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Rural Rate Relief

Mandatory Relief for general stores, post offices (from 1 April 2000) & rural food shops (from 15 August 2001)

Legislative requirements (Sections 43(6B) & 47(3B) Local Government Finance Act 1988). To qualify the property must:

  • be within the boundaries of a 'qualifying settlement'
  • have a rateable value of not more than £8,500 (with effect from 1 April 2010)
  • be used, in whole or part, as a general store or a post office, or both, or a food shop and,
  • where a general store or post office, be either the only general store or the only post office in the settlement

The legislation was amended from 5th April 2001 to include properties that are used, in whole or part, as a public house or a petrol filling station, and:

  • are within the boundaries of a qualifying settlement
  • have a rateable value of not more than £12,500 (from 1 April 2010), and
  • are either the only public house or the only petrol filling station in the settlement.

A 'qualifying' settlement is:

  • wholly or partly within the Authority's area
  • appear to the billing authority to have had a population of 3,000 or less on the preceding 31st December, and
  • are wholly or partly within a designated rural area.

A settlement list is compiled and approved by the Council three months prior to each financial year. Each list refers to Proposal Maps from within the Local Plan.

A 'qualifying general store' is a business consisting wholly or mainly of the sale of both food for human consumption (excluding confectionery) and general household goods.

A 'qualifying food shop' is defined as one that is wholly or mainly selling food on a retail basis for human consumption. The supply of confectionery and of food in the course of catering is excluded. Catering is defined as the supply of food for consumption on the premises or of hot food that is eaten off the premises. This excludes such establishments as restaurants, cafes, tea-rooms and fast food shops but not food shops that only sell small amounts of such items.


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