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Rating (Former Farm Premises and Rural Shops) Act 2001

Non–agricultural premises on what had previously been agricultural land and buildings

7.Land and buildings used in connection with agricultural operations on the owner’s own farm are exempt from non-domestic rates, but non-agricultural activities are rateable. Therefore, farmers face a new rate liability when moving any of their property from agricultural to non-agricultural uses.  This is perceived as a barrier to diversification into non-agricultural activities.

8.On 30 March 2000 the Prime Minister announced the Government’s Action Plan for Farming in which commitment was given to consult on extending rate relief to new horse enterprises linked to farms to assist farmers to diversify. A consultation paper Rate Relief for Horse enterprises on Farms was issued on 25 August 2000 but was not well received by the farming community who perceived the proposals as not providing sufficient help to farmers. A further consultation paper Rate Relief for Farm Diversification enterprises was issued on 28 November 2000 proposing to extend the relief to all new small non-agricultural enterprises on farms for a 5 year period. This Act implements the proposed relief, as revised in the light of consultation responses.

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