aspects of the property in terms of floor areas, the rental in terms of how the rent relates to the rateable value and finally on what is known as tone or comparability with other assessments.
The Result
On initial inspection we found that our areas were below those of the valuation Office. In addition, although on paper the passing rent appeared to support the rateable value when adjusted in line with the rating definition, it suggested to us that the assessment was too high. Finally looking at tone we felt the assessment was out of line with others. Weighing up the evidence a check appeal was raised. This was only partially successful with a reduction in areas. Not to be disheartened we raised a full challenge appeal pushing for a significant reduction in the main floor space rate. In negotiations with the Valuation Office agreement was reached with a reduction in the rateable value to £382,500 (15% saving) In real money it has saved the client around £35,000 per annum or £170,000 over the length of the valuation list. A great result.