Leekes Group
Large retail warehouses with consequent large liabilities to business rates throughout Wales, the West Country and the Midlands

Article by

Andrew West
Director
Business Rates

(029) 20 346346

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THE PROBLEM

  • The liabilities were considered excessive having regard to a diverging estate
  • Whilst recognising liabilities, the client was conscious of potential reductions in the assessments to reflect the inherent qualities and disabilities at each building.

THE SOLUTION

  • Cooke & Arkwright adopted an extremely proactive approach in conducting early and regular discussions with Valuation Officers throughout England and Wales
  • Our work, in particular identifying disprepair, is rarely promoted and even more rarely acknowledged as a factor to be reflected in a retail valuation. This is an illustration of Cooke & Arkwright's comprehensive approach to rating valuation, going beyond the normal valuation parameters
  • Negotiations on the English estate included preparation of Statements of Case for submission to the Valuation Tribunal as part of sustained negotiations with the Valuation Office Agency.

THE RESULT

  • Savings across the portfolio of £3.3m during the life of the 2010 rating list as well as an average reduction in assessments of 25% and an additional reduction of 20% for the disrepair inherent in one of the stores
  • The rate bills now properly reflect the complexities of the market for large retail warehouses as at April 2008. This helps the company operate efficiently and effectively in a competitive retail environment.

"The Leekes Retail and Leisure Group have substantial property assets within the group and engaged Andrew West to appeal against rating assessments on these properties since 2010. We have consistently been impressed by Andrew's knowledge of the property market and his negotiating skills have been exceptional. Given Andrew's outstanding performance we would not hesitate to recommend him to any business, large or small, seeking to appeal their rates liabilities." Mike Fowler, Group Finance Director, Leekes Retail and Leisure Group