New shop unit in Honiton ‘positive response’ to high business rates

A savvy commercial property owner in Honiton has found a way to reduce business rates and make a shop unit more financially viable – by dividing it into two.

Planners have praised the plan, saying it will add to the vitality and viability of High Street while splitting the cost of rates.

A new shop premises can be created now that plans for the scheme have been given the go-ahead.

The application to divide 42 High Street into two retail units was granted permission by East Devon District Council.

The applicant told the council the premises in question was ‘a large retail unit attracting high business rates that are incommensurate with both its location and the current economic climate’.

They added: “For this property to remain commercially viable as premises for retail and/or professional and financial services…the unit must be subdivided to create two units attracting more affordable rent and rates.”

Granting planning permission under delegated powers, an East Devon District Council planning officer said: “The current proposal which seeks to retain the commercial use by providing two more affordable units is a positive response and has the potential to increase footfall and therefore add to the vitality and viability of the town centre.”

Honiton Town Council also supported the plan.

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