Commercial Property Update – November 2023

Posted: 1st November 2023

Updates in the Law

The Levelling-up and Regeneration Act 2023

The Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill received royal assent on 26 October 2023.

This act is designed to speed up and improve the current planning system and hold developers to account. The Levelling-up and Regeneration Act will ensure new development is built more beautifully, produces more local infrastructure, like GP surgeries, schools and transport links, is shaped by local people’s democratic wishes, enhances the environment, and creates neighbourhoods where people want to live and work.

This is positive news for those wanting to invest in commercial property.

Recent Cases

Butler v HMRC [2023] UKFTT 00872 (TC)

The first-tier tribunal recently held that a wedding venue business involved in wholly or mainly making or holding investments so that it did not qualify for business property relief from inheritance tax.

The taxpayer argued that the hiring of the wedding site to customers was merely one aspect of the wedding business, and that it also provided a meaningful package of additional services and facilities. The FTT considered the various facilities and services provided in turn before stepping back to look at the whole picture. It found that the use of the wedding barn indicated property held as an investment as the fee was primarily being paid for the use of the barn and its garden and grounds. Roles such as catering and taking care of the wedding venue and premises licences were outsourced. Although the wedding bar

n had to meet various health and safety requirements, the FTT found that many of these requirements fell on the landlord of any commercial property and were part and parcel of a business of holding investments.