Business rates to impact growers of young plants

Young plant growers and nurseries will have to pay business rates on their buildings and glasshouses, an HMRC representative has confirmed.

With a new ratings list due to take effect from 1 April 2017, a change in approach by the Valuations Office Agency (VOA) to rating horticultural businesses that grow their crops mainly in buildings or glasshouses, but do not bring these crops on to their final maturity, is on its way.

A 2015 Court of Appeal verdict against a mushroom grower decided that those with "nursery grounds" whose plants leave the premises before they are mature and there is little connected use of open land in the growing cycle have to pay business rates. But the NFU said the VOA's "extreme approach" is "contradictory to current guidance".

On who will be billed, HMRC said: "It depends on whether we know about them or not. The Court of Appeal decided nursery grounds/buildings aren't exempt, so when we become aware we will bring in the relevant rate, as we're updating lists all the while. Bedding, as far as I understand, is included. It's nursery grounds in buildings so that sounds like them. If anyone has any doubts see www.voa.gov.uk to check rateable value and liability by postcode."

Bills could be backdated to 1 April 2015, added HMRC, but it does not know how much could be raised or how many growers could be involved.

NFU acting chief horticulture adviser Chris Hartfield said the NFU is working to ensure that the charge does not come in, adding that it seeks to prevent "anything that puts a financial burden on our growers that there wasn't previously".


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Just-in-time may just help

Just-in-time may just help

A just-in-time policy can be a smart move to aid cash flow in light of post-Brexit uncertainty, Neville Stein advises

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Needle blights

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Needle blights

Prevalent in wet, humid conditions and particularly on susceptible crops grown under overhead irrigation, tip blights can adversely affect a range of conifer species.

Hippeastrum

Hippeastrum

These perfect pot plants for Christmas can be brought back into flower year after year, Miranda Kimberley explains.


According To Edwards ... Why horticulture needs a different dialogue to farming

According To Edwards ... Why horticulture needs a different dialogue to farming

The Government will always look on "horticulture" as a sector within "agriculture" and, when the trade effectively gets its message across, the Government recognises "nursery stock" as a non-edible subset of horticulture.

Seabrook on...Are 'garden' and 'gardener' becoming dirty words?

Seabrook on...Are 'garden' and 'gardener' becoming dirty words?

Seabrook on...Benefits of Controlled-release fertilisers under threat

Seabrook on...Benefits of Controlled-release fertilisers under threat


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.