Renfrewshire Council’s Finance and Customer Services Policy Board is due to consider a new policy on empty property relief for listed buildings at its meeting on Thursday 9th February 2023.

The Scottish Government, in line with the independent Barclay Review of non-domestic rates, supports measures that help bring empty property back into economic use. Renfrewshire Council is therefore proposing to limit the use of Empty Property Relief on listed buildings, in the hope that this will encourage owners to bring such properties back into economic use.

With effect from 1st April 2023, unoccupied Listed Buildings are eligible for 50% relief for the first three months since becoming unoccupied and 10% thereafter, the same as properties in the category Other (non-industrial) unoccupied; or 100% relief for 6 months and 10% thereafter if the property is classed as unoccupied industrial.

This policy will result in a charge for unoccupied properties which are classed as listed buildings. It is estimated that this policy change would affect charges on 145 properties.

However, to allow businesses time to prepare for this change A transitional period will commence from 1st April 2023 for Listed Buildings who will continue have 100% relief on that date for a period of 6 months after which time they will be eligible for 10% relief.

Paisley Northwest Councillor Kenny MacLaren said: “This change will put pressure on owners of Listed Buildings to actually do something with them, rather than just letting the stand empty for years.

“Part of the Barclay review on non-domestic rates (which reported back in 2017) was to encourage owners of listed buildings to bring them into economic use. Now that such powers have been devolved to councils, it gives Renfrewshire the opportunity to act and limit the 100% relief that such buildings used to receive.

“Too many times in the planning board we’ve seen listed buildings fall into ruins as owners fail to maintain them and often then use the excuse that the only option is demolition. This now puts the onus of such owners to act.

“Making listed buildings eligible for non-domestic rates will force owners and developers to act and bring these properties back into economic use, benefiting not just the properties themselves but also boosting our local economy.”

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News

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