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Cheaper to demolish a building than pay empty rates?

1st March 2016

Impending new legislation in Scotland, which will reform empty property rates relief, may well have an unintended consequence, resulting in the need to demolish commercial property, particularly in tertiary areas.

Commercial reality will demand that in some situations the most cost effective outcome may in fact be to demolish a building and leave the site clear, rather than meet a substantially increased empty property rates bill.

Colin Busby, Partner, says:

"Outwardly, demolition may appear like a simple and cheaper solution - however the reality is often more complex than anticipated.

“Professional advice should be sought in relation to the demolition process - that includes obtaining requisite Statutory Consents, ensuring compliance with statutory Health and Safety legislation and managing other risks, including site and environmental conditions and asbestos. It may also be worth considering alternative development options and uses for the site.

“Ensuring the actual process of demolition is competently and cost effectively procured and delivered also needs experienced guidance and advice.’’

If, as a result of the changes to empty property business rates relief in Scotland, your organisation considers that demolition may be an option that should be considered, Ryden’s Project & Building Consultancy and Planning teams can assist building owners in considering alternative options for the site, assess the likely costs, risks, timescales, and identify procurement options for the demolition of a property asset.

Colin Busby

Colin is Edinburgh Regional Managing Partner and a very experienced real estate and construction professional with nearly 30 years of commercial property involvement. Prior to joining Ryden in 2012, Colin held senior positions within DTZ’s Scottish business and UK Project and Building Consultancy team.  

Colin has a wide spectrum of experience in commercial building surveying and project management activities, encompassing building refurbishment, new build and professional work on commercial, retail and industrial properties. Colin specialises in occupier related consultancy and project management. 

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