Builders losing out on Brownfield Tax Breaks

Many small and regional housebuilders are missing out on vital tax breaks for brownfield land. Managing Director of E3 Consulting, Alun Oliver explains

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“In our experience many have not fully claimed the tax relief available in undertaking remediation of their sites – thereby paying more tax than necessary,” said Alun Oliver.

Tax incentives on brownfield sites help to increase the proportion of new dwellings built on previously developed land.

Latest Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (OPDM) figures indicate a rise in the number of homes built on brownfield sites – 70 per cent for 2004, up from 67 per cent. This compares with 57 per cent before 1997. The average density increased to 40 homes per hectare (16/acre), against 25/hectare (10/acre) in 2001.

Land Remediation Tax Relief (LRTR) gives between 50 per cent and 150 per cent relief on qualifying expenditure incurred by companies on or after May 11 2001. Since its introduction some £29 million of tax relief has been granted to those involved in remediation of brownfield sites, used both for commercial and residential development.

This tax incentive is available on commercial property projects where owners have undertaken remediation such as removal of asbestos, hydrocarbons or heavy metals.

But be quick – “some tax saving opportunities are very timesensitive.”

E3 operates from offices in Southampton and London. Mr Oliver is also a part-time tutor at The College of Estate Management; an occasional lecturer at Kingston University and vice-chairman of the South East regional board of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

This article was published in The Daily Echo, Business Property section on 30 August 2005. Written by Roan Fair.
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